1987 to 1989 was the New Age of Mooralla Quartz!
Since at least 1987!

I bought my first fine quality mineral specimen from John and Maureen at The Waverley Gem Club Show of 1987 when I was just 15 years old and when most adult collectors in Melbourne did not pay over $100 for a fine mineral specimen.  The first high quality mineral specimen that I bought was a fine quality small cabinet sized specimen of Adamite from the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango Province, Mexico and it cost me just AU$160.  I disposed of this piece in March 2012 during a visit to the United States.  It was worth US$20,000 by 2012 standards.

 

 

The Matthew Webb Mineral Collection


My father and I made several visits to Anderson's Gully, Mooralla, Victoria between 1988 and 1990 to collect thousands of inexpensive smokey quartz crystals.  The best quatz crystals were found in a hard and fine grained extrusive igneous rock known as "rhyolite".  A coffin shaped hole of at least 6 feet in depth had to be dug using hand tools to reach the finer quality rhyolite encased crystals.  

 

My father (Ian Webb) supplied the logistics and part of the muscle to excavate the crystals.  Once excavated, I would clean, grade and market the haul.  I sold some of the pieces for cash.  I also traded some of them out to Michael Newnham, Robert Sielecki, Bill Kettley, Cyril Kovac, Shane Dohnt and other Australian dealers to get higher value mineral specimens from other Australian localities which I then re-traded with Cal Graeber to get my first mineral specimens that were worth in the $500 to $1000 quantum by 1989 standards.  I first met Cal Graeber via the mail when I ordered two high quality mineral specimens from Art Graeber via his video service that was advertised in "The Mineralogical Record" as "Video Minerals."