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Building A Mineral Collection

When I choose a mineral specimen, either when I am trading or when I am buying, I find the following ideas give me a feeling of success.

First, I try to buy specimens that are not damaged. What is "damage"? Look for chips and places where the mineral has been banged up. Look all over the specimen. If the damage is hidden on the back of the specimen, it may not be a big deal. But, if the damage is on a crystal face or edge that is right in front, you may want to choose a different one.

Second, remember that this is your collection. The goal is to choose the specimen that looks good to you. This is your collection. Collect the minerals that you enjoy. What looks good to you may not look great to another collector. That doesn't matter. What matters is that you are happy with your choice.

Third, you will have to learn by reading and by experience. The more you know about minerals, the more you will be able to identify a higher quality specimen. I find that a high price does not always mean the specimen is better. One year I saw magnetite crystals for $30 on one table, and larger, better crystals for $10 on another! Study mineral books, visit shows, go to mineral museums. The more you see and learn, the more expert you will become.

Good luck building your collection. I hope you will find it to be a rewarding experience.

by David F. English From the 7/07 Mini Miners Monthly via Pick & Pack, 7/07 Via The Leverite News 10/07