Martin Zinn III was born June 2, 1941 in Lake Charles, Louisianna, the eldest son of Martin Zinn, Jr. and Ray Elizabeth "Betty" Halff. His parents divorced in 1948 and his mother married George W. Llewellyn; it was Marty's step-brother, James Llewellyn, who introduced the family to mineral collecting. Marty and Betty both picked up a life-long interest in minerals (Betty died in 1995, at the age of 83).
Marty earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado in 1964, then joined the Army Corps of Engineers and served a tour of duty in Viet Nam ending in 1966. After the service he worked in his father's wholesale clothing business for several years, then worked his way up at Emery Air Freight, from salesman to International Sales Coordinator (1981).
Marty's serious field collecting adventures began when he and his wife Judy bought a property near Florissant, Colorado and mined it successfully for amazonite. He has collected brookite at Magnet Cove, Arkansas; wavellite at Mauldin Mountain; quartz in Arkansas; blue barite at Stoneham, Colorado; clear barite at Grand Junction, Colorado; quartz at Herkimer, New York; red beryl in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah; topaz at Topaz Mountain, Utah; and tourmaline at the Himalaya mine, California. He has also been a major investor in Bryan Lees' amazingly successful specimen mining operation at the Sweet Home mine in Colorado.
Over the years Marty assembled an excellent collection numbering over 2,000 thumbnails and over 2,000 miniatures and small cabinet-size specimens (the emphasis being mainly on aesthetics rather than rarity) which he housed in drawers and glass cases in a special room in his basement in Evergreen, Colorado. In August of 1999, 400 of Marty's best specimens were exhibited at the East Coast Gem & Mineral Show in Springfield, filling 50 exhibit cases. Eventually, though, he developed a desire to start a collection anew, and so in 2005 he sold most of his specimens through Bryan Lees.
During the 1970's Marty dabbled in mineral dealing on the side for a while, selling off excess specimens from the family collection at the Tucson Show, the Dallas Intergem Shows and other venues. In 1982 he gave up mineral dealing in order to start a new career as a show promoter under the company name of Martin Zinn Expositions LLC, and has earned his living that way ever since. He now manages shows at four locations every year in Tucson, three shows in Denver, one show in Springfield (Massachusetts) and two shows in Costa Mesa (California), as well as managing his family's petroleum and natural gas properties in Texas, from his new offices in Bernalillo, New Mexico (P.O. Box 665, 87004).
He may be contacted by email at email@example.com; his website address is www.mzexpos.com.
WILSON, W.E. (1999) Collector profile: Martin Zinn III. Mineralogical Record, 30, 311-316.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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