BAM Biographies:   William Spence


William Spence. Sometime around Bill's 9th birthday he received a copy of Frederick Pough's Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals. This gift triggered a lifelong fascination with the colors and naturally formed geometric sculptures of the mineral world. Bill began collecting minerals in 1964 but didn't become a serious collector (i.e. attending the Tucson show) until about 1980.

He joined BAM in 2003 at the urging of collecting partner Chuck Trantham and was elected President in 2007, which is to say, he was the last person to sit down.

A native of the Northeast (upstate New York and the Berkshires), Bill came to California in 1962 and graduated from Los Gatos High School and the University of California at Riverside. Professionally he was a corporate attorney for licenses and contracts in Silicon Valley's computer and software businesses. Besides collecting mineral specimens, his other spare time activities include bookbinding, lapidary, woodworking, reading and movies.

Bill likes minerals that demonstrate lots of color and/or sharp sculpural form. His favorites include benitoite and the other minerals of San Benito County, California; tourmaline and other pegmatite minerals; azurite; cerussite; and many of the minerals of Mexico, especially Mapimi, Los Lamentos and Concepcion del Oro. He collects in all size categories, having lately developed an interest in the exquisite world of micromounts. In addition to BAM, Bill is a member of the Santa Clara Valley Gem & Mineral Society where he serves as the Public Lands Chairman and the Northern California Mineralogical Association (NCMA).

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