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08 Dec-15:03:27 Re: minerals to be found in only one location (Lluis)
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08 Dec-13:49:40 Re: minerals to be found in only one location (Eric Fritzsch)
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04 Dec-03:42:22 Re: favourite mineral species/families? (Tobi)
04 Dec-01:01:59 Re: collection of volkmar stingl (Volkmar Stingl)
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Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting
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silvia




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PostPosted: Oct 28, 2022 16:22    Post subject: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Tobi wrote:
Here: https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/download.php?id=107260 MIM Museum wrote:
Uranocircite-II
Bergen/Falkenstein,Vogtlandkreis, Sachsen, Allemagne
Dimensions: 7.5 x 12 x 7 cm / main crystal: 1.5 cm

The locality (Steinbruch Streuberg / Streuberg Quarry near Bergen) is the type locality for uranocircite and this is really a superb sample!


Like all the MIM minerals they are suberb, but what else do you expect. Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting. The more money the better the specimen - the simplicity of economics.
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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2022 03:35    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

silvia wrote:
Like all the MIM minerals they are suberb, but what else do you expect. Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting. The more money the better the specimen - the simplicity of economics.

Hello Silvia, the more money, the more knowledge, the more contacts, and the more mobility I would say.
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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2022 07:14    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

I tend to think of the order: knowledge, contacts, and mobility. Some of the best specimens are obtained through the 'right place at the right time' method. Read the book about Arthur Russell to see how he built his collection.

Carles Millan wrote:

Hello Silvia, the more money, the more knowledge, the more contacts, and the more mobility I would say.
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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2022 08:02    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

And the superb booklet from Rock H. Currier About Mineral Collecting, a reprint of the Mineralogical Record. I'm never tired of re-reading it. I'm still missing Rock a lot.
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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2022 13:57    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Carles Millan wrote:
silvia wrote:
Like all the MIM minerals they are suberb, but what else do you expect. Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting. The more money the better the specimen - the simplicity of economics.

Hello Silvia, the more money, the more knowledge, the more contacts, and the more mobility I would say.


I would agree with you to a point. My partner knows many knowledgeable people. These people are professional scientists, college professors, teachers and engineers. Some hold post-graduate degrees in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Geology, Mechanical and Structural engineering and many other disciplines too. Some work for government, some work for private enterprise, some are curators and some own and operate businesses. Some write papers for peer reviewed scientific journals (my partner has written a few) and some have written books related to their professional work. Very few can afford to buy what is known in the common vernacular among collectors of fine minerals as high-end or Museum quality minerals on a meagre professional income.

There may be exceptions to the rule, but these are few and far between.

One only needs to peruse any “the vault” site on any vendor’s pages to see what high quality minerals cost. Even common sulphides will attract a lot of money, especially as the specimens grow in size.

I do not deny that anyone can buy a nice mineral, but let us be honest - we are not talking about nice minerals.

They often say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating so I would be interested to see photos of a high-end, Museum quality mineral that one obtained for less than $100USD (excluding shipping) in the small cabinet size (80 mm x 80 mm x 80 mm) in the last two years.
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2022 15:37    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Carles Millan wrote:
And the superb booklet from Rock H. Currier About Mineral Collecting, a reprint of the Mineralogical Record. I'm never tired of re-reading it. I'm still missing Rock a lot.

Here you have its full translation to Spanish language:
https://www.foro-minerales.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=55999#55999

and this hilarious addenda on English language, from Rock Currier, and special for FMF:
Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier
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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2022 16:43    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Despite what many people might think I do not make these comments to be hurtful. I make them to be helpful. During the course of my work as a professional teacher I had to say things that some parents could not accept about their children. This often related to the students’ performance in standardized tests, their overall academic performance and their future career options. We live in a society that promotes many myths and the myth that anyone can be anything they want to be only if they try hard enough, is a myth. If you are not competent at mathematics you will not be a competent research scientist or engineer. If you are not good at sport you will never make it to the Olympics as a competitive athlete, no matter how hard you try. Such myths hurt rather than aid a student’s overall mental and physical development.

Mineral collecting also has many similar myths too. I often help many young and inexperienced collectors acquire minerals. The main thrust of my help relates to the need to be thrifty. I often tell them to save their money, and when they have enough money then buy something good. This begs the question of course, what is enough? What is good? Hard questions to answer and questions best answered with a few examples.

Take for example common sulphide minerals such as Galena, Sphalerite, Pyrite and Chalcopyrite. These are as common as ‘muck’ and there are thousands of such Sulphide specimens available for sale online, at mineral shows, for sale in crystal healing stores and available at Museum gift shops. The vast majority are really just ore cleavage samples with sparkle. Let us focus on specimens in the small cabinet size, and by small cabinet I mean specimens that would fit snuggly into a box of the following dimensions – 80 mm x 80 mm x 80 mm.



Galena – starting at $450USD and rising in multiples of $100USD
Sphalerite – starting at $450USD and rising in multiples of $100USD
Chalcopyrite – starting at $450USD and rising in multiples of $100USD

So for $450USD you could obtain a fine collector quality specimen. By collector quality I mean a specimen with no major peripheral damage, containing well-formed undamaged crystals with a great luster.

As the size, shape and luster of the individual crystals increase the price of the specimen also increases, and such specimens could attract $2000USD and some may even attract $5000USD. Some specimens containing large single well-formed crystals of Galena, Sphalerite and Chalcopyrite fall into this price range.
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minsur




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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2022 17:22    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Carles Millan wrote:
silvia wrote:
Like all the MIM minerals they are suberb, but what else do you expect. Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting. The more money the better the specimen - the simplicity of economics.

Hello Silvia, the more money, the more knowledge, the more contacts, and the more mobility I would say.


"More money, more knowledge" - I strongly disagree!
While there are without doubt a few very rich educated connoisseur collectors around, there are unfortunately too many "nouveaux riches", mainly in the US, who are just chasing colourful trophy rocks for supposed "alternative investment" purposes and driving prices up up and further up. Repaired, restored, glued together or enhanced in just about any way does not matter at all. Only the bragging rights count.- i.e. MY pockets are so much deeper than yours;-) And their lucky and friendly suppliers smile....

Collecting REALLY superb, fine minerals has always been the privilege of the elite and this for centuries. No complaints about that. Life is life.

What is kind of new, that the more or less nice, but mediocre and run of the mill stuff, the wide hunting grounds of us humble collectors 20 or 30 years ago, nowadays is being marketed by the luxury dealerships as if it were high end material also. Frequently resulting in totally outrageous, not to say ridiculous, four figure prices and more, even for poor, crappy reference specimens.
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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2022 06:08    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

I have enjoyed the posting about value aspect in collecting and would also love to add another perspective. A shout out for the penniless collector lol.

I think you are missing a real treat if you don’t collect your own specimens for free. From a child even a walk along the beach added many fine specimens to my collection. Add a little bit research from forums like this and you can always find even more interesting locations that offer even better natural specimens from the field, and it won't cost you a penny. Everyone has something in nature within a few miles of their home that brings mineralogical happiness. Even in a city I have been known to spot something nice in road fill! Might just be me lol

Another thing, from personal experience nothing beats a fresh crystal freshly plucked from the ground, rinse the muck from it in the nearby beck or gill and the specimen is the most vibrant it will ever be. From that moment onward it is in decline on its desiccating journey to the mineral cabinet. It will never be the same as that first moment. This is something you will never experience Store bought.

That brings me to the other benefit for the no cost collector. It could be just a Northern England peculiarity, but like many in my area the bulk of myself collection sits outside on the wall. In Northumberland, Weardale and Yorkshire many fine mineral collections sit on display in the open in people's gardens on walls. Is this practice replicated other parts of the world. I have added a couple of pictures of my wall display. There is about 50ks of self-collected chunks that I love to enjoy, correctly hydrated in natural daylight. Would I do this if I paid for each specimen? Perhaps not. The 4k chunk of Weardale fluorite in my hand would probably cost more than I would be comfortable leaving unattended, but I am no expert in value so happily leave them out happily ignorant. Another point, it brings me great pleasure to often pop out in the evening with my UV lamp and see my wall glow with huge iridescence. Also, this outside display allows me to view the amazing daylight fluorescence. I never get the buzz like this from my shop bought indoor collection.



20221030_091343.jpg
 Mineral: Wall Collection
 Description:
 Viewed:  2233 Time(s)

20221030_091343.jpg



20221030_091320.jpg
 Description:
 Viewed:  2232 Time(s)

20221030_091320.jpg


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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2022 07:24    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Do watch out for people who remove them from your garden/wall. That has happened to me a number of times. Annoying, even when they are of little value

James

Forrestblyth wrote:

That brings me to the other benefit for the no cost collector. It could be just a Northern England peculiarity, but like many in my area the bulk of myself collection sits outside on the wall. In Northumberland, Weardale and Yorkshire many fine mineral collections sit on display in the open in people's gardens on walls. Is this practice replicated other parts of the world. I have added a couple of pictures of my wall display. There is about 50ks of self collected chunks that I love to enjoy, correctly hydrated in natural daylight. Would I do this If I paid for each specimen? Perhaps not. The 4k chunk of Weardale flourite in my hand would probably cost more than I would be comfortable leaving unattended, but I am no expert in value so happily leave them out happily ignorant. Another point, It brings me great pleasure to often pop out in the evening with my UV lamp and see my wall glow with huge iridescence. Also, this outside display allows me to view the amazing Daylight fluorescence. I never get the buzz like this from my shop bought indoor collection.
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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2022 07:53    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Any form of collecting will atract many types, including those who do it as an investment. Some will become well-informed and some will not. People trading such material will try to make a living by selling high and if you are well informed you will know what you are buying.

I have inherited a family collection of documents, drawings, daguerrotypes and ambrotypes that we keep because they are related to our ancestors not for their value, that said I have spent some time becoming more informed so that I understand what I hold. I have given some to relevant museums, as that makes sense to me and no one in the family objected. The value of the small collection is not the point to me, but having old photos, paintings and drawings dating back as long as ago as 1700 is neat. Some are really interesting - such as the book of watercolors done by my great-grandmother of her 1840s grand tour of Europe (back before photography, so the only way to record images of her trip).

minsur wrote:


What is kind of new, that the more or less nice, but mediocre and run of the mill stuff, the wide hunting grounds of us humble collectors 20 or 30 years ago, nowadays is being marketed by the luxury dealerships as if it were high end material also. Frequently resulting in totally outrageous, not to say ridiculous, four figure prices and more, even for poor, crappy reference specimens.
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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2022 08:46    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

To be or not to be a collector?

Regardless of the psychological origin of this need to preserve, which is certainly not relevant in our consumer society, some people become attached to memories.
Personally, when I followed my mother on foot or in a cart (with horse) on the roads of France, leaving from the Belgian South of Luxembourg-Province to the Allier Department near Vichy in May 1940, I picked up pebbles (which she quickly threw away).
I was 11 years old when a little neighbor, younger me, showed me a blue stone that bubbled when he added a few drops of salt spirit to the stone. I had never seen stone boil.
Moreover, when I was 12, a teacher taught me how to develop black and white photo films: developer + fixer. It was magic. How? Why?
I found the answers by becoming a chemist. I have lived all my life at Univ. Liege where I have been happy: research (> 150 papers) and teaching.
One can become a collector of objects or a collector of ideas.
I prefer to collect ideas rather than objects, but these are still pleasant to contemplate when they reinforce your ideas, allowing you to improve them.
The collection requires means: you have to make sacrifices on other passions.
My advice:
First learn, then choose a crystal that matches your readings.
Only one, even if it is expensive (relative according to many parameters) rather than 20 which are only mediocre.
Avoid collecting labels, it is the crystal that is important.
PS: throughout my life, I have only known devaluations of money...
But I eat better today than when I was young.
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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2022 09:24    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Jordi Fabre wrote:
Carles Millan wrote:
And the superb booklet from Rock H. Currier About Mineral Collecting, a reprint of the Mineralogical Record. I'm never tired of re-reading it. I'm still missing Rock a lot.
Here you have its full translation to Spanish language: https://www.foro-minerales.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=55999#55999

Jordi, thank you for the link, but I much prefer to read Rock Currier in the original language. Although I have a reasonable knowledge of both English and Spanish, neither is my first language as you well know.
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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2022 14:39    Post subject: Re: Money does not always talk especially when one can build  

I am happy that so many people have contributed to this thread. I had much trepidation about posting my feelings and thoughts on the cost of collecting minerals. It can become a very sensitive topic, and at times very emotional. In todays ‘cancel-culture’ society it is a subject that can cause many problems for those who post. I am happy that FMF is beyond that.

My partner and I, especially my partner, collects the chemical elements and creates periodic tables of the chemical elements made from real elements. The connection between minerals and the chemical elements is a straightforward one, yet few mineral collectors’ also collect the chemical elements. More on this in subject in another thread!

- Minerals and Chemical Elements

Though chemical element sets can now be purchased commercially my partner takes it one step further. For example he has sealed 100 ml of Bromine (99.9%) in a thick-walled (2.5 mm) borosilicate glass tube under vacuum and encased the tube in a cylinder of high impact resistant resin. The bromine has the appearance of blood with a thick vapour of bright-red gaseous Bromine above the liquid. The aesthetics are just outstanding, and the intensity of the colour of the Bromine vapour changes with changes in room temperature. Many who have seen it say they have seen nothing like it anywhere. He has done similar things with Chlorine and Iodine.

At the moment he is working on the carbon group elements. He is casting a disc of Tin 200 mm wide and 35 mm thick. The disk will be divided into four segments by machining a V-groove (5 mm deep) across the surface of the disk. Two segments will be polished to a mirror finish and two segments will be etched. One segment will be etched to show the macro-crystalline structure of Tin and the other segment will be etched to highlight the micro-crystalline structure of Tin. The only cost was the cost of the metal which was relatively inexpensive. The remainder is just a labour of love.


- The MIM Connection

Salim Edde contacted my partner (via Mindat) three years ago about collecting the chemical elements. In the 1990’s before Salim started collecting minerals he was keen to establish a fine collection of the chemical elements, but nothing that appealed to him was commercially available. He then abandoned the idea of establishing a chemical element collection. My partner also experienced the same problems. The only way he could overcome them was to acquire rudimentary glass blowing skills and basic machining skills using a lathe and milling machine. He also has the facilities to melt and cast metals with a melting point slightly higher than that of Iron. He is working on other techniques too, such as growing metal crystal under vacuum. He does not do this work commercially but he does make special exhibits, such as birthday or Christmas gifts, for those who genuinely love the chemical elements.
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David




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PostPosted: Nov 03, 2022 14:50    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Hello, Silvia,

I would say that as long as you do not necessarily look to collect big and colorful crystals you should be able to find reasonable quality minerals at reasonable costs.
Diversifying your sources also helps a lot in getting better quality at lower prices.
For sure, if you have a couple of millions to spend on minerals, that helps you secure a quality collection very fast. But is that what you really want, a quick fix? You get some instant gratification and then what?
I think you can obtain more satisfaction on the long run when you have limited resources, because you enjoy every piece you can buy, you prioritize, you feel that your collection is growing and improving.
I don't have to spend a lot of money to feel happy about mineral collecting. And if someone would say that I don't have a quality collection, I really don't care, I collect for my own pleasure.
So don't worry, keep collecting, and happy hunting! :)
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PostPosted: Nov 04, 2022 17:22    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Hello David:

I am truly happy that you enjoy collecting minerals, and of course it is a very personal thing. Each collector has their own reasons for collecting.

I often tell many young folks to shop around as it is possible to make significant savings. Some vendors expect too much money, and some vendors may ask too little. It is also possible to obtain specimens at cost, at wholesale or at a discount if you develop a special relationship with a particular vendor.

Ultimately you reach a point in your collecting career when things do change. Your mineralogical palate becomes more refined and what was important in the past becomes less important in the present. My partner and I have many minerals in our collection that we bought years ago that we would not buy today. These specimens are now relegated to the reference section or the ore section of our collection. Some do indeed have sparkle but not enough to keep our palates satiated. Our current emphasis is on ore-bodies and we seek to collect mineral specimens, the best we can afford, representative of a particular ore-body, for example Panasqueira. This collecting style results in much fewer but more expensive purchases in any given year.

There is an old saying that states you get what you pay for, and though we may need to modify it somewhat for any particular case, I think it is generally true statement. That is why my partner and I encourage young collectors to be thrifty and patient. A few months of saving can help you acquire many fine things, not only fine minerals. It is also important to set goals. What sort of minerals do I wish to collect and in what size? As far as cost is concerned, size can be an important factor. Museum size specimens of very common minerals can be very expensive.

For us, we set a price range of $500USD to $10,000USD. We firmly believe that we will not get the quality we seek for under $500USD, and we also believe that no specimen in the style and mineral class we seek should cost more than $10,000USD, even for Museum size.

Silvia
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Philippe Durand




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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2022 02:02    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

I think and experience has shown that it is possible to have nice specimens at 200$ and under.

1. for that do not look at gem minerals.

2. you can easily find small cabinet, miniature, and thumbnails in that range.

3. you can accept small damage or imperfections at the periphery of the specimen (nice does not necessarily mean perfect).

4. you can aim at common species: calcite, quartz, barite, pyrite, galena, sphalerite, fluorite (not the bests in this time, I must admit), malachite, schorl, garnets, zeolites....

5. take your time and see as many specimens as possible, and you will find sleepers (underpriced specimens) in the dealer stocks.

6. some dealers do regular sales, and you can have good opportunities

7. avoid the top-notch dealers who have overpriced specimens even for a very basic specimen, but a long list of words to explain why this usual calcite must be worth $500.

8. with time and age, you could save money to buy more expensive minerals.

9. buy what YOU like, and makes YOU happy: it is your collection

10. if you self-collect, it is the best, and free :)

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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2022 06:44    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Philippe Durand wrote:
I think and experience has shown that it is possible to have nice specimens at 200$ and under.

1. for that do not look at gem minerals

2. you can easily find small cabinet, miniature and thumbnail in that range

3. you can accept small damage or imperfections at the periphery of the specimen (nice does not necessarily mean perfect).

4. you can aim at usual species: calcite, quartz, barite, pyrite, galena, sphalerite, fluorite (not the best in this time, I must admit), malachite, schorl, garnets, zeolites....

5. take your time and see as many specimens as possible, and you will find sleepers (underpriced specimens) in the dealer stocks.

6. some dealers do regularly sales, and you can have good opportunities

7. avoid the top-notch dealers who have overpriced specimens even for a very basic specimen, but a long list of words to explain why this usual calcite must be worth $500.


8. with time and age, you could save money to buy more expensive minerals

9. buy what YOU like, and makes YOU happy: it is your collection

10. if you self-collect, it is the best, and free :)


11. Buy where these notorious "high end" dealers buy...
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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2022 12:08    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Hi to everybody!
As I wrote in my introduction, I have been a collector of minerals since 1973, that time I was but a 8 1/2 year-old boy.
I fully agree with people who say "you can be happy of what you have even by spending little money", and it is true! In mineral shows you can find diamonds whose price doesn't overtake fifty euros (I don't want to make promotion of any kind, but the subject compels me to talk about money)! Moreover: if you visit a mineralogical site (i.e. a quarry or a mine), you can be proud of your specimens because YOU found them and YOU took them home!
What I disagree about is: why not gemstones? Many small gemstones take a very affordable price, even if they are diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds etc! So don't worry Silvia, you have all the time to collect beautiful crystals and minerals without spending too much money, or better: the amount which is in your possibilities! My collection started from a trip to Val Formazza (Piemonte, Italy), as some friends of mine started playing with quartz crystals we found there!
Greetings from Italy by Riccardo

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Hi! I'm a collector of minerals since 1973 and a gemmologist. On Summer I always visit mines and quarries all over Europe looking for minerals! Ok, there is time to tell you much much more! Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.
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David




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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2022 19:25    Post subject: Re: Money talks, especially in the hobby of mineral collecting  

Hello, Silvia,

Thank you! You are very kind! What is your reason for collecting minerals? I am simply fascinated by what nature can create in the mineral world and how incredibly diverse. Some minerals are simply works of art and I think they could compete with masterpieces made by painters or sculptures. The only difference is that they were created by hazard. If I was a religious person, I would probably have said they were made by a much higher intelligence.

Diversifying your sources not only helps with getting better prices, but also acquiring rarer minerals and getting to be more knowledgeable.

I really appreciate the fact that many respectable mineral dealers have a very wide price range, so that anyone can find something nice, that they can afford. At the end of the day, it makes sense, maybe a young student with very limited resources today, but plenty of passion, could become a millionaire and top collector in a decade.

I definitely went through many phases so far, therefore I would no longer buy things I used to buy 10-15 years ago. Still, there are plenty of older specimens which I still enjoy to this day.

Your focus on ore-bodies is very interesting for me. You've mentioned Panasqueira. I love Panasqueira, although not in my focus area. Especially, those ferberites, fluorites and fluorapatites.
Would love to see what you've collected from Panasqueira!

Whatever price range makes you comfortable and happy must be the right one for you!

Have a great day!
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