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David M. Shannon

David Michael Shannon, long-time Arizona mineral collector and dealer, was born in Moline, Illinois on December 18, 1942. He was about two years old when his family moved to Chula Vista, California where his father founded Clarkson Laboratories, an assaying and chemical analysis service. His father's work with ore samples inspired David's interest in minerals. In 1948 his family moved to San Diego, and in 1952 David began his field-collecting career at the age of ten. Two years later he bought his first mineral specimen from Ralph Merrill of Minerals Unlimited. He purchased his own Jeep for field collecting at the age of 13 and had a friend drive him out to collecting sites until he was old enough to drive himself.

David earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of California at San Diego, then took a job with Union Dynamics (working with explosives). In 1968 he decided that the open spaces of Arizona held more potential for the serious field collector, and so he moved there, taking a job as a chemist with the Rogers Corporation in Chandler. He went out collecting nearly every weekend, occasionally with one or more of his four sons when they were young, sometimes with sons Craig and Kelly in later years, and always (from the 1980's on) with his wife Colleen. They visited obscure and remote mines and occurrences all over southern Arizona, where they made numerous important finds.

In 1974 David started his mineral business as a part-time operation, from his home at 1529 W. 6th in Mesa, Arizona. Around 1976 he moved to 1727 W. Drake Circle in Mesa, and went full-time in 1983. He sold rare species, mineral books, microscopes, mounting clay, specimen boxes of various kinds, Plexiglas mounting squares and other equipment and supplies, besides providing a useful service dealing in out-of-print issues of the Mineralogical Record. He moved again to new quarters at 6649 E. Rustic Drive in May 1990. In 1995 the rare lead mineral shannonite from the Grand Reef mine in Graham County, Arizona was named in his honor. David had helped collect the first samples, as well as those of other species new to science including artroeite, calcioaravaipaite and woodwardite. In 1995 David also made his first buying trip outside the U.S., to Namibia.

David was a field collector of over 50 years experience; he had a fine systematic collection of his own, carefully mounted and labeled in 5-cm (miniature-size) Perky boxes and arrayed on shelves covering the walls of his basement. Through his company he also helped museums and systematic collectors around the world fill out their collections, often with his own self-collected specimens. A great many published scientific papers have cited him as the source of the study specimens which were essential for the research being reported. He was a regular dealer at the Tucson and Denver shows, an intelligent and scrupulously honest business man, and a good friend to many people in the mineral world.

David Shannon died in Mesa, Arizona on January 2, 2004 following a flare-up of a painful, chronic spinal condition. At the time of his death he was the proud grandfather to 12 grandchildren and (shortly following his death) one great-grandchild. His mineral business is being continued by his wife, Colleen.

WILSON, w.e. (2004) Died, David Michael Shannon, 62. Mineralogical Record, 35, 282-283.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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Number of labels found: 6 | Labels being viewed: 1 to 6

The Mineralogical Record - David M. Shannon Dave Shannon
The Mineralogical Record - David M. Shannon 40 x 49 mm,
6th Avenue address (1974-1976)
The Mineralogical Record - David M. Shannon 40 x 49 mm,
Drake Circle address (1976-1990)
The Mineralogical Record - David M. Shannon 32 x 34 mm,
Drake Circle address (1976-1990)
The Mineralogical Record - David M. Shannon 30 x 31 mm,
Drake Circle address (1976-1990)
The Mineralogical Record - David M. Shannon 70 x 32 mm,
Rustic Drive address (1990-2005); label for a specimen of Shannonite, named for Dave Shannon in 1995.
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