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."  

Do you wish to sell minerals to Matthew Webb?

We do NOT buy from photos.  We do NOT wire money in advance.  We will NOT make offers based on photos.  We will pay you fair wholesale prices for fine pieces.  We are buying Australian and worldwide mineral specimens that are small miniature sized or larger with esthetic eye visible crystals or crystalline forms.  We only want pieces that are esthetic, pristine, stable, photogenic and worthy of being featured on this website.    


Payment within Australia can be as cash, direct deposit to your bank account or to a third party.  Payment to suppliers outside Australia can be by International Bank Draft, International Wire Transfer, Western Union, a credit card authorization or to a third party bank account.  We do NOT use PayPal.  

How can the supplier feel confident of no scam?

No advanced collector or dealer will prepay a supplier unless there is a long history between the two.  We are regularly approached by venders from Pakistan, India, Morocco, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, The United States, Peru, China, Mexico and elsewhere who want money to be sent in advance.  Why should we prepay and wait for the supplier to prove to us that he does have a simple logistics system capable of conveying the piece from where they are to Melbourne? 


As a supplier, you should do your research on who is at the other end of the wire.  A simple Google search with "Matthew Webb" + Mineral or "Matthew Webb" + pharmacist will tell much about my history.  A Youtube search on "Matthew Webb" + pharmacy will reveal more.  Every collection piece that appears on this website also acknowledges the name of the supplier and my suppliers have included Stuart Wilensky, Robert Lavinsky, Gene Schlepp, Cal Graeber, William Larson, Steve Smale, Robert Sielecki and many other well known identities in the international mineral trade.  I have traded around $8,000,000 of mineral specimen related commerce since 1987 but mainly since 2000 and even more so since 2009 and have no history of any involvement in any legal action that relates to mineral specimens or the way I trade with them. 


I have also travelled outside Australia since 1997 and the places where I have worked have included South Africa (9 visits between 1997 and 2012), Namibia (1997, 2001 and 2005), The Democratic Republic of the Congo (twice in 2009), The United States (17 visits between 1998 and 2012), China (5 visits between 2009 and 2015), Singapore (2005), Indonesia (2004), Bolivia (1998), Peru (1998) and Chile (1998).  I have traveled all over Australia to acquire mineral specimens.  I have also donated around $1,000,000 worth of mineral specimens to "The South Australian Museum", Adelaide and "The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Museum" of "The University of Wollongong."  


I can supply a list of other references upon request.  

Frequently asked questions about mineral specimens

Q1:  What do you use mineral specimens for?  


A1:  Mineral specimens are a collectible in their own right.  Different collectors buy stamps, coins, antiques, war medals, fine art and toys.  Instead of collecting man made collectibles that were often mass producted at one time, mineral collectors collect groups of unique mineral specimens.  


Q2:  Do you cut mineral specimens into jewellery?  


A2:  No.  Although gem crystals often contain facet or carving rough, they are not cut into jewellry.  A mineral collector enjoys the esthetics and intellectual appreciation when seeing mineral crystals that are totally unworked by man.


Q3:  When you buy a mineral specimen, how do you know that you are not buying a fake?  


A3:  The new collector can adopt a number of strategies to minimise the risk of paying a lot of money for a mineral specimen that is a fake.  The risk of being sold a fake is generally very low if you only buy from reputable dealers or collectors.  If a dealer has a substantial website offering, works from a premises where his website specimens are stored or displayed, has a long history of collecting or dealing with mineral specimens and a substantial committment to them, offers you a guarantee that you are happy with, has no criminal record, does not have a substantial history of civil litigation and can supply you with credible trade references, then he is reputable.  


The matthewwebb.bluemelon.com website consumed around 2000 man hours.  Travelling the world to gather hundreds of mineral specimens displayed on the site also consumed thousands of man hours.  Just the photography, photo editing, photo arranging and caption writing on this website would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars if a website designer was paid to do this work.  Most mineral specimens displayed on this site are stored in a secure storage facility that I can access during normal business hours.  I can visit collectors at their homes at short notice with mineral specimens that are on the website.  I donated around $1,000,000 worth of mineral specimens to "The South Australian Museum" and "The University of Wollongong Earth Sciences Museum" between 2002 and 2004.  I have collected mineral specimens for around 30 years.  A quick Google search will confirm that I have a substantial history in collecting mineral specimens and I work with them full time.  If another collector wants to return mineral specimens bought or bartered from me for any reason, I will cheerfully accept returns for any reason.  I can supply trade references on request.  My trade references include dealers in Australia and the United States who were satisfied with the rigor of my guarantee.  


Guaranteed mineral specimens!


Dioptase, Tsumeb, Namibia; 4 1/2

Any mineral specimen acquired from me can be returned for a full refund any time during your lifetime.  The refund will be made cheerfully and with no questions asked.  The only caveat on this guarantee is that a refund will generally not be immediate. If asked to perform on my guarantee, I can normally refund $10,000 or less within less than 90 days.  Guarantees of $100,000+ plus can normally be performed on within less than 12 months.  This is because I always work with a very low cash reserve since whenever I sell fine pieces, I usually reinvest over 90% of the proceeds of sale into new mineral specimens. 

The average piece on this website is worth around $25,000 at retail.  Many high quality mineral specimens also retail at lower price points. My rigorous guarantee helps you buy with confidence.  The guarantee is particularly good for new collectors.  As the career of a mineral collector develops, the collector's desire for particular mineral species or pieces from particular localities normally alter.  A more mature collector will also have different size preferences.  Around 15 years ago, I had a preference for fine single crystals of tourmaline, aquamarine and other gem crystals.  Since around 2012, I have had a stronger inclination to acquire fine quality crystallized azurite specimens.  Since I am a relatively young collector (44 years old), my collecting preferences will probably alter several more times during my future as a mineral collector.  Many new collectors do not develop if always faced with the prospect of becoming "stuck" with mineral specimens that they have "outgrown".  My guarantee allows the new collector to return pieces to me if the pieces are ever found not so exciting to that collector.  So why become stuck buying mineral specimens from a dealer who does not offer any guarantee at all on any of the pieces that he or she sells?  "No guarantee" means that the dealer does not stand behind the mineral specimens that he or she sells and when this is so, one must question the quality level of what good money is spent on.

Since I continue to actively build my collection, I do a lot of bartering with other collectors and dealers.  So how does my guarantee work if I supply you with a $100,000 mineral specimen during a barter?  How I deliver on the guarantee, if asked, will depend on what I bartered my outgoing piece for.  If the trade was based on fair retail prices of high quality mineral specimens, then I would either allow you to select a piece or pieces worth up to $100,000 in value.  If you then cannot find $100,000 worth of new pieces for your collection on the day, I will issue you with credit notes to the value of $100,000.  The credit notes can be spent with me any time during your future as a collector.  My credit notes are also transferable so are like cash.  

Most collectors or dealers who work with me either do not tire of owning pieces that I supply them or profitably resell what I supply them with.  During my history since 1987, which has encompassed around $30,000,000 worth of retail priced mineral specimens, less than 2% of my outgoing pieces have been returned to me.  I have proved myself good for my guarantee when I have worked with important collectors and dealers in America, Australia and elsewhere who have included Stuart Wilensky, Dylan Stolowitz, Evan Jones, the late Dr Helen Holmes, George Holloway, Clifford Vermont, David Cowan, Dr Robert Lavinsky, Robert Sielecki, Dr Brian England, Cal Graeber, Terry Enright and Ted Scholz.  I have also OFFERED to buy or trade back many high quality mineral specimens that I have sold or traded out of my collection since the 1980's when I started to buy my first high quality mineral specimens.  I have always loved fine minerals and have always bought the highest quality mineral specimens that have been affordable for me.  I am always willing to honour my guarantee because I have only ever collected or dealt with mineral specimens that are fundamentally good pieces and which I like.

Learn about how to collect fine mineral specimens!

Mineral specimens are naturally occuring gems, crystals or crystalline material.  All of the mineral crystals pictured on this website grew as a result of geological processes inside the earth and each unique specimen generally took millions of years to create. All of the pieces pictured in the albums are completely unworked by man.  An introduction to the different way that mineral crystals can form appears in the " Geological Settings" album below.


Mineral specimens in a collection are described by both species and locality.  The species name of a mineral specimen corresponds with a chemical formula.  The formula names the elements (a substance that cannot be broken down into a simpler substance) and describes their proportions in relation to each other.  Hence, all mineral specimens contain a unique combination of elements.  The " Elements in Minerals" gives an introduction to this concept.  The locality of a mineral specimen normally names at the very least the mine that the mineral specimen was removed from (if removed from a mine), the nearest town to that mine and the state or province and country where the mineral specimen was found. Examples of the same mineral species collected from different localities often look vastly different.  Using the " Locality Is Important" album, compare the differences in crystals of calcite, fluorite and barite that are found in different countries of the world.


When one embarks on the journey of building a mineral collection, where to start can be daunting.  The " New Minerals" album highlights most of the top 20 most collected mineral species. The " More New Minerals" album highlights most of the 21st to 40th most collected mineral species.  Although beautiful, these species are relatively common - although pristine examples of even the most common species are still rare.  Some collectors will only have an interest in collecting rare minerals from the start of their collecting careers.  The " Great Rarities" album will appeal to these collectors.  If one decides to collect rare minerals, it is best to only collect minerals that are both rare and beautiful.  Some scientists will collect minerals that are so rare that they cannot be seen without the aid of an electron microscope.  Collectors of esthetic mineral specimens have no interest in these types of mineral specimens.  The collector of esthetic mineral specimens will collect pieces that are miniature sized or larger with esthetic and eye visible crystals.  


Mineral specimens as collectibles stand on their own regardless of provenance and photographic record.  However, if a mineral specimen is illustrated in the popular mineralogical literature, it was generally illustrated because it "stood out" to at least one mineral photographer and an expert editor of a mineral magazine.  If a mineral specimen has the provenance of being previously owned by one or more important collectors, this is often a sign that at a particular time, these collectors thought that the mineral specimen was fine enough to relate to the specimens in their reputed collections.  Hence, provenance and photographic record of mineral specimens add interest and some value to them.  The albums below show several of the Webb collection pieces that had provenance even before they became part of the Webb collection.  At least 10 pieces in the present collection also appear in the popular mineralogical literature.    


Once you have done some research and decided what types of minerals (by species and locality) you would like to collect, you should aim to buy the highest quality mineral specimens that you can afford to buy.  This is because high quality mineral specimens are the most likely to appreciate in value.  This is also true with other types of collectibles.  To help show the difference between my finest mineral specimens and my lesser mineral specimens, I have arranged them in an album titled " Introduction To Quality."


Of course, size is a consideration when buying mineral specimens.  If all other variables are equal, a bigger specimen or bigger crystals will generally be more valuable.  In nature, smaller crystals are often more perfect than larger crystals.  Hence, there is generally at least some trade off between size and quality when selecting many types of mineral specimens.  I would personally prefer a mineral specimen that is more perfect but smaller.  Not all collectors have the same preference and there have been times when I have acquired a larger and less perfect specimen instead.  Refer to the " Size Is Important" album.  


It is best to start collecting mineral specimens with a clear objective.  Despite this, many collectors' tastes alter as they mature as collectors.  I bought my first high quality mineral specimen in 1987 and have added to my collection most years since then.  The 1989 - 2015 album shows which pieces were added to my collection during each year of my life as a mineral collector.  This chronological arrangement would suggest that I have been most active as a collector between 2009 and 2015.  This is so because in 2009, I retired from my full time occupation as a retail pharmacist to become a full time mineral specimen collector.  During the later years of my collecting career, I also traded out specimens acquired before 2009 for pieces that are in the albums dated 2009 onwards.  Hence, the seeming inactivity between 1989 and 2008.   



Text your WANT LIST to +61 414 990 210
Molybdenite, Wolfram Camp, Queensland
Ask to see short videos of any mineral specimen.
Why buy from photo when you can buy via video?
Videos depict luster and geometry better!
Australia's Best Mineral Specimen Website!

The world famous Matthew Webb mineral collection is the result of a life long passion for esthetic natural crystals, uncut gemstones and fine mineral specimens.  These pieces of "natures art" are not widely appreciated despite their beauty because they only occur underground.  Mr Webb bought his first high quality collector piece in 1987 when he was just 15 years old.  Since then, he has traveled worldwide and bought, sold, bartered, donated, field collected, brokered deals on and appraised fine pieces worth over a total of US$30,000,000 at retail.  Some of the pieces formerly in the Webb collection appear below.  These historical pictures only illustrate "the tip of the iceberg" in terms of pieces that have left the collection from 1987; Mr Webb only started to photograph all outgoing pieces in mid 2013.  


The historical aspect of this website is evidence that Mr Webb is indeed one of the world's most experienced, accomplished and knowledgeable private mineral specimen collectors of the 21st century. Ian Bruce of "Crystal Classics", England is also one of the world's top mineral dealers and in his opinion, Mr Webb is one of the world's top 10 expert mineral specimen appreciators. Despite this, an unacceptably large minority of hostile competing dealers, collectors, curators and gem club committee politicos in Australia, the United States and elsewhere have voiced less flattering opinions about Mr Webb.  They cannot fathom or pretend not to fathom how a 43 year old who lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia could understand fine mineral specimens despite his youth and geographical isolation from the world's major mineral collecting markets in the United States and Europe.  Both are soft markets for mineral specimens compared to Australia which is one of the hardest mineral specimen markets in the developed world.


Furthermore, the presentation of "once owned" mineral specimens shows that pieces that Mr Webb has sold or bartered are at least as good as the mineral specimens in his own collection.  This website does not merely offer the "rejects" of an advanced collector.  Furthermore, Mr Webb owns or has owned around 100 pieces that have been pictured in the popular collector related literature including "The Mineralogical Record", the "Fluorite" edition of "ExtraLapis", the "garnet" edition of "ExtraLapis", the "Gold" edition of "ExtraLapis", the "Smithsonite" edition of "ExtraLapis" magazine, "Minerals of Broken Hill" published by "Australian Mining and Smelting Ltd", "Minerals of Broken Hill" published by the Broken Hill city council in conjunction with "The Museum of Victoria", "American Mineral Treasures" published by Lithographie LLC, "The Australian Journal of Mineralogy", "Collecting Arizona: State of Mines, Legacy of Minerals" published by Lithographie LLC, the "Sotheby's" catalog for the auction of the Joseph Freilich mineral collection in New York city in early 2001, "The Smale Collection - Beauty in Natural Crystals" published by Lithographie LLC, "Encyclopedia of Minerals" - edition 2 by Willard Roberts et al, "Minerals Encyclopedia" by Dr Peter Korbel published in 1999, the calendar of "The Waverley Gem Club of Victoria Inc" for 1976, "Namibia - Minerals and localities" by Rainer Bode published in 2007, "Gold For Collectors" by Scott Werschky  et al, the "Wilensky Fine Minerals" series in volumes 2, 3 and 4, "Lapis" magazine, "Minerals and Precious Stones of Brazil" by Carlos Cornejo  et al, "Rocks and Minerals" magazine, "Gem and Crystal Treasures" by Dr Peter Bancroft published in 1984 by Western Enterprises, the calendar of Tsumeb mineral specimens published by Dr William Pinch, the flier for the innaugural "Australian Fine Mineral Show" held at "Crystal Universe" in 2015, "The F John Barlow Mineral Collection" published by Sanco in 1996, "An Illustrated Guide to Rocks and Minerals" by Michael O'Donoghue and published by Dragons World Ltd in 1991, "Le Regne Mineral" magazine and probably elsewhere.  Most other Australian dealers do not have a relationship with a single specimen that has been pictured in the mineralogical literature.  


Interestingly, Mr Webb holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours and a Masters Degree in Pharmaceutical Science from the Victorian College of Pharmacy, Melbourne. He graduated in the top 7% of his class when he completed his first university degree.  During his earlier years, he also quickly learned how to play the descant recorder, alto saxophone and piano. He takes great pride in www.matthewwebb.bluemelon.com which has been online only since February 2013.  All of the photography, photo editing, photo arranging, caption writing, editorial content and general site maintainence on the website is done by the man himself. i.e. Mr Webb has not relied on other personnel at any time to make this website what it is today.  It is definitely one of the world's best mineral specimen websites and a quick comparison with other commercial mineral sites will reveal this.



The crystallized gold nugget is from Talbot in "The Golden Triangle" country of central Victoria, Australia.  It is 2" tall.  It was part of the Webb collection in 2004.  It was also part of the Ian Bruce gold collection.  It is presently part of the MIM Collection in Lebanon.  The photo is the property of MIM Museum.  










Joining Minsoc will impede your collecting career

The Mineralogical Society of Victoria was on the verge of being dissolved in 2018.  This club was founded during the 1970's.  This was the golden era of Australian mineral collecting and dealing when Australian mineral dealers could earn a reasonable income without having to travel outside Melbourne.   


Ralph Bottrill ia the Tasmanian Mineralogical Society patriarch.  Ralph and I have sent each other several emails.  Judging by emails received from Raoph, he is the only one who attends the club committee meetings.  He organized a Joint Mineral Clubs seminar in Hobart and did not want me near his event because Jolyon Ralph from England would have been upset by my presence./  



The Australian State Mineralogical Societys hold a seminar in a broom cupboard in a different city and during a different month of each year.  The Seminar visited Melbourme in around 2011.  In between all sorts of sedating lectures, Yvonne Jiew and Dr Steve Dobos scheduled a meeting with me at my home in Glen Waverley so that they could view my collection.  Unbeknown to me, word of the presentation for two had spread around the Melbourne seminar.  The Victorian attentees at this event ignored the more interesting event at my home - just as they had for decades.  This was not a surprise.  Seven other Queensland Minsoc Members did attend including the late Russell Kanowski.  When I later wanted to make a presentation at the Queensland Mineralogical Society Seminar when it was held in Brisbane a couple of years later, Kanaowski "put" in writing that nothing that I could present would be of any interest to Queenslad Minsoc Members.  This assertion was obviously not based on what he had personsally observed at my home in Melbourne.  Kanowski was willing for me to be imposed on presumably because he thought that he was doing me a favor by imposing on me and treating me like shit with his rejection letter.  



NSW Minsoc, SA Minsoc and WA Minsoc are all friendlier.  I did attend some WA Minsoc meetings during time that I spent in Perth.  I appreciated the fact that I was allowed to make a short presentation during at least two of the monthly meetings.  "The Australian Journal of Mineralogy" is now published from Perth instead of Melbourne.  This may not make any material difference insofar as publication of interesting content is concerned.  The AJM Committee of Management does not want anything to do with 100 pages of full page, full color advertising sold to any particular person.  Ralph Bottrill is part of the AJM Committee of Management.  Ralph Bottrill will slag my back whenever he can.  This was exposed when he and Tony Forsyth maligned my reputation via a Facebook discussion group.  Forsyth is just a "Johny Come Lately" dealer.  He could not make it as a collector during the 1970's which were the "golden years" of Australian collecting and when dealers could make a reasonable income without needing to import, export and travel outside Australia.  Forsyth resents the fact that I have traded with millions of dollars worth of fine to elite mineral specimens and that he never will.  Forsyth also resents this website because it creates situations where he may have to explain to people why his offerings look so grey in comparison.  Forsyth and his thinking are misconceived, dishonest, bile ridden, abusive and "full of bullshit."  For example, he claims that the single occasion when he bought back a low range crocoite specimen from one of his retail clients is indicative of "A Lifetime Guarantee of Satisfaction" on every piece that he sells.  I have been good for my guarantee in Australia, America and elsewhere and to the extent of hundreds of thousands of dollars and to dealers and retail clients.  This goon thinks that his repurchase of a single cheap piece is the same as my guarantee.  Kevin Davey was completely correct - the guy is a clown or a joker.  


SA Minsoc is friendlier.  Gus Paskalis is a friendly member of the SA MinSoc executive. Harold Gallash is an accomplished mineral specimen and rock retailer who has also had much constructive input into SA Minsoc.  The typical Australian dealer who is aligned with a club committee will generally pursue an agenda of curtailing trade for someone else and this is the only reason why people like Arthur Roffey and Tony Forsyth would want to throw their weight around on NSW Minsoc (historically) and QLD Minsoc Committees.  Harold Gallash is not at all like these two because his retail business in Hahndorf is a successful one.  Harold also has a friendly and generative type of personality.  

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