My Etsy Shop

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hemimorphite and Vesuvianite available later this weekend in the shop,

So how do I go about pricing minerals.  Truthfully some minerals are so abundant and easily obtained they are a commodity.  Pricing for those when they are abundant is basically by the pound.  A dealer will negotiate the lot price based on the overall weight and grade of the mineral.  Brazilian amethyst is an example of this type of pricing.  There are different grades of Brazilian amethyst based on color, crystal size and perfection.  Each grade has a price per pound.  Of course the most expensive would be a deep purple amethyst with large size crystals that have the luster and clarity sought after by both the jewelry and mineral markets.

Recently there has been a bit of an amethyst craze developing in China.  This is driving up the price of amethyst.  At both Tucson and Denver this year there was a noticeable lack of Brazilian amethyst of collector or jewelry quality.

When I resell these abundant minerals it is strictly by a formula which considers the cost of doing business.  Unless it is an exceptional example there will be no premium built into the cost.  In minerals, as in jewelry, you definitely pay to have the "pretty one".

We are hosting the Mountainview College Geology club this afternoon, so more on this later.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Grossular Garnet on Vesuvianite from Lake Jaco, Chihuahua, Mexico.  Available in the shop

Today is the first year anniversary on Etsy.  It has been a great beginning and I want to thank all of my wonderful customers for contributing to the shop's success.  I look forward to serving you in the future.

The grossular garnet pictured is a vintage specimen.  It was collected 20 to 30 years ago.  I nabbed it from a friend who was selling some old inventory.  Mexico has just become far too dangerous to seek minerals.  Most of my Mexican mineral sources has quit traveling to the mining districts.

Generically "garnet" is used as if it were the proper name of a mineral.  However mineralogically "garnet" is the term for a group of minerals related by chemical formula and crystallographic structure.  The most commonly known of the garnet group are almandine, andradite, pyrope, uvarovite, spessartine and grossular.

Almandine is the brownish red color and is known for occurring as giant crystals.  Andradite occurs in a wide variety of colors but popularly the black andradites are known as melanites, green as demantoid and topazolite is an andradite.  Popular grossulars are hessonite and tsavorite.

So as I tell the school children Garnet is the mineral's last name, it's first name is Grossular and it nickname is Hessonite.  So Grossular Garnet, aka Hessonite.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I am finally home.  We first went to Denver for the big mineral show.  I immediately left from Texas to go to the southeastern US.  On my second day traveling I stopped in a rest area in Mississippi and there was the nifty Lunar Lander training vehicle in the parking lot.  Being in Mississippi it was on a platform autographed by Fred Haise of Apollo 13 fame.

So after switching drivers we headed over to Auburn to visit my nephew's dusty plasma lab.  They are still awaiting the mega magnets.

After a visit with a good friend in the area we headed over to Callaway gardens for a night and spent the next day enjoying the gardens. This time of year there is not much in bloom and the leaves had not started changing colors.