About this Site


last modified: Sunday, 13-Mar-2022 12:49:08 CET

About Myself

I've been collecting minerals for about 15 years now and started to concentrate on quartz about 10 years ago. This is just a hobby, although I have some scientific background (not in geosciences, though).

Like many others, I was collecting rocks as a kid but lost interest when I was about 16, perhaps because my family never lived in an area where rockhounding was possible. Another factor was that I did not know much about how the minerals formed that I bought - they were just colorful random products of nature, with some chemical formula, some color, some hardness, but no story to tell.

Many years later, when I was a graduate student, I remembered the old hobby and made a trip to a famous quartz location in Germany. I always liked rock crystals, and at least once in my life I wanted to find some myself. I was lucky and found my first quartz crystals - the old hobby was revived.

In retrospect, one of the things that kept me going was the fact that I could read something about my specimen and their locations. I found out more and more about the minerals and started to understand the conditions of their formation. In a sense, the stones began to talk to me. Of course my understanding is still very incomplete, but my perception of minerals is very different from what it was like before.

Amir C. Akhavan



I would like to thank the following persons for their help, contributions and specimen donations:

Luigi Agostini, Hans-Ulrich Bambauer, Bill Barr, Marco Barsanti, Fred Elsnau, Takashi Fujimoto, William Gallagher, Mark Helper, Tor Sigvald Johansen, John Kashuba, Masayuki Kawasaki, Harold Killingback, Scott LaBorde, Jochen Mattis, Bill Morgenstern, Judy Morton, Sebastian Möller, Maziar Nazari, Gerhard Niedermayr, Josef Penzkofer, Alfredo Petrov, Tomasz Praszkier, Stuart Schmitt, Ernst Schnaitmann, Klaus Stubenrauch, Jacek Szczerba, Yuko Tanaka, Anastasios Tsinidis, Berthold Weber


...what, still not done!?

I know.

I used to talk like that myself when browsing other peoples' web pages. Now I know how much work it is. Even if you don't see any changes, I'm working on it.

Since someone has googled and yahooed himself to this website and put a link on Wikipedia in February 2007, I see quite a few visitors. This puts me under a lot of stress because the pages are still very incomplete in places. Of course I would never complain about a Wikipedia link, such a link is more than I could have asked for. So to document which pages are currently being worked on, what is planned and what has been added recently, I have added a "News" section.

Check the News for a documentation of the progress.



It's easy to get a specimen, but real work to figure out something about it. A lot of information is buried in university libraries, but it is difficult to start if you have no access to one of the academic search engines.

A couple of years ago (1999) I was browsing the Internet for some information on quartz. I was surprised to find no collector's home page dedicated to quartz at all (leaving out commercial sites). The situation has changed somewhat, and now there are a number of pages, and some of them are really good, but it is still quite difficult to find good information and sometimes you find yourself working through pages in foreign languages (that's why this page is in English, and not in German, my mother tongue).

This was my incentive to start my own quartz website. In November 2004 I bought a digital SLR camera and as soon as I figured out how to take pictures of my rocks I was ready to go and learned to code HTML. In March 2005, when a friend offered me some free web space, the pages went online, still very incomplete, but I felt the need to push myself a bit to keep going.

I strive to present a comprehensive site and cover all aspects of quartz, like morphology, occurrence, petrology, use, etc. This turned out to be much more work than I thought, and this site will always be "work in progress."

Knowledge that is not shared is wasted. I hope that this page will help others to figure out more about quartz, in particular about their own specimen.


The Images

It's very difficult to take images of minerals, quartz crystals in particular. I started shooting rocks when I began the work on this web site in early 2005. Since then I've come a long way in terms of technique, but I still feel like a beginner. I slowly get to the point where I can look at a specimen and make a plan how to do it and it actually turns out o.k. In the beginning I did many experiments and shot a specimen many times from different perspectives and with different light before I finally gave up. It's still a very slow and laborious process and I would starve to death if I had to do this for a living - an image a day just doesn't cut it.

As a result, you see large variations in the quality of the images on these web pages and I have to apologize for the many bad ones. Once I might have thought "Great!" when I was done with something and was actually proud of the result. Now I consider many of these old images an eye sore. As a beginner you are always excited when you manage to capture everything on the specimen and are satisfied as long as the image turns out sharp. Much later you begin to realize what types of lamps give good results, which kind of backgrounds work, how to do a well balanced lighting, and how to emphasize the surface structures of a rock. When I look at the web page now, I see many images full of beginner's mistakes that need to be done again. Of course that's boring, and I'd rather add new ones. As long as an image serves it's purpose I will leave it. But occasionally I find the time and leisure to do it again - the result is always a much better image.
So the learning curve is still steep. To document the progress, I have compiled my favorite images on a separate page.


The Rocks

Another problem is the quality of the specimen. So far almost all specimens, with the few exceptions of specimens shot at exhibitions and those that some collectors allowed me to photograph, are from my own collection. If you collect quartz, you need to get rocks from all over the world, and that means you need to buy a lot. I simply can't afford museum-quality specimen and the only solution is to get small, but well-formed pieces. I still miss some types of quartz in my collection (well-formed open gwindels on matrix, capped quartz, etc.), and it might take years to get all of them.

So if you live anywhere in central Europe and have a couple of specimen you'd like to see on these pages or if you want to help me out, drop me a line.



Copyright © 2005-2013, A.C. A k h a v a n
Verbatim copying and distribution of the text and code from this entire site are permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved.
All images are copyright © 2005-2013, A.C. A k h a v a n, except noted. Private use and copying of the images are permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved. No use of the images for public or commercial purposes (for example, putting them on a private web site, printing them in a public newspaper) is permitted without my written consent.



I am not an expert, so information given on this page could be wrong.
And if I were an expert, I could still be wrong! As always, it is best to gather information from different sources and draw your own conclusions.

If you think you found a mistake on these pages, don't hesitate to contact me. Remember that others visit these pages, too.

A m i r   C h o s s r o w   A k h a v a n
ac.akhavan @ gmx de



This paragraph is necessary due to a legal oddity in Germany.

Ich bin nach Paragraph 6 des Teledienstegesetzes verpflichtet, auch auf privaten Web-Seiten - sollten diese geschäftsmäßig genutzt werden (und das hat nichts mit Geld zu tun) - folgende Informationen für die web-bots der Telefon-Spammer und anderen Natterngezüchts automatisch abgreifbar bereitzustellen:

ac.akhavan @ gmx de

A m i r   C h o s s r o w   A k h a v a n
Krohnskamp 83a
zweizweidreinulleins Hamburg
fon: nullviernullsechsdreineuneinsfünfneunneunfünf

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