• The Life and Collection of

    ROCK CURRIER

A word to the wise...

The material gathered here is as true to Rock’s spirit as we can make it. Humorous, irreverent, occasionally scatological or pornographic; it has not been ‘sanitized’ to spare delicate sensibilities. That’s not how Rock would have wanted it. You have been warned.

Rock H. Currier

1940-2015

It is said that insanity is definable not in kind, but in degree. So it is with ‘genius’.  There are a multitude of personality traits, the aggregate of which defines a person. All of display these traits to a greater or lesser degree. It is the ‘greater’ side that concerns us with our long-time friend: Rock Currier. From the start, rock displayed a personality that set him distinctly apart from your standard, G.I. issue, Human. Rock’s travels broke so much ground for mineral dealers and collectors, that even today, the inheritors of his collection and his company : JTI & Mindat, are continuing to add pins to the map of countries and places he explored.

A literal giant of a man, Rock’s devotion to spreading the passion of mineral collecting knew no bounds. His travels were finally limited by his body’s inability to keep up with his spirit. We believe that the rise of Mindat allowed him a vehicle for his passion to continue even as his travels declined, and added years to his life. That he was an integral part of the Mindat ‘Family’ is a matter of record, and a voluminous record that is.

Over the years since he died, we have been the recipients of numerous “Rock Stories” from friends he’d made either in person or online. Many cite his generosity in providing valuable, hard won information to newcomers in the field, leavned with a unique and humorous style that will not easily be replaced.

Along with those “Rock Stories”, we have assembled personal accounts culled from his extensive collection of: books, notes and anecdotes. We present some of both within the pages you are about to explore.  Additionally, we have included some of Rock’s favorite sayings, limericks and a “Rock Lexicon”: a charming collection of the many ways rock mangled words in several languages and on multiple subjects.  Shakespeare has Marc Antony saying: “The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.” We, the inheritors of Rock’s legacy can clearly state for the record, that in Rock’s case, that viewpoint is wrong.

Rock's early collecting days

began at Boron, California, where he was smitten by borates and acquired the nickname “Boron Moron”. He subsequently moved to New York, began to build a photographic library of great specimens, and expanded his personal knowledge of minerals and localities.
Laid off in 1972, he made the momentous decision to become a mineral dealer! He made his first trip to India that year and began buying for Jewel Tunnel Imports. Indian zeolites were little known in the United States and Rock imported significant quantities of these “new” minerals. The “Poona Pimp” became Rock’s new moniker.
Rock’s knowledge of minerals and localities was without equal among his contemporaries. As a pioneering mineral dealer, Rock went everywhere in search of minerals. No matter how harsh or difficult the conditions, he went. Rock was instrumental in developing mineral markets in India, Tsumeb, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Russia, China, and Mali, among other places. While gathering specimens for JTI, he amassed an impressive personal mineral collection.
When Rock displayed more than fifty cases of his collection at the 2003 Springfield Show, the depth, breadth and scope of his mineral passion astounded many. His passion for minerals was only surpassed by his desire to share his knowledge. A prolific writer, he worked tirelessly on behalf of Mindat, passing on his knowledge and documenting it for posterity. While Rock collected many things, his minerals were his life focus.

  • "Another week out on the high altiplano near Chilean border: sweeping sand and salt dunes between volcanoes and gypsum diapirs for ventifacts, fulgerites, and meteorites. Cyclonic thunder snowstorms appear out of hot, ultraviolet-filled afternoons. Small flocks of rhea cluck by and flop off into distant dust devils. The full moon blazes among stars I do not know. So, you're sitting out on the world's largest salt desert (Salar de Uyuni) contemplating a flat tire … or two … and dwindling gasoline supplies, when you realize that the movement you glimpse on the horizon against the sunset is a pack of wild dogs. Perhaps it is then you mutter to yourself: "Thank God, this is just a hobby!"

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