In 1979 Evan Jones graduated from Scottsdale High School in Scottsdale, Arizona and enrolled in the geology program at Arizona State University in Tempe, Soon after, he began working part-time at the Arizona Mineral Museum helping to curate the state mineral collection. He also worked part-time at ASU for both Dr. Peter Buseck and Dr. Edmund Stump in the Geology department. The summers of 1980-1984 were spent in Silverton, Colorado with older brother William R. Jones at Root & Norton Assayers, where he prepped ore samples for fire assay and did mapping and geological field work. He graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology in May 1985.
After graduation, he immediately started working with collector minerals, first curating and cataloging the collection of noted Arizona collector Thomas N. McKee, then working for dealers Wayne and Dona Leicht of Kristalle in Laguna Beach, California. In May 1986, he was hired by Bitner’s, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, a wholesale mineral dealership, as their mineral specialist. He sold quantities of wholesale minerals from Mexico and Arizona, handled several mineral collections, and supplied rock shops and galleries throughout the U.S and Europe with specimen materials, eventually becoming business manager. In 1998, Evan left Bitner’s and started his own company as a mineral dealer, setting up at numerous mineral shows across the U.S., including Tucson, Denver and Costa Mesa, California. In January 2012 Evan formed Unique Minerals, Inc., a new fine mineral dealership with Philadelphia collector Marc Miterman.
Evan has attended every Tucson Show since 1981 and has won several awards over the years including two Walt Lidstrom trophies and the Miguel Romero and Dick Bideaux trophies. He helped organize the “Arizona Mineral Treasures” Arizona Centennial exhibition at the 2008 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show; organized the recent supplement to the Mineralogical Record magazine “Mineral Collections in Arizona”, and is a founding member of the Arizona Mineral Minions. He co-wrote recent articles on the minerals of the Milpillas mine in Sonora, Mexico for the popular European mineral magazines Extra-Lapis and Mineralien-Welt and gave a lecture on Milpillas at the Dallas Fine Mineral Symposium in 2014. He has written several articles for Mineralogical Record magazine.
He has field collected and been underground in numerous mines in Arizona, Mexico, Colorado, California, Utah and New Mexico. In 2002, the most exhilarating event of his mineral collecting career was being among the first Americans to enter and explore the giant gypsum crystal cavern in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico, perhaps the most stunning and important discovery of in-situ crystals on the planet. By the mid-2000’s he had transformed the Jones family mineral collection into one focused exclusively on the minerals of Arizona, known to be one of the finest in private hands.
Evan has been on the Museum Board since 2013.