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Russell Behnke
(1952-    )

Russell Ernest Behnke was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1952. He remembers picking around a mine dump in Haddam, Connecticut at the age of five, and finding some reddish quartz, but he didn't become serious about mineral collecting until he was given a book on minerals in 1968, at the age of 16. Fascinated by the multicolored crystals of tourmaline, he began collecting at the Strickland quarry three or four days a week. After high school he moved to Colorado and enrolled at the Colorado School of Mines, graduating with a degree in Geological Engineering in 1974. While in college he field-collected amazonite and other minerals, and began selling specimens for profit around 1972. After graduation he went into mineral dealing full-time. The first thing he sold after graduation was a 2-inch purple apatite crystal on matrix from the Strickland quarry, which had once belonged to F. E. Strickland himself. This brought $5000 at a time when a young geologist could only hope to earn $12,000 in a year. Since then Russ has quietly developed a reputation as a purveyor of extremely fine specimens. He has always been very low-profile, with no shop and never a table at major mineral shows, but has nevertheless done good business for over 30 years.

Russ has a website at He lives at 161 Sherman Avenue, Meriden, Connecticut 06450, U.S.A. Tel.:203-235-5467. E-mail:
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Russell Behnke 51 x 89 mm
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