About Us


 From right to left: Tony Otero, his brother Bill Otero, and his brother-in-law Quirino Martinez, inside the Kelly Mines (Early 1960s).


      The legacy of Zamora Minerals was first established as an in person store by the late Tony Otero under the name Tony’s Rock Shop. Tony Otero, who followed in the footsteps of his father, began his career young as a miner in the world famous Kelly mining district in Kelly, New Mexico. An avid rock hound, Tony decided to turn his passion into a business, opening the doors to Tony’s Rock Shop in the 1960s. Tony bought and sold gems, minerals and jewelry from people from around the world; exchanging Smithsonite and other rare minerals with other rock hounds at gems and mineral shows as well as with visitors from around the world visiting his shop to see his unique and unparalleled smithsonite collection.


(Tony showing a potential buyer a mineral specimen 1968).


     Tony continued to operate his rock shop until his passing in 1999. The Rock Shop was then passed down to his youngest sibling, Bennie Otero Zamora.  During that time, Bennie continued to meet people from around the world interested in rare gems and minerals. Some visitors were merely passing through while others actively seeked the rock shop to obtain visitor passes to the historical Kelly Mine and buy smithsonite specimens and jewelry. Robert Zamora, Bennie’s grandson, would help Bennie operate the rock shop during the summer, gaining an education on mineral specimens through various geologists and Mineral enthusiasts and tradesmen.  Bennie continued the operation for almost 20 years before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the rock shop to temporarily shut down.


(A photo taken by Bennie Zamora in the Early 2000s by a visiting rock hound)

     Although the “good ol’ days” are never forgotten, change is inevitable, and adaptation necessary. After being forced to temporarily close its doors, the rock shop was revived; this time with an online presence as Zamora Minerals by Bennie’s Grandson and Tony’s nephew Robert Zamora. Robert, whose Grandfather, Uncles, and cousins were miners in the Kelly mining district, first became enamored by minerals through his relationship with his uncle Tony. Although Robert was young when Tony passed away, Tony sparked his passion for minerals by giving Robert small specimens in exchange for help doing small chores around his home and shop. With commerce dramatically shifting online after the 2020 pandemic, Robert took a leap of faith and made his childhood dream a reality, establishing Zamora Minerals in 2021.

Although most sales now occur online, customers may still visit the original Tony’s Rock Shop in person by scheduling an appointment. To schedule a tour of Tony's Rock Shop, please contact Zamora Minerals at Zamoraminerals@gmail.com.