When I was 8 years old I visited a festival with my parents. Tumble stones were offered in one of the stalls, and I wanted to have one (cost 40 shillings, in today´s currency about 3 euros). My parents were reluctant to buy for me, pointing out that I didn´t even collect minerals. My reply was: „Then I am starting right now“. And so, a little tumbled rose quartz became the first piece in my collection.
In the beginning, of course, I collected everything that was bright and
colorful. But after a few years my interest began to focus on Alpine
minerals, and at the age of 12 I opened my first quartz crystal cleft in the Rauris area with the help of a local Strahler. The Pinzgau area in the Federal State of Salzburg remained my collecting speciality over the following decades, especially the minerals of Rauris Valleys, and even family vacations were directed to this area for many years, for my sake. In more recent years my main focus has been the Lungau (Weisseck Mt.) region, and now my core collection is exclusively limited to fluorite from localities world-wide and minerals from Austria. Until 2009, I specialized in only these two topics, but some detours have been necessary: I have had sub-collections of minerals from Mexico, from the Greek islands, and from Sardinia and Elba, and I have nurtured preferences for Canadian minerals, copper minerals and wulfenite.
Over my 34 years of collecting I have always restricted my collecting to my favorite topics. In 2011 I decided to turn my hobby into a career in the mineral trade. My family and two employees help me, and my 8 year-old son already his own mineral collection. Since 2013, I have operated the viamineralia website in cooperation with my friend Robert Kunze.