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Donating funds - Rock Currier Collection auction
  
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2019 12:05    Post subject: Donating funds - Rock Currier Collection auction  

Rock Currier, besides being a unique character and a great mineralogist (see: Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier ) did something that will allow Mindat to remain a guide and reference accessible to everyone interested in mineralogy. He donated his collection so that the money raised by its sale would allow Mindat to have a longevity fund. After a few years of legal wrangling, the Rock Currier Estate and Mindat reached a satisfactory agreement for both parties and on August 26 the best pieces from the Rock collection were auctioned very successfully. Now we get the summary of that event that I copy below as support from FMF to Mindat and, of course, to the memory of Rock H. Currier. Yours was a great initiative that will be worth talking about more widely given the innovative possibilities that it opens up in the "on line" world.

Translation and revision of this text: Alfredo Petrov (thanks Alfredo)







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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2019 12:18    Post subject: Re: Donating funds - Rock Currier Collection auction  

As a board member of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy let me clarify that this was a long and difficult process that ended in Rock’s desires to come true. We get 60% of the Heritage auction sales, not 100%. We are grateful to Rock for his incredible vision and generosity. The Hudson institute oversees all operations of Mindat. Our board is pleased to see the continued survival of Mindat.
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2019 14:18    Post subject: Re: Donating funds - Rock Currier Collection auction  

Small tribute to Rock


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Gail




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2019 14:26    Post subject: Re: Donating funds - Rock Currier Collection auction  

A few days before Rock passed.


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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Sep 16, 2019 10:42    Post subject: Re: Donating funds - Rock Currier Collection auction  

Upon returning from a few days at the Denver show I read, with interest, this thread. I was a bit surprised, tho, that other than Gail's responses as a concerned party, there was no real discussion about the auction. To me, this auction really does affect the whole mineral collector community.

I personally was a bit chagrined about nothing that was of interest to me in my narrowly focused collection of Indiana minerals; my wife, tho, was delighted.....nothing for me to consider bidding on!

On to the auction. Heritage Auction House is a well respected auction house of hi end collectibles. As such, this, and all, auction houses work for the SELLERS of the collectibles with a % of the sales going to themselves. In this case Rock Currier's estate and MINDAT were the beneficiaries (doing quite well) of the sales along with Heritage Auction House's % of the total sales.

As to whether the mineral collector BUYERS of the lots benefitted seems questionable. The auctioneer knows well how to move the bidding along on each lot; buyers often getting caught up in the bidding fervor, bid much higher than expected current market values. Are the new higher prices set by the auction bidding truly new market values or did the buyers simply pay too much? Very questionable.
One way to get a hint would be to see if full time respected dealers bid up the prices on any lots. Dealers buy lots to resell them for a profit. Buying any overbid lot might mean a lesser chance of quick resale with a dealer profit. Were there dealer buyers?
Another question I had was, besides the lots sold to younger bidders, how many lots were sold to bidders over the age of 75 - 80, where many collectors, like me, are thinking about downsizing their collections. How many lots sold to collectors over the age of 70 or so?

If the hi prices paid (including the auction house %) are the new norm, than all similar mineral examples may be continuing to go up in value, but if the hi prices paid were simply over bidding in the heat of the auction, then the buyers simply paid too much.

Lots more could be said. BOB
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Bergur_E_Sigurdarson




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PostPosted: Sep 16, 2019 11:07    Post subject: Re: Donating funds - Rock Currier Collection auction  

In regards to what Bob Harman just said on prices of the pieces in this auction.
My thoughts are they reflect almost in no way normal prices.
This was an auction for charity... I would think that most of the prices were determined by that fact, secondly the fact that they came from Curriers collection and perhaps a few were snagged at decent/normal prices.
(I even think that same influenced the age .... towards older people. Can't exactly explain why, but my feelings are that older people that aren't spending on raising kids and mortgages and whatnot have more often money to spend on charity... and thinking of it, most very well off people I know of are over 60... the younger generations haven't made their money yet)
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PostPosted: Sep 16, 2019 11:37    Post subject: Re: Donating funds - Rock Currier Collection auction  

BERGUR E-S makes a very important point. This auction was, in effect, a charitable auction. In charitable auctions, bidders often bid up prices far above true market value. Whether this was the case in this auction is ??? Were the buyers bidding up prices, buying primarily to help out Mindat, getting a nice mineral specimen in the mix or were the buyers primarily wanting the mineral specimen, paying above market values, but helping out Mindat in the mix?

Also an addendum about provenance. Having a specimen with a label from a well known 19th century - early 20th century collector or museum might add value, but being "in the collection of Rock Currier", to me, adds little premium.....from the collection of modern day collectors known to few folks outside the mineral collector community doesn't add any specimen premium. Maybe in 50 years or so......BOB
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