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Wilfred C. Eyles

Wilfred Charles Eyles, "mineralogist and gemologist," was born August 1, 1891 in Sydney, Australia. He worked as a steward for the Pacific Steamship Company in the teens and 1920s, serving aboard such ships as the President and the Matsonia. Beginning in 1917 or 1918 he also did a small business dealing in Australian opal on the side.

Eyles settled in California around 1931-1933. By 1936 he had started a part-time mail order mineral business from his home at 36 Fountain Street in San Francisco, with classified advertising in Rocks & Minerals. In November of the following year he decided to sell minerals and lapidary materials full-time, and announced the opening of his mineral shop, "Western State Mineral & Gem Company," at 5051 Geary Boulevard in San Francisco. He carried "a full line of minerals for the amateur and advanced collector, the student and lapidary."

Eyles also occasionally wrote field-collecting articles for Rocks & Minerals, e.g. "A nine day mineral hunt" (1938), "An Australian-American mineral expedition" (1953), and "The quest of minerals in Australia" (1954). He also wrote one booklet, The Diamond Saw and it's Operation (1951), and one book, The Book of Opals (1964).

In late 1943 Eyles moved to Bayfield, Colorado where he opened a lapidary shop called "The Enchanted Pueblo." (His wife died there in 1946.) He personally manufactured "Streamliner" diamond saws and blades to order. In 1948 he moved back to Yermo, California. In December 1952 he left California on an extended mineral collecting tour of Australia, which he documented in a series of articles. He became a dealer specializing in Australian opal, under the business name of "Australian-American Opal Company" in Sydney, Australia and Yermo, then Cypress, then San Francisco, California (1956). In 1957 Eyles retired permanently to Australia, turning over his business to Glenn Kurth of Kurth's Jewelry in Hendricks, Minnesota. Wilfred Eyles died in August 1968, in Sydney, Australia.

California Voter Registration, San Francisco County, 1934.
California Passenger and Crew List 1893-1957.
World War I Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918.
Advertisements in Rocks & Minerals.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2020)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Wilfred C. Eyles Wilfred C. Eyles in Gem Village, 1955.
The Mineralogical Record - Wilfred C. Eyles A humorous 1941 ad in Rocks & Minerals.
The Mineralogical Record - Wilfred C. Eyles A 1948 ad in Rocks & Minerals.
The Mineralogical Record - Wilfred C. Eyles A 1955 ad in Rocks & Minerals.
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