2023 Presenter Dr. James Gebel


Deep zone purple and blue fluorite from Illinois

Fluorite – The World’s Most Collectible Mineral
James Gebel, MD MS

At last year’s Dallas Mineral Symposium my esteemed and mineral mentor since childhood Terry Huizing presented a lecture entitled “Calcite: the Most Collectible Mineral Species.” It was a wonderful title except except for the first word, which clearly should have been “fluorite” in my humble opinion.

I will respectfully present the counterargument as to why fluorite is actually most deserving of the title “most collectible mineral species” from my perspective as a fluorite collector for the past several decades. I will defer the discussion of the science and geology of fluorite formation and mining to my far more qualified fellow speakers Jared Freiburg and Cal Graeber, however because this is after all a mineral COLLECTING symposium, will complement their presentations by instead focusing on everything about fluorite that inspires one to become a fluorite collector.

By presenting a representative array of fluorite specimens that respectively illustrate each of its many desirable characteristics as a collectible mineral species, I will proffer evidence of fluorite offering the broadest spectrum of color of any mineral species; the greatest variety of contrasting luster and transparency of any mineral species; more intense and complex phantoms than any other mineral species; a broad array of crystal habits including twinning and hoppering; and examples of superb etching and contrasting mineral associations, all of which combine in varying degrees to produce an unmatched plethora of pleasing specimens for mineral collectors.

Dr. Jim Gebel is medical director of neuroscience strategic planning at Deaconess Health System in Evansville IN. He attended college at Xavier University, medical school at the University of Cincinnati, and then completed neurology residency training and a neurointensive care fellowship at Cleveland Clinic followed by a stroke fellowship at the University of Cincinnati. He then obtained a master of science in Clinical Research at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health while an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and prior to accepting his current position was both head of clinical neurology at Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center and Academic Chair of Neurology at NEOMED University for 10 years, and course director for neuroscience at both the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and NEOMED medical school. He is triple board certified in neurology, vascular neurology, and neurocritical care and has taught many medical students, advanced practice providers, residents, and fellows throughout his career.Although Jim’s professional career has been intensely focused on treating persons experiencing stroke and catastrophic neurological illnesses and advancing neuroscience and stroke care through teaching and research, his most avid passion throughout his entire personal and professional life has been mineral collecting, and in particular fluorite collecting.

In short, although neuroscience has always primarily consumed his mind, fluorite collecting has always primarily filled his heart and soul.

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