Roy Starkey wins first Marsh Award for Mineralogy

The first Marsh Award for Mineralogy was awarded to Roy Starkey in recognition of his huge contribution to the field of mineralogy.

Roy Starkey
Roy Starkey receiving the first Marsh Award for Mineralogy

The Marsh Award for Mineralogy

This is the first year the Marsh Award for Mineralogy has been granted. The awards is given by Marsh Christian Trust and the Natural History Museum.

The Marsh Christian Trust was founded in 1981 as a grant-making body by Brian Marsh, OBE. Over the past 30 years the Trust has developed an Awards Scheme, to provide recognition to those who modestly work to improve the world we live in. Recipients of Marsh Awards are always people who make a difference by selflessly contributing their time and energy to what they believe in.

In 2008 the Marsh Christian Trust entered partnership with the Natural History Museum to deliver awards in the field of palaeontolology.


Roy Starkey

Roy Starkey is ‘undoubtedly the ‘go to’ person for any amateur with a mineralogical problem in the UK. He is well known as a collector, author and scholar at an international level, an inductee into the micromounter’s hall of fame and has been involved in the formal description of a number of British mineral species.

In a varied scientific and curatorial career, I have never met anyone with Roy’s efficiency, energy and enthusiasm. He really is one of a kind’ (David Green, one of his nominees).

In Tom Cotterell’s words, “throughout his life Roy has donated specimens of British minerals, collected by him, to nearly every major museum in Britain. A quick search of the database at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales reveals that since 1982 he has donated 32 separate groups of minerals to the museum from localities in Wales, England and Scotland.

The Natural History Museum (London), the Royal Scottish Museum and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History have also all benefited in the same way through Roy’s generous mineralogical donations.

Furthermore Roy is a great believer in encouraging others to have an interest in the science of mineralogy. He regularly donates specimens to other collectors at mineralogical events and his table of ‘freebies’ are renowned as a source of unusual and interesting duplicate specimens derived from his many travels around Britain in search of minerals. He has never once sought to sell specimens seeking rather to provide them for free for others enjoyment”.

Roy Starkey
Roy Starkey

Roy Starkey collected minerals since school days.  He graduated from Sheffield University with a BSc (Hons) in Geology in 1974 and pursued career in industry – manufacturing and operations management in a variety of technology sectors – nickel cadmium batteries, technical ceramics, opto-electronics and magnetic detection systems.  He is now retired.

Roy been a regular speaker to British mineralogical and geological societies for many years.

He founded the British Micromount Society in 1981 and is its Honorary Life President. A Member and immediate past-president of the Russell Society , the UK’s leading society for amateur and professional mineralogists, he has published widely on British topographical mineralogy, including papers in the Mineralogical Magazine, Scottish Journal of Geology, Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, Proceedings of the Bristol Naturalists Society, the Mineralogical Record, and the Journal of the Russell Society.

Roy has authored an important article for the Mineralogical Record on Herodsfoot mine, Lanreath, Cornwall, which was published in 2012.  His research interests are in the areas of British topographical mineralogy, the history of mineralogy, and the mineralogy of Scotland in particular. His first book – Crystal Mountains – Minerals of the Cairngorms, was published in September 2014. The research for the book on the Cairngorms led to the rediscovery of the Farquharson of Invercauld mineral collection at Braemar Castle.

With his wife, he later curated the collection and set-up a public display of minerals at Braemar castle. This is the most comprehensive display of Cairngorm minerals in Scotland. He subsequently developed a second exhibition on the use of cairngorm quartz in jewellery for the 2016 season. Roy has worked as a volunteer at the Lapworth Museum (University of Birmingham) – since 2010 , serving as a member of the Project Team, and Project Board, for the recent HLF-funded redevelopment of the Lapworth Museum.

By Martha Richter


2 Replies to “Roy Starkey wins first Marsh Award for Mineralogy”

  1. That’s a nice write-up for Roy, and one that is well deserved. I notice, however, that you did not mention that he was inducted to the Micromounters’ Hall of Fame in Baltimore, MD, in 2005. He is one of 75 International members, 29 of whom are still living.

  2. OK, I can’t read. You did mention that, and I apologize. It’s Elements that missed it!

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