Jim Mills has been an avid rockhound since the 1950s, when during his childhood in North Hollywood, California, his first job was at a rock shop. Yes, he was one of those boys with rocks in his pocket! He often took his rock shop pay in rocks, and that was the "seed" of a life-long passion for all things paleobotanic.
After graduating from UCLA in geography and geology, Jim pursued dual careers with the National Park Service and US Air Force.
When Jim from California met Beth from Western North Carolina in 1980, Beth quickly began to encourage him in his passion, unaware that the bug would bite her, too. Together they started Mills Geological in 1992, and they continue to happily work together today. Jim is the scientist; Beth is the tech.
We collect and sell petrified wood and plant fossils, identify and appraise private collections, and consult in research for individuals seeking specific knowledge of an area or mineral.
Jim has coauthored and authored several articles (listed below) about petrified wood and minerals, and has delivered over 40 presentations to gem and mineral clubs on a wide variety of topics centered on geology and petrified wood.
2016 - Opalized Wood from Clover Creek, Gooding County, Idaho, by Mike Viney, Jim Mills, and Paul Link, published in Rocks & Minerals magazine, 91:3, 258-268, doi: 10.1080/00357529.2016.1138429
2019 - Mineralogy of Eocene Fossil Wood from the "Blue Forest" Locality, Southwestern Wyoming, United States, by George Mustoe, Mike Viney, and Jim Mills, published in Geosciences 2019, 9, 35; doi:10.3390/geosciences9010035 and available for free access on-line at https://www.mdpi.com/journal/geosciences
2019 - An opalized oak from Clover Creek, Lincoln County, Idaho c.1895 - The provenance and collecting history of Quercinium pliocaenicum, by Mike Viney, Dagmar Dietrich, and Jim Mills, published by Oxford University Press in Journal of the History of Collections and available for free access online at https://academic.oup.com/jhc/article-abstract/32/2/353/5369589
2019 - Fossil Wood from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, by Jim Mills and Frederick Hotchkiss, published in Rocks and Minerals Magazine, 94:4, 366-369, doi:10.1080/00357529.2019.1567227
2021 - A Unique Occurrence of Nephrite Jade with Magnetite Inclusions in San Bernardino County, California, by Jim Mills, published in Rocks and Minerals magazine, 96:5, 442-448, doi10.1080/00357529.2021.1901208