Starting Your Collection
I have several different types of rock and mineral collections. One that I will probably never complete is my "Most Expensive" Collection.
This collection wasn't necessarily the most expensive for me, in fact I pride myself on finding great buys to help support my hobby.
I enjoy hobbies that help pay for themselves and If I'm lucky make a little extra income for myself in the long run.
What Are the Most Expensive Collectible Rocks & Minerals?
What Are the Most Expensive Collectible Rocks & Minerals? The answer to that question changes all the time. Rocks and minerals that are expensive now, for the most part were very inexpensive sometime in the past.
This is part of the fun of collecting the most expensive rocks and minerals.
Having a good knowledge of what rocks and minerals command the best prices is only the beginning of being a good rock collector. In order to be truly successful a collector needs to go deeper, much deeper.
How Valuable is it Really?
While rock and mineral guides help to give some glimpse as to the value of any particular item, rock and mineral prices can change quickly due to new finds, played out mines, political changes and public desire and perception.
The law of supply and demand has a huge impact on rock and mineral prices making any given rock or mineral only as valuable as someone is willing to pay for it.
How to Start Without Breaking the Bank
When a new rock or mineral is found the prices can start out very low at first giving you the perfect buying opportunity.
Having a strong knowledge of what the general public is looking for in rocks and minerals is a great advantage when it comes to getting great prices on what will become very expensive rocks and minerals.
Knowledge is the key to being a successful rock collector. There are several factors to watch for.
This gemstone is usually reddish brown in color when found in nature but turns a wonderful blue violet color when heat treated.
Tanzanite is actually a blue form of zoisite a relatively inexpensive material. While this gemstone did not gain real popularity until the 1990s it had actually been mined since 1967.
What made this blue zoisite so popular? Marketing! Tiffany & Co. wanting to take advantage of the rarity of the gemstone and it's close resemblance to then, very expensive sapphires, marketed the gemstone under the name Tanzanite and soon after it became even more expensive than the sapphires it was meant to be an inexpensive alternative to.
Do I personally invest in Tanzanite? Absolutely not. If I could have looked into my crystal ball and seen the future I might have invested in blue zoisite in the 1970s but my knowledge of rocks and minerals was quite limited at the time and information about new finds was not near as easy to come across as it is today.
Why don't I invest in Tanzanite now? One of the biggest reasons for me to not invest in the mineral is because the demand was artificially increased due to the marketing efforts of Tiffany & Co.. I feel that the demand for such products can reduce just as fast as they increased.
For myself at least, this would have been a great investment if the timing was right but I feel that the best time to buy has passed. Am I correct, only time will tell. That's part of the fun of buying rocks, minerals and gemstones!
Another mineral that was very inexpensive when it was first brought to the market and then skyrocketed in price is Ocean Jasper.
This is an example of the types of rocks and minerals I look for today. No most of my exploring isn't done out in the wilds of foreign countries. I don't even spend that much time looking for rocks and minerals here in the United States. Although I do have the pleasure of visiting Tucson. AZ once in a while for the annual Rock, Mineral and Gem Shows.
I look for my treasures from the comfort of my own home by searching the internet. This is by far one of the easiest and least expensive ways to find rocks and minerals to invest in.
Lessons Learned from the Past
History can be a great teacher when it comes to rock and mineral collecting and helps to give a better understanding and appreciation for the rocks and minerals that are available.
One of the things I like to do is to look for rocks and minerals that are expensive now and try to figure out what make them get so expensive.
Tanzanite is a good example of a gemstone that was inexpensive at first and later became one of the most expensive gemstones available today.
Rarity and Availability
Rarity and Availability are two factors that have a major impact on rock and mineral prices. Larimar a beautiful blue gemstone from the Dominican Republic, was fairly low priced when it was first introduced on the market.
The year this stone was introduced on the market I had been researching it and knew that it the area that it was mined was very small and that it had not been found anywhere else in the world. This was a perfect buying opportunity and I was able to get not only rough but some beautiful finished high quality cabochons at very reasonable prices.
The next year I visited the Tucson Gem Show the prices had more than doubled and it was getting harder to get good gem quality Larimar. This wonderful variety of Pectolite is still available but in limited quantities and the prices is much higher than it was when it was first introduced. Due to the rarity and limited region this gemstone is found, high quality Larimar may still be a good choice when looking for a low cost gemstone that may become very expensive in the future.
Ocean Jasper is one of my more successful rock collecting adventures. When Ocean Jasper was first offered on the market the price was quite low and I was able to get it at the Tucson Shows for around $4-$8 per pound. This is quite typical of the cost of new minerals offered at the show however I have had great finds of good new material that I purchased for just $1-$2 per pound.
The first years material was quite nice and I purchased a small quantity of it to see how it worked up for making cabochon gemstones. To my delight, it was wonderful material to work with full of interesting patterns and colors.
The next year the material was even better looking but the price had nearly doubled. I was a little more selective this time making sure I only purchased the very best material I could find at the best prices I could get it for.
That year the popularity of Ocean Jasper exploded and at the same time the availability of the material decreased. This wonderful material was only found in a small location that could only be accessed at low tide by boat.
Not surprisingly the price of Ocean Jasper increased went so high the next year that I refused to buy it. There was still some nice material available but the price was incredibly high.
In hindsight I still wish I would have bought more Ocean Jasper that year despite the incredible increase in cost. That was the last year that I saw a good supply of nice looking Ocean Jasper.
The next year was such a disappointment. The quality was significantly lower and the prices had increased even higher.
Today, even searching online, there just isn't much of that great looking material that was available originally. Most of the material available today is low quality and very high priced. Thank goodness I was able to get some of the great looking material when I did.
Rock and Mineral Prices Don't Always Go Up
Amethyst was once a very rare and highly sought after gemstone. It was ranked along with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.
Huge deposits of Amethyst were later discovered in South America and other parts of the world causing the gemstone to loose it's value. Amethyst is now one of the lowest cost gemstones available today.
How to Find Rocks and Minerals
A great way to start is to go to eBay and try to see what is the most popular and most expensive rocks and minerals available today.
Rocks and Minerals are found under collectibles in eBay. The easiest way to get there is to click on the "shop by category" link near the eBay logo at the top of the page.
Once there click on the "Collectibles and art" link. Scroll towards the bottom of the "Collectibles" column until you find "Rocks, Fossils & Minerals". There are several subcategories to choose from at this point or you can do your research from here.
Now that you are in the proper category you will probably want to look and see what past rocks and minerals have actually sold for.
You will need to be signed into your eBay account and click on the completed listings link which can be found near the bottom of the links on the left side of the page.
At this point you can change the sort order to "highest price including shipping" so you can see some of the most expensive rocks and minerals offered on eBay.
From here look for the prices on the right side of the page.
You will probably find lots of ridiculous offers that never sold that are listed with red prices.
The listing that will be most helpful when trying to evaluate values are the completed listing that have a green price. These are the listings that actually sold giving you a true value because it is the price someone actually was willing to pay for the item.
Below is a list of some of the most expensive rocks, minerals & fossils that have sold on eBay.
The Most Expensive Rocks, Minerals & Fossils SOLD on eBay
|ITEM||SOLD FOR||DATE SOLD|
4.10-Carat Unheated Eye-Clean Pigeon Blood Red Winza Ruby (IGI)
Jun 09, 2014
NATURAL MCGINNESS TURQUOISE ROUGH!!!! 27.5 POUND CHUNK
Aug 05, 2015
38.35cts Rough Rare Neon Blue-Green Tourmaline.Brazil
Oct 18, 2013
Museum grade huge Iron meteorite Muonionalusta 81.3 kg
Nov 16, 2013
2 Large Rough Blue/Green Amber Dominican Republic 2215 g
Jun 02, 2013
BLUE AMBER BEADS 27.8 GRAMS FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Feb 02, 2014
CERTIFIED Natural Colombian Emerald Loose Gemstones X 3
Apr 10, 2014
NATURAL OLD ANTIQUE BUTTERSCOTCH EGG YOLK BEADS BALTIC AMBER NECKLACE 111.2 GRAM
Apr 30, 2014
MAGNIFICENT BALTIC AMBER ON SILVER OAK STAND - CUSTOM MADE COMPOSITION
Dec 17, 2013
3.32-Carat IGI-Certified Unheated Kashmir-Origin Blue Sapphire
May 10, 2014
meteorite pallasite SEYMCHAN, excellent museum specimen 4320 g complete endpiece
Oct 21, 2013
40.2 Kgs Castle Form * Precious ARAGONITE Mineral Specimen 88 Lbs w/ Wood Stand
May 08, 2014
LARGEST EVER 6810 GM. GIBEON ETCHED METEORITE SLAB, PROFESSIONALLY ETCHED!!
Mar 01, 2014
Huge Cuban Megalodon shark tooth teeth BEST OF THE BEST 6.315" preembargo
Aug 13, 2013
15.43CT NATURAL FLAWLESS IMPERIAL TOPAZ AAA+ FINE INTENSE COLOR OURO PRETO
Apr 12, 2014
100% GENUINE 1,256.40ct NATURAL YELLOW BALTIC AMBER ROUGH CRYSTAL
Aug 18, 2013
Muonionalusta meteorite 29168 grams!
Jun 08, 2013
The Most Expensive Rocks & Minerals Found on eBay (Not Yet Sold)
The Biggest Pietersite Sphere in the World,Gemstone,Rare Collection,Museum Grade
"Star of India" Geode - - Lovely, Over 3 Inches Tall
Jun 09, 2014
Will negotiate:) Crimson Red Realgar Crystals, Radiating Quartz Prisms, Pyrite
Aug 17, 2015
China emerald Jade jadeite Carved Lotus lotus ru yi kwan yin Bodhisattva statue
Jul 02, 2014
Unique,museum,historic Lithuanian meteorite Zhemaytkemis(Žemajtkemis1933)883gr
Jun 24, 2014
The Biggest Pietersite Sphere in the World
This is an absolutely stunning Pietersite sphere. In recent years Pietersite has become very collectable. This sphere is over 16" in diameter and weighs over 272 lbs!
This beautiful sphere is offered on eBay with a $1,898.00 shipping charge out of Beijing, China.
Explore the Possibilities
eBay is not the only place you can find great rocks and minerals.
There are old rock shops scattered across the United States most of them full of worthless junk but if you take the time to explore some of the old dusty forgotten spots you just might find yourself a real treasure.
Rock and mineral clubs are a great place to find people who really know where to find genuine treasures. These clubs will often have auctions or sales to help support the club. Some of the old timers love to offer some of their old stock at these events.
Rock and mineral club members can also show you where to find unique material in your area.
Want to Learn More?
Want to learn more about collecting rocks and minerals? Click Here to learn how to hunt for rare and beautiful rocks.
Helen Stuart from Deep in the Heart of Texas on August 20, 2017:
The Laws in Texas had been very lax, but I think they have been squeezing down since the discovery and verification of pre clovis sites and artifacts here. I also found half a small geode, (finally realized what it was) lots of white waxy material inside surrounding crystals (mostly smallish and clear, some a little pink) It doesn't look too impressive, about the size of half a round lemon, but I see on ebay how inexpensive geodes are. But also how beautiful some people can make them by clearing away a lot of the inner material, but they are still cheap. (Like 6 bucks!) Amazingly beautiful though.
Marty Andersen (author) from Salina, Utah on March 15, 2016:
Wow, I find those artifacts to be so interesting. I've never had the opportunity to become familiar with them. I would imagine that there must be laws concerning artifacts may have some influence as to how many of those types of items are available to be purchased or even collected.
Helen Stuart from Deep in the Heart of Texas on March 15, 2016:
I realize that my interest is somewhat different, but I have a giant arrowhead and artifact collection. You would think that the supply of these early man made tools would run out soon, but then you wouldn't be taking into consideration how very very many forgers there are out there! You get to where you can spot a forged artifact instantly. The ones I have may be Eolithic, made by HomoErectus, which is such an understudied field that I haven't even been able to find an expert to comment. It totally changes our ideas about the dawn of man, or at least intelligent man. But I love gems as well, and yours are magnificent.
Marty Andersen (author) from Salina, Utah on March 11, 2016:
I'd love to see some pictures of the mineral!
doddj1 on March 07, 2016:
Hi i have a mineral i have not got a clue about it is quite heavy could anyone help i can provide pictures size ect
Marty Andersen (author) from Salina, Utah on January 27, 2015:
There is a location near my home that is famous for red beryl. It is found in the Thomas Range and the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah. I've never tried collecting it myself because the area is quite remote and the gemstone is very difficult to find. Even small pieces can be quite valuable.
I'm planning a trip to Topaz Mountain this summer. There is some beautiful Golden Topaz located there. They say the ground is littered with clear Topaz in some areas. The Golden Topaz at Topaz Mountain turns clear if it is left in the sunlight so you can only get the Golden Topaz if you dig.
I would love to see some pictures if you find some beryl. Please keep me informed!
Seraph from Canada on January 27, 2015:
Wow, that is so excellent! Currently I am planning a trip this summer to collect some beryl (red pocket area) in a location that I have done tons of geological research on... toes and fingers are crossed! So great to meet another stone hunter!
Marty Andersen (author) from Salina, Utah on January 27, 2015:
It's so exciting to find gemstones. I think they are probably much more rare than most people imagine. My last rock hounding experience was near Salina, Utah where I was fortunate to get some Salina Wonderstone.
Seraph from Canada on January 27, 2015:
I love collecting raw gemstones! For me I am a rock-hunter in real-life, hiking and exploring the deposits where I live is extremely exciting!
Marty Andersen (author) from Salina, Utah on August 21, 2013:
You are correct, it does appear to be Jade. That certainly does look like there are some man-made markings on it. It's very interesting. Nice find!
jocent on August 21, 2013:
I really need some expert to look at my stone, because there seems to be a significant marking that is encrypted on it. This could be a part of a bigger piece I think. If you want to see my title is: A Rare Stone.wmv
Marty Andersen (author) from Salina, Utah on August 20, 2013:
It would be interesting to see your stone. There are actually two types of jade; Jadeite and Nephrite Jade. Jadeite is hard like quartz and Nephrite Jade is a little softer but very tough and is great for carving. There are several locations in the United States that Nephrite Jade can be found one of the most famous is Wyoming Jade. Nephrite Jade can be very translucent or it can be almost black in color. I have some very interesting material that comes from Nevada that is called Ghost Jade. It's a Nephrite mineral however it's not considered a true jade. It has a wonderful chatoyant quality that looks very similar to Seraphinite.
jocent on August 20, 2013:
Nicely written article about rocks and stones. You mentioned a lot of thing that really informs the reader what to and where to look for about precious minerals. I have a stone that I picked up in our place and kept in eversince, and has been wondering what kind it is. Upon researching , the nearest I can come up with is jade but still I'm not sure. I made a video tribute with this stone to the late Whitney Houston posted in Youtube. Reading your article made me even more interested in collecting as a hobby. Thanks for the information!!!