The Mineralogical Record
The Mineralogical Record - Join us on Facebook!  The Mineralogical Record - Sign up for our newsletter

James W. Minette

James Wellman Minette was born January 20, 1936 in Mason City, Iowa, and grew up in nearby Clear Lake, Iowa. He attended the Colorado School of Mines (under a full four-year scholarship), and it was there that he became fascinated with minerals. It was also there that he met fellow student Dawn Hayford, and they were married in 1958. He was for 44 years associated with the U.S. Borax Mines near Boron, first as mine engineer and finally as mine manager at the time of his retirement in 1991. He also worked as a consultant to mining companies around the world.

Jim was both a mineral dealer and a consummate collector. He and Dawn assembled one of the country's finest private collections, using the profits from his activities as a dealer to fund new acquisitions for their collection. Jim was also a seasoned field collector and he and Dawn traveled widely in search of minerals. They consulted with each other on every acquisition. Their collection of borate minerals was among the world's finest, their thumbnail collection was of uniformly impeccable high quality, and their smithsonite collection and general worldwide collection were very fine as well. They always welcomed visitors to their home to see their collection, and they displayed their specimens regularly at shows, winning almost every major award, including the prestigious McDole trophy (Tucson Show) and Meister Trophy (Pasadena Show). Jim was also active in the Boy Scouts, with his three sons, and had a love of fly-fishing. He died on January 26, 2002, after a brief battle with cancer.

Dawn remains an active mineral collector, but she has sold the collection that she and Jim assembled together, to mineral dealers Dave Bunk, Dan Weinrich and Brad and Star Van Scriver. Legal difficulties arose between Dave Bunk and the Van Scrivers, but have apparently been resolved. Some of the specimens were sold by Bunk and Weinrich at the 2008 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, some were sold over the Internet, and some have been reserved for sale at the 2008 Denver Show.

RICH, C.C. (2002) Died, James W, Minette, 66. Mineralogical Record, 33, 202.
LEICHT, D. (2002) James Wellman Minette (1936-2002). Rocks & Minerals, 77. 273.
To contribute more information please E-mail us at:

[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at]
Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of labels found: 4 | Labels being viewed: 1 to 4

The Mineralogical Record - James W. Minette Jim Minette
The Mineralogical Record - James W. Minette 45 x 70 mm
The Mineralogical Record - James W. Minette 45 x 70 mm
The Mineralogical Record - James W. Minette 45 x 70 mm
Contents copyright © 2019 The Mineralogical Record, Inc. All rights reserved.  
Graphic design of this website by Wendell E. Wilson. Website programming by