Reference Specimens
The Oliete Collection

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Photos by Fabre Minerals. Under Creative Commons license

This page is special, as we have included in it only those specimens from the Martín Oliete Fontela collection.

Martín is a very pleasant artist who has specialized in prints, ex-libris and old books, he is also a gemmologist. He has combined this with many years of collecting and dealing in minerals, so he is well known by all those in Spain who are interested in minerals, especially those from the Madrid area, which is where he lives.

Martin collected minerals for over 35 years. Towards the end of the 60s, when he first started, mineral dealing had hardly been heard of in Spain so it was limited to a small group of specialized people in the major cities, above all in Madrid and Barcelona. In those early days very few high quality specimens got as far as Spain and of course there were no shows at which one could buy specimens.

Given this, and his decision to build a good collection of worldwide minerals, Martin found that he had to travel to the USA to get hold of the type of material he wanted. The result is a collection in which his ability to select fine specimens shines through, especially as it was combined with the large number of specimens he was able to see each year.

His focus was, luckily, on what we might call the 'modern style' of specimen, that is to say: not that large and, if possible, perfect and esthetic. He also aimed to collect as diverse a range of species as was possible, instead of focusing in on a few minerals.

In February 2002 Martin decided to sell his collection for personal reasons and, due to our old friendship, he offered me the chance to buy as much of it as I wished. It was an easy decision for me, so we quickly met and I bought what for me were the best pieces (in my opinion) from his collection. These then sold very rapidly at shows and over the web.

This page is now a small tribute to this collection, and at the same time it gives our visitors the chance to see some of the collection we sold.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did when I first selected them!


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