Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mineral Auction Experiences

Crystal
Unknown Mineral to me sold for $190 (11x3")

With winter firmly entrenched over the Rocky Mountains and temperatures dropping down to -35F in the mountain valleys, I decided to go rock hounding at a local auction house. While the auction itself was on the internet, the minerals were available for viewing locally. The pictures of the minerals displayed on the Internet site were for the most part poorly depicted. Some of the pictures were pixelated when zoomed in on, viewing angles of the minerals were not taken to best show off the specimens and nearly all specimens had only a single picture taken. I decided to go to the small-time auction house and check the minerals for myself. While I intended to get a better look at the crystals there were side bonuses of noting some minerals were misidentified, other minerals had tags with them that weren't mentioned on the internet site. Old price tags are helpful as well. With camera and magnifying glass in hand I closely checked out the minerals. Many unidentified minerals were easily identified as Wulfenite, Citrine, Barite and Pyromorphite. One piece of botryoidal fluorite had a Collector's Edge tag that stated it was fluorite (botryoidal), found in a mine in China and sold for over $100, ten years ago. I turned over a specimen of Wulfenite and found it was from the Red Cloud mine in AZ and sold some time ago for $145. Still yet another specimen had a price tag from 2003 identifying it as Citrine from the Ural Mountains and originally sold for $80. I picked up each one of these minerals for about $20. One consideration when buying from an auction house was the surcharge and state taxes. If the specimens had been properly identified with a little more care I'm sure I would have had to pay much more. It definitely pays to check out small-time auction houses for items they are probably are not used to dealing with. Bargains can be had, treasures enjoyed and profits made. Prior to bidding on any of the specimens I did some homework on the internet and found similar specimens. This allowed me to corroborate mineral types as well as suggested retail prices before putting in any bids. While a few desirable specimens got away from me, the minerals I purchased should easily garner a 400-500% profit for me when I decide to sell them. Below are a few specimens from the internet auction.
 
Crystal
Wulfenite


Crystal
Amethyst

Crystal
Citrine from the Ural Mountains


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