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Stefan Weiss
(1955-    )

Stefan Weiss, well-known German editor and mineral photographer, was born in Munich, Germany, in 1955, the son of Elisabeth and Karl Günther Weiss, a lawyer. At the age of five he had his first contact with rocks and minerals in the pebbly streams of southern Switzerland during holidays. In 1964, his parents took him to the second annual Mineralientage München (today´s Munich Show), which was held that year in the City Museum of Munich. Many mineral specimens in those days were priced at only a few German Marks or even some Pfennigs — virtually a paradise for a young collector! At 12 years old, Stefan Weiss definitely knew that he wanted to become a geologist.

In 1981 Stefan received his Master's Degree in petrography and economic geology, followed by a PhD in mineralogy and petrology (1989), both from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. His dissertation was on the crystallization sequence within the Ballachulish igneous complex in Scotland, an area he studied as part of an international team investigating the contact-metamorphic aureole and the kinetics of metamorphic reactions, in cooperation with David Pattison of Calgary University.

In 1989, Stefan joined Christian Weise's publishing company in Munich to help with the production of mineralogical books. Since May 1993 he has served as editor-in-chief of Lapis magazine, working to promote popular mineralogy among collectors, amateur mineralogists and scientists.

After having started collecting minerals seriously in 1968, Stefan soon put his small Bavarian fossil collection aside. Within a decade he was specializing in the topographic mineralogy of the Alps (including sunny Ticino in Southern Switzerland), as well as in the ore deposits of Saxony and of Southwest England. He has traveled regularly to Cornwall and Devon since 1971, and to Saxony since 1989.

Since they married in 1985, Stefan's wife Claudia has accompanied him on Alpine trips; she does not mind the steepness of terrain or glacier – provided that the weather is good! Their two children, Lea and Julian, have been taken to the Alps as well as to the Atlantic coast and the mines of Cornwall since an early age, and today they still enjoy visiting the sea and the mountains.

In addition to Alpine and Cornish minerals, Stefan likes pegmatite minerals (especially zircon and beryl), and has assembled a systematic collection of phosphates and arsenates which he likes for their chemical complexity as well as for their colorful appearance. Some of his favorite minerals are Alpine-type epidote/allanite, anatase, euclase and titanite, and he has had the good fortune to discover some rich and unique veins containing high-quality specimens of these minerals. Since he enjoys mineral photography, he also likes to acquire photogenic specimens from Morocco, China and Russia.

For each item in his collection, Stefan Weiss tries to get "the full story": This includes the most precise locality information available (including vein type or mine level), the date of the find, the discoverer, the dealer or former owner, and any results of scientific analyses or published data.

He prefers the combination of an old-style handwritten label (to stay with the specimen), and a computer-printed adhesive label on the rear of the boxed or mounted specimen. The labels for the hematite Eisenrose from Ticino, Switzerland, and the rare "henwoodite" from Cornwall (both shown at right) are good examples. His labels (used since October 2012) come in three sizes: small (30 x 50 mm), medium (45 x 60 mm), and large (55 x 85 mm) for cabinet specimens.

For Lapis magazine, Stefan regularly edits the "Neue Mineralien" series, which, since 1992, has presented more than 1550 abstracts of new mineral descriptions. He is also co-authoring (with Rupert Hochleitner, curator of the Munich State Collection) detailed monthly mineral species descriptions (Steckbriefe) that, as of December 2018, total more than 210 entries. Since 1979, Stefan Weiss has published in Lapis more than 180 popular articles on classic mineral localities, regional mineralogy and new finds from the Alps, Cornwall and Saxony; he has also worked on the systematic mineralogy of epidote-group minerals, of titanite, tourmaline and zircon, and he is always curious about the origin of their colors!

In June 2018 the name stefanweissite was approved for a new Zr-Nb-Ti oxide from Laach Lake, Eifel. The naming also recognizes his research on the gem-zircon-bearing carbonatitic diatremes in Vogtland, Saxony (very similar to Eifel!), published in Lapis in 2009, and the Zr-rich nepheline pegmatites in Ticino, Switzerland described in Lapis in 2007.

Readers may contact Stefan Weiss at sw@lapis.de.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - Stefan Weiss Stefan Weiss
The Mineralogical Record - Stefan Weiss 45 x 60 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Stefan Weiss 55 x 85 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Stefan Weiss 55 x 85 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Stefan Weiss 30 x 50 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Stefan Weiss 45 x 60 mm
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