Crystalline Treasures - Forewords | iRocks Blog

Crystalline Treasures - The Mineral Heritage of China is Dr. Robert Lavinsky's personal collection of Chinese Minerals. He also owns and operates The Arkenstone, www.iRocks.com, to buy and sell fine minerals online.

Part 2 - Forewords
Dr. Steve Smale, Jia Yueming, and Shou Jiahua

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Back to Perspective - Harrison Schmidt

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"中国大陆所经历的地质演化是地球上最壮观、最漫长与复杂的,不仅塑造了最神奇锦绣的山川河谷面貌,而且生成了最丰饶美丽的矿物晶体财富。刘光华博士择其精华向世界推介,既反映了他独具匠心的审美情趣和科学素养,又体现出中华文化崇尚“天人合一”的哲学智慧和光辉传承!"

"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."

Jia Yueming's signature, geologist and curator of the China Geological Museum (Beijing)

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.


"中国地质构造复杂,岩石类型齐全,产出的矿物晶体十分丰富,如世界上著名的香花石、湖北石、奥托石就产在中国。

在中华赏石文化的悠久历史中,矿物晶体作为观赏石中的一大类,在近代,尤其是上世纪80年代以来,越来越受到收藏家的喜爱。目前,在中国已形成了湖北黄石、湖南长沙、湖南郴州、广西桂林等四大矿物晶体集散地,每年的交易额数以亿计。在各省地质博物馆、自然博物馆以及个人收藏博物馆中,矿物晶体的收藏、展出逐年增加。

特别是中国观赏石协会成立以来,分别于2006年、2011年在北京和湖南郴州举办了两届国际矿物晶体博览会,刘光华博士承办了2006年的北京矿物晶体国际博览会,反响强烈,引起轰动,受到了参观的各级领导和社会各界的一致好评。 本书的出版,将进一步加深西方国家对中国矿物晶体的了解,推动东西方赏石文化的交流和合作。"

"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's signature

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."

Signature, Dr. Steve Smale, Mathematics Professor at the City University of Hong Kong

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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Dr. Eugene Meieran
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Crystalline Treasures is reproduced with permission from The Mineralogical Record. View special thanks and credits for the book.