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John Betts was born in Illinois in 1956 in a family full of artists (father: Edward Betts) and attended the University of Illinois receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design in 1978. He worked for several industrial design (product design) consulting firms in Dallas, Chicago and New York. From 1984 to 2001 Mr. Betts worked for Henry Dreyfuss Associates, one of the oldest and most prestigious industrial designs firm in the country, attaining the position of Associate and acting Design Director. Among Mr. Betts successful designs, he has designed cameras for Polaroid and Kodak, medical instruments for Boehringer Mannheim, computer peripherals for Raritan Computer and the entire product line of fishing gear for Abu Garcia (Sweden). In 1990 Fusion Planning magazine (Japan) cited Mr. Betts as one of the top 50 product designers in the U.S. In 1994 Business Week magazine honored him with the highest honor in design with the Gold Design Excellence Award and featured his design for the Polaroid Vision camera in a full page article. Mr. Betts holds over 75 domestic and international design patents.
Mr. Betts started collecting minerals in 1969 while living in California. His interest in minerals was heightened during summer vacation in Maine where he heard the famous mineral collector, Stan Perham lecture about the huge beryl crystals discovered at the Bumpus Quarry in Maine. John has collected Maine minerals along with other New England states ever since. His skills as a prolific field collector lead to modest mineral sales at local mineral shows in the New York City area. By 1990 he was selling at 12 mineral shows per year. In 1996 Mr. Betts started an internet web site selling minerals johnbetts-fineminerals.com which rapidly expanded to the point that it was a second full time job. In 2001, after 23 years of working as a product designer, Mr. Betts left design work to devote his full energy to selling minerals. Today his internet web site sells over 5000 mineral specimens per year to customers around the world.
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