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Richard Tayler
(1949-    )

Richard Tayler was born in London, England on December 9, 1949, the son of M.V. and F.J. Tayler, a local newspaper publisher and printer. He grew up in Cobham, Surrey (where he still lives today) and attended Bembridge School on the Isle of Wight. While at Bembridge, he led a school-arranged field trip to Brantwood near Coniston in Cumbria where they went out on mineral collecting expeditions.

Richard and a friend of his who lived next door both developed an early interest in minerals. The book Minerals, Rocks and Gemstones (1962) by Rudolf Börner served as their guide. Their first serious collecting trip took place in 1968 when Richard was 19. Traveling in his first car, a Morris Minor, they visited the Caldbeck Fells area of the Lake District, and also stopped at Alderely Edge, where Richard collected osarizawaite (identified at the Natural History Museum in London)—the first known occurrence of the species in England.

Around that time they also visited the Gregory Bottley company in South London, since it was fairly close to Richard's home in Cobham, Surrey. The following year Richard and his friend drove to Southern Norway. They had met a local mineral dealer, Mr. Hilary Corke, who helped them with information about locations at which to collect, including various pegmatites such as the Tordal lithium pegmatite and the Landsverk pegmatite near Evje.

Shortly thereafter, in 1969, Richard went to work on a part-time basis for Hilary Corke, helping him with his mineral dealing business (Hilary Corke Minerals). Hilary had personally field-collected in Norway for several years, and Richard found his self-collecting approach appealing. Richard learned a great deal about minerals and mineral dealing while working with Hilary, who had a laid back approach to business, and liked to give good value for the money. Richard gradually started his own mineral business while helping Hilary.

In 1970 Richard drove up the length of Sweden, met Hilary there for some collecting at the Varutrask pegmatite (they found some good small lepidolite crystals), then drove across the top of Sweden into Norway, and finally down to Bergen.

Richard's first commercial field collecting trip, while still working with Hilary, was to Southern Ireland in 1971. Following Hilary's methods, he wrapped the minerals and sent them back to England packed in sacks. At that time the Tynagh mine was in full production and Richard was able to collect white jack-straw cerussite there. In 1972 Hilary and Richard also took a joint collecting trip to Southern Ireland. But by 1973 Richard had left Hilary Corke's employ as was on his own as a mineral dealer.

He began by selling to shops and to a few private collectors and dealers in England and abroad. He also did a lot of exchanging with dealers abroad, and still continues to do so today. He sent out his first mail-order catalog in 1973. At that time there was a strong interest in the earth sciences in secondary schools and universities. Some new university departments were just starting to build their collections, so educational rocks and minerals were an important part of his business. Richard subsequently made a number of other collecting trips abroad, including to Ontario and Quebec in 1974, visiting Mont Saint-Hilaire, the Bancroft area and various mica and apatite localities. He also visited France and Portugal to collect at old mines and quarries.

In 1981 Richard bought the entire stock and part-time business of Mr. H.M. Wallwork in Cambridge (he called his business the World Wide Mineralogical Company); moving Wallwork's stock required three heavily filled Ford Transit van loads. This purchase caused a reduction in his field collecting activities overseas, though he continue to do some collecting in Britain, but after about 1991, usually as a holiday activity. From around 1981, the late George Ryback was helpful in providing infrared spectra analyses of much of Richard's mineral stock, and Richard helped him by supplying identified species so George could build up a library of spectra. Altogether George furnished about 1,000 spectra for Richard. In June 1994 Richard collected at the Lengenbach dumps while on holiday in Switzerland.

Today Richard places much less emphasis on educational specimens, dealing instead mainly with collectors, but also supplying minerals for research and education. He recently mailed out his 100th mail-order catalog. He sells at several mineral shows each year in Britain, and for the last ten years has visited the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines show in France to purchase new stock and negociate exchanges. Hilary Corke died in 2001, and in recent years Richard has purchased a large part of his old mineral stock. Richard's personal mineral collection numbers about 3,000 specimens—displays specimens, a species collection, mica crystals, self-collected Scandinavian specimens and rare British minerals. In 2004-2005, photos of his specimens constituted the majority of the illustrations in the book The Practical Encylopedia of Rocks and Minerals by John Farndon, published by Lorenz Books. Richard Tayler also has a website (www.richardtayler.co.uk) which lists around 800 different mineral species.

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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - Richard Tayler Richard Tayler
The Mineralogical Record - Richard Tayler 28 x 50 mm,
1970s-1983
The Mineralogical Record - Richard Tayler 28 x 56 mm,
1970s-1983
The Mineralogical Record - Richard Tayler 30 x 53 mm,
1970s-1983
The Mineralogical Record - Richard Tayler 35 x 70 mm,
first used in 1983
The Mineralogical Record - Richard Tayler 45 x 65 mm,
First used in 1998
The Mineralogical Record - Richard Tayler 45 x 65 mm,
First used in 1998
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