by stefani greenwood

Justin Zzyzx is a rock superstar.  He is the main writer for The Vug – the best source for information on anything mineral and a huge resource for a lot of my rockhounding trips (thank you!).  I was stoked to read that he had a gallery in Downtown Los Angeles, the Zzyzx Gallery of Natural Science, and couldn’t wait to go and visit.  The space features different exhibits of minerals, art work and has a limited feature wall that you can carve yourself.  He also has an awesome site, FakeMinerals.com, which exposes the truth one mineral fake, fraud or forgery at a time.  Check out the gallery, sign up for a field trip and send us pictures from your adventures and mineral finds.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and some of your current obsessions I never wanted to get stuck in a regular “job” and I wanted a lifestyle that would keep the fires burning on my loves of history, nature and science.  In the year 2000 I started importing mineral specimens from South Africa, spiraling into several events and works involving mineral specimens.  It is simply impossible to have a complete knowledge of crystallized minerals and their locations, so there is always a challenge, always something new to learn.

Would you tell us the first memory that comes to mind? I didn’t understand the question the first time, so I started to recall my first memory.  I was just a little pudgy kid doing my unsteady kid walk down the gravel driveway when all of a sudden a pack of wild farm geese appeared and started to honk and chase me.  I barely made it out of there with my life.  Revenge is a dish best served cold, my fine feathered friends…

What are you afraid of? Certainly not geese anymore, but I’ve found my fears to make plenty of sense in the theme of self preservation.  I’m not fond of heights and the unknown.  Basically, the things that keep me from dying.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? I wouldn’t want to spoil the idea of perfect happiness.  If it was perfect for a moment, wouldn’t you try to top it later on?  The odds are stacked against you being alive, here on earth at any given moment of the day.  I like to stop at least once a day and think to myself, “I’m here, what more could you want?”

Thank you so much Justin!

the vug / fake minerals / zzyzx gallery