ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is Mineral and Gemstone Collecting? Start a Gem Collection Today!

Updated on February 23, 2011

For many gems and minerals refer to those sparkling and shiny elements in jewellery. For others, collecting these gems has become a lifelong passion. Mineral and gemstone collection brings a greater appreciation for the natural crystals and other beautiful items that can be found underneath the surface of our planet.

Minerals and gemstones in jewellery are often polished but they can be just as beautiful, if not more, in their raw and unpolished form. Collectors often display their items together to showcase their mineral collection. Some museums also have large collections of minerals, such as the Hall of Minerals and the Hall of Gems in the American Museum of Natural History.

This article tells you more to get started with this hobby and what it involves.

Crystal | Source
Lapis Lazuli, Afghanistan
Lapis Lazuli, Afghanistan | Source

Getting started with collecting gems and minerals

Where to find minerals?
You don't need much to get started with this hobby. You can buy gems and minerals from specialized stores. You may need to search online for your nearest mineral store.

You generally won't find them in jewellery stores so don't bother asking as they usually don't have them in stock. From a commerial perspective this makes sense of course because a lot more people are interested in jewellery with polished minerals and gems. You'll need to find other people who also collect minerals.

There are also local and international mineral fairs and shows where many mineral collectors flock together. As an example, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is well-known in the United States and internationally among mineral collectors. It's the largest event of its kind in the United States.

Where to store your minerals?
When your small collection starts to grow you'll need to make some space to put them. You can buy a display case for your minerals. These are typically made of glass and they feature lights which highlight the minerals in the evening.

For informative purposes, you can also create or purchase small signs on which you can write the name and place of discovery of your gemstone. Make sure that you also get this information from the seller when you purchase a mineral.

How can I learn more about minerals?
If you're interested in how minerals are formed you can buy special mineral books about all kinds of minerals. These books tell you about the colors, the shapes and the locations of where certain minerals are found. You can also subscribe to mineral magazines.

The study of minerals is called mineralogy. This field of study is all about how they are formed in the earth and the specific shapes that minerals can have.

You can also find others who share similar interests in geology clubs and mineral museums. The follow article tells you where you can find other mineral collectors:

Rocks and minerals books

Minerals and gems under ultraviolet light

Some gems don't look very spectacular under normal light but they do shine under ultraviolet light or UV light. These are called fluorescent minerals. You need to buy a special lamp to view these bright colors. The same lamp can also be used to see security features of money or other things that light up under ultraviolet light.

Dedicated mineral collectors sometimes reserve a special section in their showcase for fluorescent minerals. This section has been darkened and a UV lamp has been installed to view the fluorescent colors of minerals under that type of light.

For more information, see the following article:

Visiting mines to dig for minerals and gems yourself

If collecting minerals has really become your passion then you can visit a mine to dig for gems yourself. You can go into a mine where they allow you to cut and dig in areas which are known to have minerals and gems. If you're lucky, you might find something and it's yours to keep!

It's usually not possible to dig in commercial mines but there are mines that are open for public and for this purpose (to allow anyone to mine there). You'll need to purchase or rent some tools, such as a chisel and hammer, because otherwise it's rather hard to get those gems out of the mine! You can take rocks out of the mine to examine them later: they might contain a mineral inside but it is also possible that you picked up just a plain rock.

Collection of minerals in a museum.
Collection of minerals in a museum. | Source

Is collecting gems an expensive hobby?

I would say no. You don't need to buy the more expensive minerals but you can start your mineral collection with cheap items such as pyrite, quartz and agate. The price also depends on the size and the quality of the gem.

If you happen to be abroad then you can also buy gems from that country, usually for a cheap price. You can also go to large events where many collectors have gathered. These distributors may have discounts on certain items or you can buy a lot of minerals together in bulk.

If you're willing to invest more then you can purchase more expensive minerals and gems, such as opals, to create a diverse collection. If a nice gem catches your eye then you should always evaluate whether it's worth the price. You can do research in mineral books to see which minerals are more abundant in the earth than others. These are, of course, cheaper and a nice way to start your collection.

This article was written by Simeon Visser. I am earning money online by writing here at Would you like to earn money online as well? Read the success stories and sign up today to get started!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Maryann Worrell 

      8 weeks ago

      I started a collection about thirty years ago, and am now ready to sell my collection to an interested party. Is anyone interested in giving me an offer to purchase my collection. I also have display cases for sale. I am located in Southern Delaware.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This looks like a fun thing to do. Really wanting to go gold panning but this could be as much fun and maybe more affordable. Thank you for the info!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)