Part 2 - Forewords
Dr. Steve Smale, Jia Yueming, and Shou Jiahua
"China has experienced some of the Earth’s longest, most spectacular and most complex events in geological evolution, which not only created our magnificent landscapes of magic mountains and fantasy valleys, but also generated the most beautiful and diverse of mineral treasures. This book introduces some of the finest minerals found within China to the outside world, demonstrating their distinctive aesthetic appeal and scientific importance. Reflection on these specimens illuminates a traditional theme in Chinese culture and philosophy, namely the creation of an emotional link that stresses the unity of man and nature, and ties together the forces of heaven and earth."
Professor Jia Yueming is an eminent geologist, and the Curator of the China Geological Museum (Beijing), the largest and most widely known museum of natural history in China.
"The complex tectonics and the varied rock types of China are the source of a great variety of mineral crystals and new species, including hsianghualite, hubeite, and ottensite. Mineral crystals, now being considered as a worthy addition to the culture of stone appreciation prominent throughout Chinese history, have been attracting the interest of more and more people, particularly since the 1980s. At present, China has four distribution centers for the sale of mineral specimens: Huangshi in Hubei Province, Changsha and Chenzhou in Hunan Province and Guilin in Guangxi Province. Hundreds of millions of dollars change hands there annually. In the state and provincial Geological Museums and Natural History Museums, as well as in private collections and museums, the ratio of mineral specimens among the exhibited objects is increasing every year. Following the establishment of the China Viewing Stone Association, two International Mineral Conferences and Exhibitions were held, in Beijing in 2006 and Chenzhou in Hunan in 2011, both co-hosted by Dr. Guanghua Liu. These events received strongly positive responses, causing a sensation among the public and receiving praise from leaders at all levels of the community. The publication of this book will further deepen the understanding of Western countries regarding China’s mineral crystals, and will promote exchanges and cooperation between the traditional stone culture and the rising mineral collecting communities in both the East and West."
Madam Shou is the former Director of the China Geological Survey, former Vice Minister of the Land and Resources Ministry of China, and the current Chairman of the China View Stone Association in Beijing.
"These few words come from my experience of collecting Chinese minerals, especially while residing in Hong Kong for almost ten years (1995-2001 and 2009 to the present). During that time I have visited Changsha and met with Chinese dealers in Shenzhen. Also these dealers have often come to Hong Kong to show me pieces. From this perspective, I can give a strong affirmation of the account and views of Robert Lavinsky and Guanghua Liu regarding the rapidly developing culture of transmission of mineral specimens from the mine to the dealers and from the dealers to collectors.
I myself have profited from this development by building a (sub) collection of Chinese minerals of which I am proud. I must emphasize the importance of the Chinese dealers in the growth of this great activity. I am indebted especially to Zhigang Liu, Robert Dzwillo, Zhouping Guo, He Xinjian, and Zheng Jian-Rong.
This book describes so well the various aspects of the specimen mining market in China that I have nothing to add. I can only corroborate the insights and stories to be found here, especially those of Guanghua Liu and Rob Lavinsky. I want to congratulate them for putting together such a beautiful publication."
Professor Stephen Smale, an American collector of outstanding mineral specimens, was Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley and a recipient of the prestigious Fields Medal in Mathematics; he now resides and does research in Hong Kong. His contributions have significantly impacted science, technology and economics. Steve has one of the world’s finest private mineral collections, and has expanded it to include many fine Chinese specimens.
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Crystalline Treasures is reproduced with permission from The Mineralogical Record. View special thanks and credits for the book.