Welcome to Astro West
Located in the heart of New York City on the corner of West 79th and Columbus Avenue. Specifically picked to be located across the street from the famous Museum of Natural History, our showroom has the most unique and rare of minerals, gems, fossils and even beginning pieces for the kid collector.
Over recent years, Astro West has been instrumental in advising and curating multi-million dollar collections for the most accomplished collectors and natural history museums worldwide. And in addition, has pursued land acquisition and mining rights around the world where it feels quality collectible minerals can be unearthed. We look forward to having you and your family visit us!
Astro West has a long and rich company history as a family business dealing in fine minerals since 1961. Through the years Astro has catered to clients like Salvador Dali, John Lennon, and Shirley MacLaine and always remained a vanguard of the industry. Carrying specimens suitable for the novice as well as the most advanced collector. We have everything from tumbled stones to 2000lb amethyst geodes. Inside you will also find the Geode Cracker, originally located at the world famous FAO Schwartz in the Astro Kids section before the stores closing. The geode cracker was placed to be at this location to cater to the thousands of young intrigued minds found around the neighborhood and visiting the museum who show interest in natural science. At Astro West you will find the parent approved section for children that includes things like tumble stones, shark teeth, fossils, and geodes to actually place in the cracking machine for the excited child to break open.
Astro West has been family owned and operated since its founding in 1963. Its founder, Julio Tanjeloff, was a successful businessman in Buenos Aires, Argentina. By 1961, Julio had emigrated to New York City with his family and having become infatuated by minerals. In this vision, he opened the spectacular Astro Gallery of Gems and Minerals in 1963. The operation quickly grew into a stunningly lavish 16,000 square foot establishment that drew mineral collectors, gem collectors, celebrities, politicians, interior decorators, architects, and designers. In 1970, he began publishing Mineral Digest to promote minerals and his business, which still ranks as the most extravagant mineral periodical of all time.
Hall of Fame
Around 1967, gem grade blue zoisiste was discovered in Tanzania, and Julio was the first person to bring the crystal into the United States. Calling his new find Tanjeloffite, Julio proudly displayed his eponymous rock for sale throughout his stores. In a famous dispute with retailer Tiffany & Company, rather than use the name Tanjeloffite for the stone, Tiffany & Company marketed the rock under the moniker Tanzanite. The latter name stuck. It wasn’t until 2008, when the mineralogical record was amended to include the lesser known name, Tanjeloffite, as an official name of the stone, that Julio Tanjeloff was properly honored.