Collectable Mineral Specimens
Minerals are substances from the earth that have a crystal structure, either obvious (like a classic quartz crystal) or microscopic. Collectible minerals includes native elements such as gold, silver and diamond, and also their chemical varieties, often coloured, such as oxides, silicates, carbonates, sulphides, etc. As every collector is unique with your own tastes, there are no rules about what makes mineral specimens collectible. A display set of crystal mineral specimens or other collections may contain metals, crystals, gems, rare items and crystallized fossils. They can be unaltered natural crystals, tumbled, chipped or faceted specimens, geodes (hollow rocks lined with crystals), fluorescent under ultraviolet light (short wave, as opposed to long wave party lights, so check you get the right light), rare specimens, and even meteorites.
Your interest in having a collection may be aesthetic, investment, trading, educational or healing. If unsure, you can join a mineral club to help you learn about collectible minerals. High end collectors focus on the beauty, purity and high monetary value of specimens. However when it comes to price there are many factors for you to be aware of, some unexpected, that can affect the value of a specimen. Some are the location of origin, history of ownership, attitude of owner, errors, marketing and knowledge about the specimen.
Collectable crystals is a broad definition according to your tastes. However generally they will be the metals showing their crystal shape, or the classic macrocrystalline gems such as quartz, diamond, sapphire, ruby, emerald, peridot, topaz, etc. You can leave them as natural chunks or individual crystals with a single point, double point, or in clusters. An unusual collectable crystal form is the phantom stone, where a crystal appears inside another crystal of the same or a different kind. The inner crystal thus looks like a ghost or phantom. When modified by people, crystals come in the form of faceted crystals for jewellery or display, or as crystal trees, balls, eggs, figurines, slices (eg the coloured, patterned agates), or wands (although there are also natural wands of selenite).
Most people picture quartz crystal as the clear, colourless macrocrystals we are all familiar with. However quartz comes in many additional forms and colours. For example, the macrocrystals include amethyst (purple), rose (pink), smoky (brown), citrine (clear yellow), tiger eye (brown-gold gleaming bands), etc. They can stay natural as single or double points or clusters. Alternatively, one can artificially modify them, such as rough crystals machined to a point. Aura crystals have precious metals vapourized onto them, giving a stunning multi-coloured metallic surface. A special type of quartz crystal is the sceptre crystal where another crystal or crystals grows on top of the main crystal, producing a sceptre-like shape. The microcrystalline type of quartz includes the often brightly-coloured and patterned semi-opaque specimens such as agate, jasper, carnelian, chrysoprase and others. They lend themselves well to jewellery and polished display pieces.