Isaias Pablo Casanova was born in Havana, Cuba on Christmas Eve, 1951, the son of Isaias Emilio Casanova and his wife, Maria Ana Alvarez. Isaias Emilio died when his son was just seven years old, and consequently the young Isaias was raised thereafter by Maria. In 1961, at the age of nine, Isaias left Cuba for Florida with his mother during the first exodus, settling in Miami. He later attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where he graduated in 1974 with a BA Degree in Mass Communications (Film Studies). His working career, however, was spent in the banking and finance industry, in Miami until 1987, when he moved to Orlando on a company transfer. He retired in 1998 as Vice President of Crown Bank, a Florida-based Federal savings bank (having never asked for a bailout!).
Isaias first became attracted to minerals as a child, through one of the elders at his church who was a mineral collector. He lost interest as a teenager, but picked it up again some years later while on a vacation trip to Colorado. He initially built a small reference collection, which he gave away to a fellow student at the university. His small second collection became the original inventory for his mineral business, I.C. Minerals, started as a part-time endeavor in 1990. He attended his first Denver Show a year later and the Tucson Show for the first time in 1997, becoming a full-time mineral dealer upon his retirement in 1998. He has the distinction (somewhat dubious, he says) of being the only known Cuban mineral dealer.
Isaias likes all kinds of minerals, but leans a bit toward ore species and localities like Tsumeb and the N'Chwaning mine. He produced a nice collection of sales videos in the 1990s that were very well done, with exceptional videography (his college studies finally came in handy), and has made translations for the Spanish mineral magazine Mineral Up. He's handled many specimens from different collections, including the Marshall Sussman fluorite collection, the Dick and Maria Nelson collection and pieces from the John Schneider and Bill Severance collections.
Even today, though, Isaias maintains no personal collections of any kind, except for music CDs, preferring to field-collect specimens for which he later finds good homes through his business. He sells at all the major mineral shows now, and has made specimen-buying trips to Europe, especially Germany, and South Africa. Most recently (2007) he collected a wonderful amazonite pocket with fellow Floridian Leonard Himes and Joe Dorris at Joe's claim in the Colorado Rockies.
Isaias has lived at the same address in Goldenrod, Florida since his business began; his labels are printed on both sides, the back side often giving extra information. He will be moving to Tucson in mineral-rich Arizona shortly, but does not yet have a permanent address there; he can be reached through his website, www.icminerals.com, or by cell phone at 407-679-0905.
Aside from his interest in minerals, Isaias plays the guitar and keyboard, and enjoys composing, playing and recording original music. He is the father of three daughters, none of whom has developed an interest in minerals, though the youngest has helped him out in his mineral business from time to time.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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