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Christian Gobin
(1943-1996)

Christian Gobin, prominent French mineral dealer, was born in Niort, Deux Sevres, France on February 11, 1943, the son of Simone and Claude Gobin, a cardiologist with the French military. During World War II Claude Gobin was stationed in Morocco, and found the country so appealing that he decided to remain there permanently after the war. His son Christian was educated in Casablanca, Morocco, earned a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and opened a BMW dealership, becoming fluent in the Berber language along the way. He married Michèle Caille in 1966.

Christian had been exposed at an early age to Morocco's interesting mineralogy, and by the age of 10 had become an enthusiastic mineral collector, self-collecting and bargaining for specimens with the locals. He preferred small to medium cabinet-size specimens possessing a high degree of perfection and aesthetics. The Bou Azzer cobalt mine was among his favorite localities, and he collected excellent specimens of erythrite and skutterudite there.

In 1974 Gobin moved to Marseille, France, where he opened a service station--and sold minerals there as well as gas! Soon, however, he decided to enter the mineral business full-time, as Gobin Mineraux; he traveled regularly to Africa, Namibia, Pakistan, South Africa, Colombia and Peru to buy minerals. Loving Morocco as he did, he even took his family back there for vacations.

In 1978 Christian moved to Aix-en-Provence, where he remained for the rest of his life. He became very successful in the mineral business, and over the next 18 years handled a large number of world-class specimens now in museums and private collections around the world. In the mid-1970's he brought out the first of the great azurite specimens from the Touissit mine in Morocco and later many fine specimens of vanadinite and barite from Mibladen, Morocco. In 1984 he began purchasing specimens in Zaire, including beautiful examples of malachite, cuprite, cobalt-rich pink calcite, and cuprosklodowskite. In the 1990's he expanded his range to include China; with his usual commitment to professionalism, he began learning Chinese to facilitate negociations. He brought back many of the first scheelite and cassiterite specimens from Xuebaoding. In addition to his passion for minerals he collected African art and enjoyed hunting.

Christian's son Christophe was born in Casablanca on December 4, 1966; he holds a Master's degree in Economics from the Université de la Méditerranée, Aix-Marseille II, Aix en Provence, and a Master's Degree in Finance from the Ecole Supèrieure de Commerce et d'Administration des Entreprises in Marseille. Christian's other son, Brice, was also born in Casablanca, on December 28, 1971; he holds a Bachelor's Degree in Administration and Economic Science from the Lycée Cézanne in Aix en Provence. Christophe and Brice often accompanied their father on buying and collecting trips in Morocco and the Congo.

Following Christian's death on August 16, 1996, the two sons took over the mineral business and have made it more successful than ever. They moved their office to Cannes in 1998, and now travel to Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan several times a year. They have brought back thousands of superb specimens including many of world-class quality, especially of carrollite and cobalt-rich calcite. They have set aside a few specimens for themselves as well, and currently have a personal collection numbering about 70 specimens. Besides their interest in minerals, they enjoy hunting, fishing and auto racing. They can be reached via the website for their company, Gobin S.A.R.L., at www.MineralsWeb.com.

Reference:
ASSELBORN, E. (1997) Died, Christian Gobin, 53. Mineralogical Record, 28, 2.
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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 - Christian Gobin Christian Gobin
The Mineralogical Record - Christian Gobin Brice (left) and Christophe Gobin
The Mineralogical Record - Christian Gobin 58 x 67 mm,
(1974-1995)
The Mineralogical Record - Christian Gobin 34 x 42 mm,
Front and back
(1974-1995)
The Mineralogical Record - Christian Gobin 58 x 83 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Christian Gobin 53 x 64 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Christian Gobin 50 x 66 mm,
(2007)
The Mineralogical Record - Christian Gobin 50 x 66 mm,
(2007)
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