In 1979 Evan Jones graduated from Scottsdale High School in Scottsdale, Arizona and enrolled in the geology program at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. 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 Mr. Charles Leavitt of Bitner’s, Inc., in Phoenix, Arizona, a wholesale mineral dealership started by Fred & Barclay Bitner, as their mineral specialist. There 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 manager of the business. Bitner’s was a regular dealer in Tucson at the Desert Inn starting in 1987, then later at the Executive Inn after the Desert Inn closed. In 1998, Evan left Bitner’s and struck out on his own as a mineral dealer, setting up yearly at numerous mineral shows across the U.S. including Tucson, Denver and Costa Mesa, California.
By the mid-2000’s, he had transformed the Jones family mineral collection into one focused exclusively on the minerals of Arizona, now generally known to be one of the finest in private hands.
In January 2012 Evan formed Unique Minerals, Inc, a new fine mineral dealership with Philadelphia collector Marc Miterman. Continuing to supply fine minerals to collectors throughout the world, they can be found at most major mineral shows in the U.S including Tucson, Houston and Denver. Evan also travels every year to the Saint-Marie Aux-Mines show in France and the Munich Show in Germany.
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 2012 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show; organized the recent supplement to the Mineralogical Record magazine “Mineral Collections in Arizona”; is on the advisory board of the University of Arizona Mineral Museum in Tucson, 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 also has written an article on Ben Williams, the first superintendent of the Copper Queen mine in Bisbee, and co-written an article on the Carlota mine in Gila County, both 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, Chiuahua, Mexico, perhaps the most stunning and important discovery of in-situ crystals on the planet.