Brad’s odyssey into the world of Mexican agates began in the early 70’s when a newly-acquainted friend in Deming, New Mexico sent him a small box of Moctezuma Agates. That gift turned out to be a significant mile marker in his life. By the late 1970’s, Brad was attending the University of Texas in El Paso, working on a degree in geology there, so as to be closer to the source of Mexican agates and minerals being imported on a daily basis into that border city.
As fate would have it, he was fortunate to receive a research grant that sent him into the heart of Mexican agate country where he spent several years mapping the region, collecting specimens and developing life-long relationships. During those years, he lived as a Mexican, sharing food, lodging and rural social events with the true pioneers – the discoverers, explorers, importers and the laborers who dug and distributed the agates and minerals. Their culture seeped into his bones and became a part of him, as did the agates themselves. Brad continues to travel to the backcountry of Mexico, visiting dear friends and collecting from historic locations while taking time to explore and discover new remote locations.
Brad has managed to amass a considerable personal collection, the nucleus of which contains the best of the Colonel E.M. Barron and T.B. Williams collections, two early pioneers who witnessed the peak of the Mexican agate collecting days in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Brad was greatly honored when his collection received international acclaim in 2005 at the Munich Gem & Mineral Show, where the historic Apache “Hooded Owl” agate, was featured. Specimens from his collection have been exhibited in museums around the world. It has been his privilege to preserve the great collections when possible and to add to them, as well as to collect and record the localities and the amazing history of Mexico’s mineralogical discoveries and discoverers.
Brad is author of the “The Agates of Northern Mexico,” “Gem Trails of Texas,” and “Geodes: Nature’s Treasures.” His latest book, “Mexican Agates: Majestic Treasures” is scheduled to be published in the near future. He has also authored a number of articles in Rock and Gem.