Photo: Naturally yellow hematite included Quartz Crystal Cluster from Santa Eulalia, Mexico (available in the shop)
Uvarovite Garnet - will be available in the shop soon.
Where do mineral dealers find all of their minerals?
When we started our business we offered our field collected inventory. These are the minerals we went into the quarry or mine and dug out. Sometimes people refer to these as "self collected". You, too, can field collect. For the new collector it might be beneficial to join a gem and mineral club with an active field collecting group.
You can find a club in the US here: Club Sites
Canadians can find a club here: CCFMS Central Canadian Federation of Mineralogical Societies ...
There are also fee collecting areas you can visit. For a fee, some modest, some exhorbidant, you are allowed to collect minerals. These include the areas that allow you to pan for either gems or gold. Please be sure to ask if the panning material is salted or not. Most mines when quizzed will tell you if you will be panning authentic local material or if it has been salted with material from a foreign source. (foreign in the sense it is not mined at the panning location). Some famous locations that have fee collecting areas are: Maine for Tourmaline, North Carolina for Rubies, Montana for Sapphires and Colorado and California for gold. Just google "mineral fee collecting areas"
Some mines have open houses where for one or two weekends of the year they allow field collecting. These are a bit harder to stay informed about but there are some yahoo groups that may be useful to join to keep informed of open houses in your region.
Field trips associated with minerals shows and rock swaps. Many clubs, see links above, host field trips during the weekend of their annual Rock and Mineral show. You can check Rock N Gem's show calendar for listings:
Show Dates | Rock & Gem Magazine
Because of our business connections we are often invited onto private claims. This is not as readily available to the general public because of liability issues and protection of the claim.
Next blog: where we purchase our minerals.