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Monday, July 9, 2012

Photo:  Dioptase from Tsumeb, Namibia

The locale a mineral is collected from can command a price premium, knowing this will help you understand mineral pricing.

Certain localities are famous for their sheer wealth, diversity and superior quality of minerals.  Classic examples are Bisbee, Arizona, Tsumeb, Namibia and Mapimi, Mexico.  All three of the locations produced gorgeous specimens.  There were enough specimens to create a marketing momentum and enough diversity to keep it interesting.  All three locations are also known for some absolutely stunning rare minerals.  A collector could spend a lifetime collecting just one of the locations and have a diverse, beautiful and deep collection.

Some localities command a premium from the number of collectors in the marketplace who prize that locality.  US localities seem to command a premium not only because of the high cost of production but also because there is keen competition among US collectors seeking the local specimens.  It can be an economic indicator.  Recently better Chinese minerals enjoyed an escalation in price as Chinese wealth grew.

Certain localities are defunct and/or antique.  Just as in any collectible minerals do carry a premium for provenance and/or antique value.

Listing of Classic Mineral Localities: Classic Mineral Localities

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