What we are doing

About me

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.

The projects

Besides this love for alpine minerals, over the years, I had the chance to visit diverse localities all over the world. I was hunting for atacamite crystals in the Atacama Desert in Chile or was visiting Fluorite mines in the Pamir of Tadjikistan. This lead to my second passion in the field of mineral collecting: Scouting for new localities or reopening old and famous ones as a project with the target to create a scientific documentation of it:

  • Scouting for new or localities or taking old and famous ones under focus
  • Getting permission to collect and start the dig
  • Documentation of the paragenesis and the deposit
  • Publish the results in a book, magazines and online in my blog

After the first bigger project on Fluorite deposits in Mongolia, we got the chance to work in the famous Schin gorge in the Swiss Alps. Here we are opening new pockets in order to study the fantastic phantom quartz crystals.

The Blog

With this website I would like to invite you to join my projects and to follow me on my hunt for these wonderful treasures and our projects.

Further on, with great support of friends, other collectors and dealers, I would like to share picture of other famous localities and finds in order to give every collector an impression of the locality itself, where the beautiful crystals were found. Who knows how it looks like in the famous Cavradi Gorge? How are these wonderful Hematities found? … Just have a look and enjoy!