Virtual Adventure: 2020 Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium


By Antoinette Rahn

It’s not every year a milestone like a 10th anniversary comes around, so, when it does, a celebration is in order. Organizers of the Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium are seizing that concept wholeheartedly, in a unique virtual approach this weekend (August 22-23) during the unusual and unpredictable year that is 2020.

Every August, since 2010, mineral dealers, collectors, and geology experts and educators have converged in Dallas, Texas, to participate in the Symposium, which was co-founded by Dr. Rob Lavinsky, owner of The Arkenstone, and collector and former Intel Senior Fellow Dr. Gene Meieran. Today the annual event is hosted by The Arkenstone, Additional Symposium sponsors include Heritage Auctions, University of Texas Dallas, BB&T Wealth, the Mineralogical Association of Dallas, Perot Museum, Lipscomb & Associates, and Southern Methodist University.

During this year of the COVID-10 pandemic, many events have been canceled temporarily or perhaps indefinitely. However, in response to these unusual times, Symposium organizers took a different approach that will allow even more people to enjoy the wealth of information and opportunities always associated with the annual Symposium, by presenting the event online, at no formal cost to anyone interested in participating. The schedule is comprised of hand-selected presentations from past Symposiums, featuring an impressive panel of esteemed experts of mineralogy including Dr. Bob Downs, the late Rock Currier, Dr. Peter Megaw, Jim Houran, and Rock & Gem Senior Editor Bob Jones, among others. 

A virtual Dallas Collecting Symposium, in my opinion, is a perfect example of good news, if you are in search of some. Plus, it’s free to boot. Tune in from the comfort of one’s home, to learn more and make fascinating discoveries about minerals, courtesy of a panel of esteemed experts, and have the chance to participate in a benefit auction featuring a bevy of beautiful minerals? Yes, please!

If this sounds appealing to you, here are a few things to know:


Access: Click on the Live Stream link posted at the Symposium web site

Benefit Auction: Takes place at

The year after each presenter’s name is the year each was a featured speaker at the Symposium.

Schedule (All times are Central Daylight Time)

Virtual tour begins at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21.


Benefit Auction is open to public bidding now

5-6 p.m.: Informal live chat and virtual tour of The Arkenstone Gallery of Fine Minerals


Duration: Noon until 5 p.m.

Analytical Techniques on Earth and Mars

Dr. Bob Downs (2013)

Exploring the Mines of Dal’ Negorsk, Siberia

Rock Currier (2012)

Blistered Fingers: Field Collecting in the Western USA

John Cornish (2016)

The Tsavorite Story

Bruce Bridges (2017)

Formation of Open Pockets of Collectible Crystals in Metallic Deposits

Dr. Peter Megaw (2012)

Benefit Auction: Closes at 5:30 p.m.


Duration: Noon until 5 p.m.

Virtual Live Tour

View the collection of revered collectors and ambassadors of the mineralogy and club community, Jim and Gayle Spann

Gem-Forming Pegmatites: How Nature Makes Big, Clear Crystals

Dr. David London (2012)

Little Wonders: Connoisseur Thumbnails in the Contemporary Collector Market

Jim Houran (2014)

Tsumeb: A Mineralogical Paradise

Dr. Rob Bowell (2015)

Dangerous Beauty: Minerals of the Hindu Kush

Opening Afghanistan and Pakistan for Mineral Specimens

Herb Obodda (2012)

Around the World in 80 Years

Bob Jones (2018)

Benefit Auction: Closes at 5:30 p.m.

Treat yourself to something extraordinary, and tune in to the Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium, We’ll be tuning in throughout the weekend, and you’ll also seem some post-symposium coverage on this site and in the pages of Rock & Gem. 


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