A collector from the age of 12, Dr. Robert Lavinsky first started participating in mineral shows at the age of 14. He initially planned to launch his career in molecular genetics and received his doctoral degree from UC-San Diego, but his passion for minerals led to a career change. Rob realized the potential to move the mineral world online and www.iRocks.com became the first mineral-selling website online in 1996. Since then, he has been a full-time dedicated mineral dealer and recently had a new mineral, Lavinskyite, named in his honor.
By loaning specimens, consulting on displays, and curating, he has collaborated with a variety of museums including the Yale University Peabody Museum, Rice Northwest Museum, Dallas Perot Museum, Midland Petroleum Museum, Cranbrook Institute of Science, The National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra, Australia, and several prominent museums in China. He has been a long-time supporter of the UofA’s RRUFF Project, the Mineralogical Record, and other mineral publications.
His sponsorship of several film projects (Mineral Explorers, The World’s Most Precious Treasures), books (The Lindsay Greenbank Collection of Classic Minerals of Northern England, The Miguel Romero Collection of Mexican Minerals, China Crystalline Treasures: The Mineral Heritage of China) have helped expand mineral awareness and popularity, and each August, Dr. Lavinsky and other co-sponsors host the Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium (www.DallasSymposium.org) featuring world-famous mineral experts and engaging social events.