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Introduction: You Know You're a Rockhound When...

You know you’re a rockhound when cries of “Froodite! I’ve got froodite” are heard echoing from the rafters. And before you step back in alarm, it’s not contagious… it’s the name of a mineral.

Please, allow me to make introductions. My husband Reiner and I are mineral collectors. Reiner has been involved in the hobby since he was a young man, almost 50 years now.

We are “species” collectors and we aim to collect at least one of each of the 4000 + mineral specimens known. We’ve got a long way to go to achieve that number. Of course, it’s not realistic to expect that we'll achieve anywhere near that many, but it's fun to aim high.

We make seasonal trips to the Bancroft area (Mineral Capital of Canada) and more irregularly to Cobalt and further to the Mamainse copper area on Lake Superior. To support the hobby we sell our material here on e-rocks or at mineral shows close to home.

Besides being relatively new to minerals, I am a novice photographer. My current project involves cataloging our collection. It’s a great learning experience: I’m learning not only about minerals, but also the joys and heartbreak of digital cameras!

Back to the froodite. Reiner was sorting through some of the material that he had collected from the Vermilion Mine, west of Sudbury. He found some silvery metallic bits that looked unfamiliar and sent samples off for analysis. That’s how we learned that he had found the ultra-rare palladium mineral called froodite.

Normally, froodite is one of those minerals that is found only in a lab. The image here shows an enormous 0.5 mm veinlet of the stuff. Sweet!  

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