KRISTALLE, operated by Wayne and Dona Leicht, was founded in 1971. Since then KRISTALLE has gained a worldwide reputation for offering the finest quality mineral and gold specimens. The world's museums consistently come to KRISTALLE to add to their collections as well as collectors from around the world.
Located in a landmark cottage in Laguna Beach, California, USA, KRISTALLE is considered one of the finest galleries of natural history items for sale. Thousands of specimens are on display of interest to the beginning collector or the most sophisticated advanced collector. In 2009 the gallery underwent a major renovation, rearrangement and redecorating, reopening in 2010 by 'by appointment only' Mon thru Thurs, and open to the public noon to 5pm Fri, Sat, Sun.
Gold specimens from California have brought KRISTALLE to the attention of the world and no other dealer in the history of collecting has offered the numbers or quality of specimens that are obtainable at KRISTALLE. Wayne's interest in gold began in grade school with his visits to his grandfather's log cabin along a stream in the California gold country near Yosemite. Wayne has assembled a library on the California gold rush of superb first editions, maps, letters and memorabilia that is considered one of the finest in the country.
Native Gold, Eagle's Nest Mine, California, USA. Photograph by Mark Mauthner.
You can visit the gallery in person, see the KRISTALLE booth at shows around the world (visit our show schedule section) or contact us by clicking here. Serious inquiries will be answered in a timely manner. We have been dragged kicking and screaming into this century of the internet. One very vocal internet dealer suggested we were 'dinosaurs' and should get out of the business. After over forty years of success and pleasure we are not about to leave the scene. While preferring to meet our customers in person and establish a report with them, we realize that many collectors choose not to or cannot attend shows or make personal visits. So be it - we'll try to offer a great deal of variety on our site at the best prices we can, and give you an honest opinion about the specimens.
Kristalle Gallery decorated for Christmas
Wayne and Dona were married in 1969 and have worked together to keep KRISTALLE at the top of its game. Wayne has degrees in Earth Sciene and Physics; has worked in low temperature physics research (he holds several patents for highly 'secretive' devices he developed while acting as a liason with one of those undisclosed super sleuth agencies in Washingon, D.C. since he held a top secret clearance from his days as an Army Intelligence officer); and left research to take KRISTALLE 'full time' and travel the world in search of specimens.
Both Wayne and Dona were active field collectors and have collected all over the world. Wayne has officially mapped the Grandview Mine for the U.S. Park Service and they have made over a dozen trips to the locality. It was Wayne's initial work on a mineral dubbed as "Mineral #5" that eventually lead to its formal description and new name of 'Grandviewite'. It was the late Paul Desautels of the Smithsonian that was a mentor to Wayne and in a grand gesture invited Wayne on an around the world trip to introduce him to the players of the day and to museum curators in various countries. Upon Paul's death his personal papers, and his books, were delivered to Wayne for safe keeping.
The view from Grand View Point, Grand Canyon
Wayne and Dona have one son who never inherited the 'rock gene' but prefers to spend his days on the fishing fleets in California and Mexico and play drums in a reggae band formed by him and his friends in the seventh grade. And there are two spoiled cats named Opal and Okenite who keep the many visitors to their home company. Citrine, brother of Opal sadly passed away in September 2009, but the new cat Okenite is a sweet and lovely addition to the family. Wayne and Dona belong to over a dozen museums worldwide and are Fellows of the Bowers Museum. They collect early California art and also have a small collection of minerals with special emphasis on native elements.
Opal, one of our 'junk yard' cats - photo by Willie McCarty
KRISTALLE is a buyer for fine mineral and gold specimens, both individual pieces and full collections, as well as antiquarian books. Payment is done in a timely manner and there is always discretion in all dealings. Since it's beginning KRISTALLE has purchased close to 200 collections, including those of major museums.
We like to keep a 'low profile' and don't feel the need to be overly braggodocious or pretend that we are the king and queen of the mineral kingdom - our reputation and performance over the years speaks for itself.
So please check this site often and hopefully you will be pleased at what you see. We are always open to suggestions!