I am always curious about how “our” mineral magazines come into being. Does one just sit down at a typewriter (yes, in the early days we did use those things) and decide to write a magazine? Rainer Bode, even though seen with his publications at nearly every notable European show, remains a somewhat mysterious individual. Inquisitive as I am, I decided to get to the roots of the man, his magazine and other publications, and his take on the current world of mineral collecting.
Rainer Bode was born 30 November 1954 in Peine,* Lower Saxony, Germany (near the famous mines of the Harz Mountains), the only child of Liesa and Rolf Bode. His mother owned a cigar shop, a family business; his father worked in a steel mill.
The rich iron deposits around his hometown of Peine were like a magnet for the young boy. Days were spent collecting and marveling at the beautiful crystals—there were times when Rainer even thought that becoming a miner would be his future. Leaving his beloved Peine to study mining in Bochum gave him pause, and thinking ahead, Rainer decided to study photographic design in Dortmund because his love of minerals was matched evenly by his love of photography. Since the age of seventeen (when he already owned a Rolleiflex SL66 camera, which he still uses today), Rainer has photographed minerals everywhere, but he started by photographing his own finds. Today he owns one of the largest photo archives of minerals in the world. The collection includes nearly twenty thousand slides in 6 × 6 format and digital photos that defy a definite count.
Dona Leicht and her husband, Wayne, have owned and operated Kristalle in Laguna Beach, California, since 1974.