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Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?
  
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David




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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2023 10:34    Post subject: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting? I can't really find any reason as long as I am alive. And given the huge diversity of the mineral world, I can't possibly get bored.
Ok, at some point, I might have to allocate less resources for this (time included), but I would still continue! Plus, I can always enjoy what I already have, study materials, exchange specimens or dig for new samples myself. And read your posts, of course.
Good day to you all!
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Jim Wilkinson




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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2023 12:57    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

As with any other hobby it is the presence of toxic people that tend to ruin the experience for me.
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2023 14:58    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

I have MS so can no longer field collect, and when the only dealer I trust shuts down I will almost certainly stop buying. So that will be the end of collecting for me
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SteveB




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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2023 16:22    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

james it really sucks you have MS and ibhopevyou are doing lots of mental exercises to help slow the decline and i geuss itvdepends on who you intrinsically are to put in the effort for yourself. ms i see is like a strokevin reverse . i suffered a stroke in 2014 which left me with left sidevparalysis in an instant and no impromentvinvthe years since but it was my mentalvabilities that were my biggest skill and ive played a lot of scrabble in person and crosword books tobhelp keep my mind activevand keepvmybright arm coordnated. also my hobbies of stamps and rocks minerals and fossils are good i feel for my brain exercises i felt duller earliervon but sharper again now.i felt at one stage than my brain had turned on acneuroplastic state and i focused strongly on pysio and made a lot of head way but one day it atopped learning. which isvwhere i started declining again. i also found books and articles were written from thevpointvof view of logic andnever mirrored my experience. so i can advisevtrustvyourself as long as you are capable an font put toobmuch faith in what others say. the medical folk are advising from a spreadsheet of averages of what happened to others ypur agebut its not a certainty itll happen to you. i was told i would remain in a wheelxhair the rest of my life but i can walk with a stick badly and with pain but still no wheelchair i was determined to not have a wheelchair for other reasons. ive met and been in hospital and rehab with many different brain injury people and they com in all personality types and the ones with strong willpower and good emotional support all did the best. i hope you are one of those. i cant travel or walk for long so now my rockhoundingvtends to be whatever is beside avfootvpath so rather boring. i have an interest in porphyry which i think is used here as a ground filler in construction and im trying to research thevtype ive been finding . ive also got boxes of specimens ive collectedvsince chilhood so now ivcan try organising those and identifying them. mostly i have to buy specimensvbutbfrom ebayvas i dontvhave a trusted dealer and limited funds . in reality you adapt and enjoy all hobbies in new and different ways as physical limitations impose on your life. another change ive made is to get drawers from ikea and organise my collection with better labeling and notebook and started thnkingbabout my death which isvlikely close i would like to buy a nice go pro i think and video my soecimens on a turntable and make a video museum of my collection not just the spectacular items which is lacking in the hobby isvpictures of the less attractive specimens to help peopl identify. so i guess my decline is close to stopping me collecting but not there yet i still hsvr thunderegsvivcan crack open and agates i can tumble but i just take take each day as it comes. shame i ont know anyone ivcan share my hobby withhere. sorry about the typing im stuck with only a phone to use. but am happy to email if you want advice etc as our journies will match a lot and it can be very lonely at times and confusing even embarassing with thevdecline it really sucks but i think willpower isvyour best weapon against ms i even fell in love with a girl with ms but her treatments took her outbof my life.

my email is sjbolton @ g m a i l . c o m



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Jesse Fisher




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PostPosted: Sep 10, 2023 23:21    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

The ever-increasing prices ask for decent specimens is certainly making it difficult to pursue building a serious collection any more. The shift in the overall hobby toward aesthetics over scientific and historical criteria for collecting to my mind results in an ever-increasing sameness of the specimens I see on offer at shows these days. There seems to be less and less that I find interesting, even if I could afford it! I am still very interested in the science of mineralogy and geology, but I find I have been collecting very little lately.
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Tony L. Potucek




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2023 11:12    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

I am very much in agreement with Jesse's observations and conclusions about why it has become increasingly difficult to collect minerals by silver picking (purchasing minerals). Pricing has gone beyond the usual adjustments for inflation. I have collected minerals since the late 1950's, digging them in the field and making purchases. The field collecting has slowed for two reasons: 1) my advancing age, and 2) the property restrictions, ownership and closures. My silverpicking is greatly slowing due to increased prices. I can afford these hefty increases but I choose not to pay the prices asked for the most part. I see ore specimens priced north of $1000. Are you kidding me? Except for the precious metal value of the specimen, this is just dumb. I have a lot of minerals and I love them. Therefore, I have become very selective. Like Jesse, my interests have not waned, because the scientific aspects of minerals are a keen interest to me. Localities I have collected still are more attractive to me than those I have not, and I have never shied away from the black uglies. Damaged specimens are my biggest turn-off. Restored specimens are bad news. Too bad it was broken but restored specimens should never be priced like they are pristine. My opinion and I won't debate it. Repairs are regrettable but acceptable. Again, pricing should reflect the fact it is not pristine. So, what would make me give up mineral collecting? Me being a clinically dead chunk of meat, planted in the ground (or my ashes spread to the four winds). If I am in the ground, I will be clutching a mineral specimen in one hand and a fine scotch/wine bottle in the other.
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2023 11:38    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

I try to track mineral price inflation for both low value and hgh value specimens.

Based on what I see in the market the inflation rates over the last few years have been about 3% and 7% respectively. The threshold ($1,000) is dropping and the upper rate of inflation increasing in the current market. Good I have stopped buying and am sad I can no longer collect.

Tony L. Potucek wrote:
I am very much in agreement with Jesse's observations and conclusions about why it has become increasingly difficult to collect minerals by silver picking (purchasing minerals). Pricing has gone beyond the usual adjustments for inflation. I have collected minerals since the late 1950's, digging them in the field and making purchases. The field collecting has slowed for two reasons: 1) my advancing age, and 2) the property restrictions, ownership and closures. My silverpicking is greatly slowing due to increased prices. I can afford these hefty increases but I choose not to pay the prices asked for the most part. I see ore specimens priced north of $1000. Are you kidding me? Except for the precious metal value of the specimen, this is just dumb. I have a lot of minerals and I love them. Therefore, I have become very selective. Like Jesse, my interests have not waned, because the scientific aspects of minerals are a keen interest to me. Localities I have collected still are more attractive to me than those I have not, and I have never shied away from the black uglies. Damaged specimens are my biggest turn-off. Restored specimens are bad news. Too bad it was broken but restored specimens should never be priced like they are pristine. My opinion and I won't debate it. Repairs are regrettable but acceptable. Again, pricing should reflect the fact it is not pristine. So, what would make me give up mineral collecting? Me being a clinically dead chunk of meat, planted in the ground (or my ashes spread to the four winds). If I am in the ground, I will be clutching a mineral specimen in one hand and a fine scotch/wine bottle in the other.
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2023 18:42    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

Can't collect because prices are too high? You all must be going to the wrong venues. I have no trouble finding great specimens for 3-figure prices. The problem I think is that people are much like moths, and they head for the brightest lights, the flashiest display cases, and the most famous names, and the booths with free chocolate and champagne... and where prices are liberally sprinkled with lots of extra zeros ;))

Go poke around in dimly lit venues. Take your own flashlight with you (seriously). Buy some dirty and poorly trimmed minerals and clean them and trim them at home yourself. There are still lots of bargains out there.
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Jesse Fisher




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2023 19:49    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

alfredo wrote:
Can't collect because prices are too high? You all must be going to the wrong venues. I have no trouble finding great specimens for 3-figure prices. The problem I think is that people are much like moths, and they head for the brightest lights, the flashiest display cases, and the most famous names, and the booths with free chocolate and champagne... and where prices are liberally sprinkled with lots of extra zeros ;))

Go poke around in dimly lit venues. Take your own flashlight with you (seriously). Buy some dirty and poorly trimmed minerals and clean them and trim them at home yourself. There are still lots of bargains out there.


I've spent a lot of time doing just that over the years. The payoff is becoming increasingly meager each year. Sometimes I think it's down to the fact that most of the dealers I once frequented and had good luck with have moved on. Perhaps too many of the newcomers don't know the difference between a "crystal" and a "mineral specimen." What audience are they trying to sell to? I'm not sure it's me, sometimes.
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Philippe Durand




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PostPosted: Sep 12, 2023 14:53    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

Hey, don't be so pessimistic.

There is plenty of room for interest in collecting out of top-notch dealers: field collecting, low priced specimens, specific interests about an area, or a group of minerals, or going to small size.

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David




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PostPosted: Sep 13, 2023 08:14    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

Hello, everyone,

I totally agree with Alfredo! I don't think that one should give up mineral collecting just because the price of high-end minerals is...high.
This hobby (like any other) is mostly about the passion you put into it, and to a lesser extent about the money.
Of course, if someone wants the top of the top specimens the price tag will be very high. That applies to everything from cars, to homes, to art and so on. But it doesn't mean that you can't get a great painting unless it is a da Vinci or Picasso, which are of course in a very limited supply, and highly sought after. Thus, you must be a multi-millionaire at least to purchase those.
I am sure that you can get quality minerals for a fraction of the price of top-of-the-line specimens.
Plus, most dealers usually have quite a wide price range, from less than 50 USD all the way to...the sky is the limit. That is great, basically anybody can fit in somewhere along the line. Plus, if you are not satisfied with the offer, you can always expand your search to other sources.
I don't mind that I can't own the top-of-the-line minerals, I can still enjoy those in museums, fairs, magazines, private collections of wealthy people and so on. I don't need to have ownership of every piece I like. I enjoy each time I can add something to my collection, whether it is expensive or not. Honestly, I am quite happy with what I can find in my price range.

I wish you all the best and to find whatever you are searching for!
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Sep 13, 2023 11:50    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

Another factor to consider is that lamentations about the rising price of minerals are nothing new in history. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, famous German writer, philosopher, scientist and mineral collector, complained 200 years ago that the damn mineral dealers were ruining mineralogy by raising their prices all the time... 200 years ago! There is truly nothing new under the sun.

A good friend of mine used to be curator of the mineral museum in Bonn, which started out as the collection of some prince about 3 centuries ago. She had access to the old acquisition catalogues which listed prices that the prince had paid for his classic European minerals. The price of many specimens would be equivalent to 1 whole year of wages for a working man back then. And these 1-year-of-wages specimens were in many cases things that wouldn't even be considered that great in our modern market, like really clunker pyrargyrites that won't win any beauty prizes. Looking at mineral prices in terms of average salaries, we are now enjoying far better deals than the princes did in the 18th century, when only the nobility collected minerals and the common man had no chance whatsoever to afford to buy specimens.

So quit your whining, everybody! ;))
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parr.ish




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PostPosted: Sep 15, 2023 11:04    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

I would agree with those that say you just have to look more! The search for me is what has made me shift my collecting towards classic localities and old rarities. Of course, dealers like Crystal Classics may hoard some old collection pieces and charge astronomical rates, but that doesn't mean there's not infinite old collections out there constantly being overlooked. I rarely, if ever, go to any big shows. I live in the northeast United States, and collect specimens from the area I live in. I have only been to the Springfield show once, but I frequent smaller club shows, and you'd be amazed at what you can find for unbelievably low prices. While I do also dislike the mass market, flashy, brightly colored worldwide minerals you see at every show, it's easy to just pass by those booths, and seek out the mixed flats of old collection material; there are at least one or two dealers at any show who have it. The thing that makes specimens from classic localities so appealing is the scarcity of them, and as time goes on, the scarcity of people who have them for sale is also dwindling. I sometimes feel like I'm in a race with the high-end dealers to find all the great old collections hidden in the nooks and crannies of New England, but that also makes it more fun :) as to stopping collecting, I feel like my interest comes in waves, but I'll always have a case of rocks around I reckon.
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Sep 15, 2023 12:27    Post subject: Re: Is there anything that could make you give up mineral collecting?  

When I did manage to get to a show in the UK I would look for Spanish material that the local dealers might not understand. Once in a while, I did find what I was looking for, as those old UK collections would contain Spanish material that I understand, but it is a rare occurrence. Dealers who have now retired know about my passion but the current crop do not so may let it go before I get there.

It has resulted in some interesting finds, such as an early 19C cassiterite from Penouta that must have been found before the modern mine opened (may be from the old Roman mine). Nothing special to look at, but historically interesting as the find was mentioned in the book 'Collecting the new, rare and curious'
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