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Ronald E.  Bentley
(1948-1995)

Ronald Earl Bentley was well-known in the mineral world as a collector, dealer, curator, consultant, writer, historian, lecturer, show promoter, and special friend of the Mineralogical Record. He was born December 11, 1948 in Philadelphia and began a life-long interest in minerals around 1962 through the encouragement of his family, the local mineral club, and the Easthampton mineral dealers Alvin and Marjorie Schortmann. When the Schortmanns went on vacation, Ron tended their shop and was paid in specimens.

In 1971 Ron graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Lowell Technical Institute, and purchased the Schortmanns' business. The Schortmanns' stock was trucked to Windsor, Connecticut and became Bentley's Minerals. Ron and his partner Jim Logan also got into jewelry making (Jim's Interest) and opened "The Gem Factory" in the late 1970's; they ran the business until 1980, when Ron sold out to Robert Metzger of Alpha Gems and Minerals in Fairfield, Connecticut; Ron and Jim then moved to Tucson where Ron obtained his real estate license. Bob Metzger purchased the business with a promise to Ron that when he eventually sold it himself the sale would be under the same conditions under which Ron had bought it from the Schortmann's, i.e. that it could be bought on time payments with no interest charged. In 1986 Metzger sold his business (under the same conditions) to Howard and Janet Van Iderstine of Shelton, Connecticut, who, in 1987, opened as Cardinal Minerals. They are still in business today.

Ron's strong interest in the historical side of mineralogy resulted in a regular column in the Mineralogical Record entitled "The Historical Record," in which he devoted several installments to the collecting of old mineral labels. Ron acquired the Neal Yedlin label collection in 1977, which he merged with his own, and eventually donated the combined collection to the Mineralogical Record in 1995. It formed the foundation of the Mineralogical Record Label Archive and was the inspiration for the Mineralogical Record Biographical Archive.

In 1981 Ron was hired as curator and personal assistant to the wealthy Texas oil man Perkins Sams, who was building a world-class mineral collection (with the help of former Smithsonian curator Paul E. Desautels). The Sams collection was sold to the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 1985, and Ron stayed on for a couple of years as curator before returning to Connecticut in 1987. During the next eight years Ron did curatorial consulting work and became a mineral show promoter, starting the East Coast Gem & Mineral Show in Springfield, Massachusetts. He served as a Director on the board of the Mineralogical Record from 1987 to 1995, and as President from 1998 to 1991. He died of AIDS in 1995, after a long struggle.

Reference:
WILSON, W. E. (1996) Died, Ronald E. Bentley, 46. Mineralogical Record, 27, 3-4.
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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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Number of labels found: 9 | Labels being viewed: 9 to 9

The Mineralogical Record - Ronald E.  Bentley 63 x 82 mm,
A label from Ron Bentley's personal collection.
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