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Agate, Jasper, & Gemstones: Rockhounding on the Web

Updated on July 4, 2014
Extremely Rare Oregonite from Josephine Creek, Josephine County, Oregon.
Extremely Rare Oregonite from Josephine Creek, Josephine County, Oregon.

Rock hounding can be a fun and profitable hobby however not everyone can travel to their favorite rock hounding location. Fortunately there is a world of fantastic rock hounding possibilities right at our fingertips.

The internet has opened up a world of rock hounding possibilities to everyone with access to a computer. Rocks, slabs and cabochons can be found on Ebay, personal websites, Etsy, Artfire, Craigslist, and more.

Investing in rocks and minerals:

It amazes me to see how fast rock prices can increase in such a short time. As with any products, the law of supply and demand applies.

Rocks can be available for a very short time and can gain in popularity quickly. Many gemstones, and minerals come from very small one of a kind deposits. Once they're gone, they're gone for ever making them rarer and more precious than gold or silver.

How profitable can it be? Take for example Lander Blue Spiderweb Turquoise. In the 1970s Lander Blue Turquoise was considered very costly selling at $1.00 a carat. Lander Blue Spiderweb Turquoise now sells for over $350.00 per carat. Not a bad return if you were to have invested in this fabulous Turquoise.

Other materials that would have made you a very good profit over the last few years are: Laramar, Ocean Jasper, Bumble Bee Jasper, and Leopard Jasper as well as many others.

Minerals Collected By Mineral Collectors

There are two basic types of rock collections. Those collected by mineral collectors and those collected by lapidaries.

Minerals collected by mineral collectors are minerals that are displayed in the same state they were found in nature. Many of these types of collections contain rare and precious gemstones and minerals that showcase the beauty of the gemstone as it is included in its natural surrounding rocks and minerals.

Mineral collectors collections can be magnificent and can be displayed in both natural light or fluorescent light depending on the type of specimen and mineral being collected.

Ultra Rare Arizona Blue Opal Mineral Specimen
Ultra Rare Arizona Blue Opal Mineral Specimen

Minerals Collected By Lapidaries

Lapidary is the art of cutting and polishing stone. Lapidaries, those who cut and polish stones, showcase minerals in their cut or polished state.

The two main categories of lapidary are Cabochons and Faceted Gemstones however there are many other types of lapidary work.

Lapidary specimens can be polished on one end, such as would be used in book ends, slabbed and polished to be displayed in small easels, or they can be cut into gemstones or cabochons for collections or use in jewelry.

Lapidary Slab of Morrisonite, known as the "King of Jaspers"
Lapidary Slab of Morrisonite, known as the "King of Jaspers"


Be warned that collecting rocks and minerals whether online or in nature can be fun and extremely addicting. Before purchasing any rock or mineral, learn all you can about it so you know what kind of quality you are getting and know when you are getting a good value.

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