Bob Jones

Our dear Wildacres friend Bob Jones returns to our Spring 2017 workshop with more wonderful chronicles of his recent adventures inside the world of gems and minerals. If you've never heard Bob Jones before this is a must-do session for you. And if you have, then you know that he never fails to educate and entertain. Bob relies on his extensive and often amazing travels and his scientific understanding of minerals to provide us with great stories and slide shows of some of the most interesting places most of us will never go to.

Bob writes several articles a month for Rock and Gem magazine where he serves as Senior Editor. He has written well over 700 articles in several publications and has been the featured speaker at many conferences and shows. He takes most of his own photographs, even in hostile conditions such as 135 degree heat in a cave in Mexico or in tricky situations while traveling to mines or museums where tourists are not normally allowed to photograph.

He earned a BS and MS from the New Haven Teachers College in New Haven, Connecticut and was an award-winning eighth grade science teacher for 32 years. He’s written two books: Luminescent Minerals of Connecticut and Nature’s Hidden Rainbows, reflecting his early interest in fluorescent minerals. He has also worked on scripts for mineral related TV shows and videos, in some of which he was also the on-screen host. His latest endeavor is a volume entitled The Frugal Collector, Volume 1 which relates information about many popular minerals and includes many anecdotes about Bob’s personal experiences as a collector.

Bob has lived in Arizona for some time now and has been very involved in local Tucson activities including the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show which is held every February. Before retiring from the committee, he served as show chairman for several years, always gaining excellent publicity and always creating one of the premier rockhounding events in the world. Until recently, he was a trustee in the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum. And, as if that were not enough, Bob was on the committee that formulated the plans for the fabulous Karchner Caverns near Benson, AZ. He also belongs to a number of other mineral clubs and has been named as a lifetime or honorary member in some.

Other awards bestowed upon Bob include: the National Rockhound and Lapidary Hall of Fame Award for Minerals in 1992 and the very prestigious Carnegie Mineralogical Award in 1998. He was also honored by the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies in 2000. That same year, Bob was honored by having a mineral named after him, the monoclinic bobjonesite, which has a hardness of one. A softie, like the mineral named after him, Bob is a down to earth guy who can reach anyone. We know you will appreciate the love of life and minerals that Bob will share with us this week.