Welcome to The Russell
Welcome to the web site of The Russell
Society, a national group of both amateur and
professional mineralogists that encourages the
study, recording and conservation of
mineralogical sites, material and minerals.
Members range from complete beginners to
experts, who all share a great interest in
minerals and share their knowledge with others.
The Society is named in honour of
Arthur Russell, the foremost British
mineral collector of the 20th century.
This site is for
anybody with an interest in minerals and
also introduces the Russell Society as a
group of similarly interested people.
There are full details about the Society
and our activities plus information for
members and non-members alike. If you are
interested in joining the Society please
use the options given to the right to
obtain more information about membership
of the Society.
The Society is divided into seven branches
that cover different regions of Britain.
Information on each branch, their area, contact
details and activities is given in the Branch
details menu. Details of meeting venues and
Branch programmes are also published here.
Russellite from Hemerdon Bal Mine, Plympton,
Devon, England. This is a rare bismuth
tungstate mineral and is named after the
British mineral collector Sir Arthur Russell.
Photograph © Richard De Nul.
News and Events
Crystal Mountains - Minerals of the Cairngorms. New book available October 2014
Roy Starkey's long-awaited book on the minerals of the Cairngorms
will be published towards the end of September and available in
October, and at the Bakewell Rock Exchange.
Crystal Mountains - Minerals of the Cairngorms tells the
story of the early crystal hunters who roamed the mountains and glens
of the Cairngorms during the 18th and 19th centuries in search of
Scotland's famous gem - the smoky quartz or cairngorm. The book
provides a comprehensive history of this arduous and uncertain quest,
and explains the geological background to the occurrence of the gem
minerals. Lavishly illustrated with photographs of the wild and rugged
scenery of the Cairngorms National Park, the text invites exploration
The image is a smoky quartz from the head of
Loch Avon a remote freshwater loch set deep within
the central Cairngorms plateau, in the Cairngorms
South-West Branch member
Richard Humphrey is the owner of the classic Cornish
mine site of Herodsfoot mine (or North Herodsfoot) which is
justifiably famous for the "cog-wheel ore" bournonite
specimens that came from the mine.
Richard is undertaking a major project with the site and
he has contributed a brief article on the mine and the work being
undertaken to understand more about the mineralogy and the old mine
The old engine house, shown here, and other remaining buildings on the
site are being preserved and stabilised whilst main goal is to access the
old underground workings. See how he getting on.
You can read his article here.
An Appreciation of Sir Arthur Russell
The 24th February 2014 marks fifty years since
the death of Sir Arthur Edward Ian Montague Russell
(1878-1964) 6th Baronet, of Swallowfield Park, Reading,
Berkshire. Sir Arthur was perhaps the greatest British
mineral collector of the 20th century, and is revered
across the World, by collectors of British minerals.
Roy Starkey has compiled an appreciation of Sir Arthur
to mark the occasion, and this includes many previously
unseen images, links to PDF files of his published papers,
and a narrative reviewing his long and distinguished
mineralogical career. This document is being made freely
available for download on this web site. Click on this link for
The image shown here is part of one taken from the document.
It shows Sir Arthur Russell, in his field gear, at the Cheesewring Quarry,
Linkinhorne, Cornwall on the International Geological Congress
excursion to South-West England in 1948. Original photograph courtesy of Bob Symes.
Dr Bob King 1923 - 2013
It is with great sadness that we report the
death of Bob King, peacefully in his sleep, at home
on 25th September.
Bob was the founder of The Russell Society and a
former member of staff at the Geology Department of
the University of Leicester. He was well-known in
the world of earth science curation and a highly
regarded field mineralogist.
Bob was born in 1923 in Leicester, England. He
attended the City Boys School, Leicester, and later
earned an MSc in Geology from Imperial College
London in 1972. The mineralogy of Leicestershire
was Bob's real passion and he pursued this interest
as the subject of a PhD at the University of
Leicester in 1973. His fine personal mineral
collection was purchased by the National Museum of
Wales, Cardiff, in 1983.
The presentation of the
first Russell Medal to Bob King, with his
wife Sally, by Bob Symes at the RS AGM 1992.
In 1972, Bob founded the Russell Society, named
in honour of his mentor Sir Arthur Russell, a body
which continues to thrive today, 40 years later.
Bob's professional interests embraced all aspects
of mineralogy and geology, but especially curation
of geological materials. He was a founder member of
the Geological Curators Group and winner of its A.
G. Brighton Medal in 1995. He was honoured by the
naming of Offacolus kingi, a chelicerate arthropod
which he discovered in the concretions of the
Silurian-aged Wenlock Formation in Herefordshire
(Orr et al., 2000), and in 2002 the mineral
bobkingite was named for him (Hawthorne et al.,
2002). A full obituary will appear in a future issue
of the Russell Society Newsletter.
Our condolences go to his wife Sally and
- Orr, P. J., Siveter, D. J., Briggs, D. E.
G., and Sutton, M. D. (2000) A new arthropod
from the Silurian
Herefordshire, UK. Proceedings of the Royal
Society London B. 267: 1497-1504.
- Hawthorne, F. C., Cooper, M. A. , Grice, J.
D., Roberts, A. C., and Hubbard, N. (2002)
Description and crystal structure of
bobkingite, Cu2+5Cl2(OH)8(H2O)2, a new mineral
from New Cliffe Hill Quarry,
Stanton-under-Bardon, Leicestershire, UK.
Mineralogical Magazine 66: 301-11.
Russell Reflections Released
After a lot work by members of the Society
collecting, collating and compiling hundreds
of photographs taken by members over the 40
years that the Russell Society has been in
existence the document Russell Reflections has
been released and can be downloaded from link
on the News Page of this web site. Russell
Reflections is a compilation of photographs,
evoking nostalgic memories of the many aspects
of the Russell Society, have been collected
together from 1972-2012 as part of our 40th
The full PDF file is posted in Dropbox and the
link can be found in the News Page with other