Photo - Elmwood, Tennessee Barite on Fluorite on Sphalerite available on Etsy
My shop is on Etsy where vendors are only supposed to sell supplies and/or vintage. I do sell cabochons and raw crystals for jewelry as well as sell mineral specimens which can be used for mixed media fine art.
You can see the sculptures of Steve Potts here:
Steven Potts - Branching Out Steve uses many of our minerals in his work. I also sell to a number of cutters. Megan of Dion Jewelry has been cutting some azurite malachite specimens she acquired from the shop: Dion Jewelry. Other jewelry artists who are using stones and crystals from my shop can be found here: Favorite Shops
I was recently quizzed about the vintage aspect of my specimens as I do sell vintage specimens on Etsy. Etsy defines vintage as anything produced prior to 1993. The question was how would I know if a mineral specimen was mined prior to 1993. Mines do not produce indefinitely. The ore body may run out, the conditions become much too dangerous, the economics of digging further and deeper may not work and sometimes better use for the land is found. An example of better use is when a nation becomes developed and it is economically more sound to house the expanding population than to mine the land. There are many many communities built on old mines. Sometimes this causes problems. I have heard a recent report that sinkholes are developing in residential neighborhoods of Butte, Montana. Occasionally a creative person reclaims an old mine as a natural preserve. Butchart Gardens near Victoria is a wonderful example:
The Butchart Gardens - Home
Mining and mineral collecting are both well documented activities. One can easily do research to determine the period in which a mine was active.