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Karlheinz Gerl
(1947-    )

Karlheinz Gerl was born in Hof, Bavaria in 1947, the son of Gertrud and Karl Gerl. At the age of 9 Karlheinz had a teacher who took his class into the local quarries to search to fossils, and thus began his interest in collecting.

In 1963 he began training as the technical draftsman at the Engineering School in Hof, and took a job with a company that drilled wells for drinking water and for geological investigations. There was naturally a geologist on staff, and a geological-mineralogical collection. From the geologist (an Austrian named Dr. H. Boecher) Karlheinz received some of his first mineral specimens.

He took a position with a different company in 1966 and lost contact with minerals for a while. Following graduation in 1970 and for the rest of his career he worked in industry, and retired to the town of Oberkotzau, Bavaria in 2007. But in 1970 he went hiking with a friend to Bergsteigen in the Zillertaler alps. This friend took him to the "Hornkees bei der Berliner Hütte," a newly discovered locality for almandine garnet, and at the end of the day his backpack was brimming with at least 40 kg of specimens. From that day on he was hooked on mineral collecting.

He began specializing in the minerals of northern Bavaria, of which he now has approximately 2,500 small and large cabinet specimens. In addition, he has built a systematic collection of approximately 1,500 cabinet specimens from localities worldwide, and has about 700 specimens from the Zillertaler Alps in Austria—all arranged in beautiful custom-built, antique-style glass-fronted wooden cabinets with drawers underneath.

He has also been an active field collector, and in the 1980's and 1990's he made some excellent finds himself, e.g. the world's best goyazite crystal—nearly 3 cm—from the Fuchsbau quarry in the Fichtelgebirge area, and aquamarine crystals in and on amethyst crystals from the Mörchnerkar area in the Zillertaler Alps. These pieces were shown as part of a special exhibition at the Munich Show in 1980, where the goyazite crystal received the first-place award.

Of particular interest these days is the history of mineral collecting and the history of stone quarrying and processing. He is a member of the Arbeitskreis Historische Mineralogie ("Working Group for Historical Mineralogy"), conducting historical research on various important early mineral collectors and dealers. Since 1994 he has collected antiquarian mineral books and old mineral specimens with their original historical labels (his duplicates are for sale on his website), and also collects German coins and postage stamps. His personal web page is:
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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