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Howard Belsky
(1958-1987)

Howard Lee Belsky was born April 20, 1958, the son of Charlotte and Melvin Myron Belsky. His interest in minerals surfaced at the age of five, and led him to obtain a Master's Degree in Geochemistry from the University of New York at Stony Brook. His thesis (1982) was on "The mineral chemistry of divalent chromium." In 1972, at the age of 13, Howard established himself in business as Howard's Minerals in Brooklyn, New York, dealing in rare mineral species. He was meticulous in his species identifications, often utilizing sophisticated instrumentation and techniques in his home laboratory that were unavailable to the average mineral collector in those days. He traveled extensively, particularly in Europe, and was a regular at the annual Tucson Show, selling minerals from his room at the Desert Inn.

Howard Belsky died of cancer on February 18, 1987, in Flushing, Queens County, New York. He was 28 years old, and had been well on his way to becoming a prominent mineral dealer, a career inspired by his own love of minerals and his desire to build a fine personal mineral collection. (His personal subcollections were primarily Alpine classics and European classics, rare species, and East Coast minerals.)

Howard Minerals continued in operation for some years under his father, Mel Belsky, and Howard's mineral collection was retained by his parents for many years; Mel died in 2014 and his wife Charlotte had died in 2013. Howard's collection was sold to Rob Lavinsky (The Arkenstone). The Howard Lee Belsky Memorial Exhibit of Microminerals, established in his honor by his parents, can currently be seen at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

References:
ANONYMOUS (1987) Deaths. Belsky, Howard Lee. New York Times, February 10.
New York Find a Grave Index.
WILSON, W. E. (1987) Notes from the Editor. [Died, Howard Belsky, 28] Mineralogical Record, 18 (3), 179.
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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 - Howard Belsky Howard Belsky
The Mineralogical Record - Howard Belsky Howard Belsky's business card (51 x 86 mm) and labels (53 x 69 mm).
The Mineralogical Record - Howard Belsky 47 x 69 mm; Label from Howard Belsky's personal collection (courtesy of Mitch Portnoy)
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