My name is Matthias Benz and I’m collecting crystals for almost 35 years now. Starting as a collector at the age of 12, first trips with the scouts of the Munich Mineral Club lead to famous deposits in Italy or Spain. Fluorites from Berbes, Selenites from Fuentes de Ebro or underground collecting in the ancient mines of Schwaz in Tyrol were some highlights back in the days.
Together with a rising climbing experience my focus was shifting step by step to alpine minerals. I spent almost a decade hunting for crystals in the Mont Blanc before switching more and more to the Swiss alps. The combination of extreme climbing in the steep faces of the alps and the search for their treasures is still one of my favourite ways of collecting. The aesthetics of specimens from these localities, such as gwindls or smoky quartz groups, is simply fascinating me and is one of the main drivers for my collection of exceptional alpine specimens.