Wolfgang Mueller is a retired geologist, mineral collector, and a very active lapidary. He has rock hounded in many places around the country, especially for his favorite wulfenite and copper ore minerals. He is famous for his hand-cut spheres and eggs, as well as rare gem material cabochons and one-of-a-kind beads.
Wolfgang was born in 1942 in the same town (Belgrade) as the person for whom the naming of wulfenite is based, Franz Wulfen, a Jesuit born in 1725. Wolfgang earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in geology at the University of California. He worked at San Manuel Magma Copper, which was once a surface and underground porphyry copper mine in San Manuel, Pinal County, Arizona. During this time, he gained a deep understanding of all copper-related minerals, including the associated oxide minerals of chrysocolla, malachite, native copper, and cuprite. Later, he worked for the Magma Copper Company’s corporate entity Newmont Mining in Danbury, Connecticut.
Wolfgang moved back to Arizona, to the town of Oracle just north of Tucson, some 25 years ago, with his wife, Diana. She was born and raised in Ulster County, New York. The two met in the early 1990s and formed an amazing life and work partnership. They both love going rockhounding and mineral collecting, and are active members of two local clubs- the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society (TGMS) – Wolfgang joined in 1975 and Diana in 1995- and the Old Pueblo Lapidary Club (OPLC). Wolfgang has led several field trips for both clubs. He can still swing a 20-pound sledgehammer, which I saw him do when my husband and Wolfgang tried to break-up a considerable boulder to extract precious chrysocolla, during a TGMS field trip to the Asarco Mine in 2010.
Wolfgang also serves as Curator of Minerals at the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum, which is in historic Miami, Arizona, about a two-hour drive north of Tucson. It is a great little museum with large mining equipment outside, and a terrific mineral exhibit inside featuring minerals and fossils from the Globe-Miami area and beyond. Wolfgang worked very hard for the proper display of the museum’s exhibits.
LAPIDARY & JEWELRY ARTWORK
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Easy Pickins' at Australia's Agate Creek
As a member of a few Australian Facebook fossicking (rockhounding) groups, I had been seeing photos of an amazing variety of cut and polished agates posted by people who had found them at Agate Creek.
Elizabethan Gems; Literal and Literary
MINERALS TO BEWARE OF Myrickite
Some venomous snakes and stinging wasps and bees advertise their dangerous nature with bold red, yellow, and orange colors that seem to say, “Stay away!”
Hell's Canyon Petrified Wood
WHAT TO CUT
Benitoite’s Uncommon Partner
Nafplio Archeological Museum
Bronze Age Jewelry Rival Contemporary Designs
A Different Decoration From the Back
Volcanoes Continue to Capture Headlines
EARTH SCIENCE IN THE NEWS
SMITHSON, SMITHSONITE, AND THE SMITHSONIAN
“PETOSKEY STONE” Michigan's State Stone
TINY EPIC DUNGEONS
More Fun Faster!
An Arizona Adventure
The Earp brothers' trail from Prescott to Tombstone is a treasure trove of historic sites.
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA ARCHIVE DEVOTED TO VIDEO GAMES STUDY
When it comes to games, Ken McAllister and Judd Ruggill don’t play around.
SK .22 LONG RIFLE LOADS
LOCK, STOCK & BARREL
Heart and Soul
Seek renewal and inner peace at Sedona’s L’Apothecary Spa.
SEEKING THE COMPACT CROWN
HONDA’S CR-V HAS REIGNED SUPREME. CAN TOYOTA, NISSAN, OR HYUNDAI LEAD AN SUV REVOLUTION?
Came Through Drippin
Most of the world relies on flood irrigation to water crops. A more efficient alternative hasn’t been widely adopted because it’s so expensive. One Israeli soil physicist has the answer: a tiny plastic widget
The Site Pushing the Big Lie About Arizona's Election Audit
The Gateway Pundit, which has a history of advancing promoting the audit in Maricopa County
FAMILIES URGE USING NEW DNA TECH TO ID PEARL HARBOR UNKNOWNS
William Edward Mann enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school in rural Washington state. A guitar player, he picked up the ukulele while stationed in Hawaii.
And The Cradle Will Rock
His father was one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived, and now Wolfgang Van Halen is carrying that famous name forward. In a revealing interview, he discusses the creation of his new album, MammothWVH,, on which he played all the instruments, including Eddie’s iconic Frankenstein. He recalls what he learned as a boy from the best player on the planet — and the fun they had performing together in Van Halen