About Cal Neva Mineral Company

 
 
Cal Neva Mineral Company is a joint venture between myself, Russell G. Rizzo and my alter-ego, Dr. Kellogg.  No, I'm not schizophrenic; just have a well developed sense of humor.

About Russ

I was born and lived in San Diego, CA for 40 years.  When I was a kid I had a rock collection.  And it was just that, rocks.  These things that have to do with nature fascinated me when I was a kid and now that I'm an adult (some who know me might disagree with me on the adult part) they do so even more.

I don't know what became of that first collection.  As a teen I got interested in other things; Music, Girls and Motorcycles.  In 1988 I was re-introduced to rocks by a friend whom I had attended High School with and had recently ran into and had become friends with again.  He explained to me what minerals were and suggested I read John Sinkankas's Prospecting for Gemstones and Minerals, as well as Mineralogy for Amateurs.  I was hooked (thank you Kyle, thank you John).  I soon began attending the local mineral shows, purchasing 5 and 10 dollar specimens.

My first big acquisition was in 1989 when I traded a “basket case” Yamaha 650 motorcycle to my friend Brett Beach for some 40 or so mineral specimens he had acquired. Like most of you my taste in minerals began to develop (thank you, Ed & Naomi Weber) and I found myself wanting better specimens for my collection. Being a Joe blue collar working man I did not have the means to acquire really good specimens. Then one day I had an idea to buy a large amount of specimens (thus getting a better price) and trade them for specimens for my collection or sell them at a small profit and use the proceeds to enhance my collection. So I sold some of my Home Depot stock and away I went (thank you Wali for helping me out on our first deal). As time passed, with a lot of trial and error, I learned what a good specimen was and equally important what a good deal was. Two very important things if you are going to engage in an enterprise such as this.

In 1995 while doing some trading with Rob Lavinsky he mentioned that he was going to start selling minerals on the internet. I must explain to you here that in 1995 I barely knew what a computer was and although I was aware of the existence of the internet, I thought it was just some computer nerd thing. As time passed I became more successful in my mineral ventures and became computer literate along the way. Seeing what was happening with minerals on the internet, in late 1999, I too decided to have a go at it. Well, life gets in the way of your dreams sometimes. Which brings us to December 2002. I resigned from my job and moved from San Diego to Sparks, Nevada. I had been coming to the Reno-Sparks area for vacation since 1998 when my good friend and digging buddy Mark Pawlikowski moved up here. The first time I came up I knew I would move here someday. Those of you who have been to Sparks, NV or Lake Tahoe will know what I mean. The move gave me the time to bring life to the idea of a website of my own. With a little help from my brother Mike and armed with a copy of Dreamweaver for DUMMIES, I began in late April 2003 to bring Cal Neva Mineral Company to life. I hope you like what I've done.

About Dr. Kellogg

I don't know where the heck he came from, he just appeared one day.  Actually I do, but that's another story.

Dr. Kellogg in Egypt

A rare photo of Dr. Kellogg on vacation; resting after inspecting a stone quarry on the Western bank of the Nile River.  The Stone that was Quarried here is believed to have been used for various monuments during the time of the Pharaohs.

About our name

Because of our close proximity to the California-Nevada border a lot of things up here are named Cal Neva this or Cal Neva that.  Also, having started out in California and having moved to Nevada it seemed like a good name for this venture.

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