Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Nature's Fabulous Jewels

Some of the most interesting collections that I've seen are those which consist of the fruits of Mother Nature's labor. Natural things like shells, rocks, and bird nests (not really made by Mother Nature but rather Mama Bird.) Through the years, I have collected shells, pine cones (I once had a great cache of enormous pine cones from South Georgia, but they disappeared during a move a few years back), and even acorns. For some odd reason, I absolutely love acorns.

The most striking of all natural collections are minerals. Now I don't know much about minerals, something that I attribute to my utter lack of interest in chemistry and geology, but I do admire their beauty. And the more organic looking they are, the better. Out of curiosity, I recently bought a 1974 book titled
Minerals: Nature's Fabulous Jewels, written by Ian Campbell and Arthur Court. (Yes, the very same Arthur Court of aluminum tableware fame.) Both Court and Campbell are noted mineral collectors, and many specimens from their collections were photographed for this book. The examples are really quite stunning thanks to their fantastic shapes, unusual colors, and heavy texture. After reading the book, I'm sorry that I didn't pay more attention in science class. Well, almost.

Part of Court's collection of minerals that have been mounted.

Mimetite and Plumbogummite from Alston Moor, Cumberland, England

Halite from Brawley, California

Crocoite, from Comet Mine, Dundas mining district, Tasmania, Australia

Chrysocolla "stalagmites" and drusy Quartz, from Concepcion del Oro, Mexico

Calcite with Limonite, from American Nettie Mine, Ouray mining district, Colorado

Bayldonite, from Tsumeb, South-West Africa.

Azurite and Malachite, from Apex Mine, St. George, Utah.

Autunite, from Daybreak Mine, Mount Spokane, Washington

All photos from Minerals: Nature's Fabulous Jewels by Arthur Court and Ian Campbell, M. Halberstadt photographer.


  1. Anonymous10:20 AM

    You are drawn to acorns because they represent good luck, prosperity and spiritual growth! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your daily "eye candy" blog. Such a gift! Thank you, thank you, thank you. These Mother Earth treasures are exquisite!! Anne, Minneapolis

  2. I collect minerals (as well as shells, coral, starfish, fossils, pine cones and birds' nests) and am very fortunate to have a wonderful mineral store in the city in which I live (Victoria, BC) and several in Vancouver. But my collection pales in comparison to these beauties. The minerals you have pictured are absolutely amazing!

  3. I love the minerals with bird feet above. I did a post today on Amethyst in honor of February!

  4. I couldn't agree more dahhling, some of the most beautiful collections I have seen are of the natural sort...

  5. So glad that you all like the pails!

    Anne, your comment got hung up for some reason which is why it's just now showing up. Thank you, thank you for your kind words. Glad to know that acorns represent good luck. I need it! :)