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Investing in Rocks and Minerals for Fun & Profit

Updated on July 2, 2014
Blue Holley Agate:  Price for this beautiful agate has skyrocketed since the area where it was found has been closed to collecting  This is part of the authors collection.
Blue Holley Agate: Price for this beautiful agate has skyrocketed since the area where it was found has been closed to collecting This is part of the authors collection. | Source

Rocks, Slabs, and Minerals as an Investment

Investing in anything can be a risk. Most investors are looking for something that has as little risk as possible and has the potential to have the highest return.

You often hear people talking about investing in silver or gold but have you ever considered investing in rocks?

If you get to know the products, understand how to invest properly and develop the proper contacts, you could turn your simple hobby into a full time job.

What To Look For When Investing In Rocks & Minerals

When investing in any type of commodity, it's important to understand the product you are investing in.

Proper investing can be extremely profitable or you could end up with a garage full of worthless rocks.

Here are some tips when it comes to investing in rocks and gemstones.

Get to know the rock, mineral, or gemstone you are considering purchasing

The key to doing well when investing in just about anything is knowledge.

Get to know the product you are considering investing in. Knowing your product will help you to know the difference between low and high quality material and will help you buy at the proper prices.

As you become skill at recognizing high quality rocks, gems and minerals you will be able to recognize products with great potential as they become available to the public.

Recognizing great material before it becomes popular is an excellent way to help maximize the return on your investment.

Buy the highest quality material you can afford

The web and local rock shops are full of rocks that are "rare" but are of such poor quality that nobody is interested in them. Don't get stuck with a bunch of junk you'll never be able to use or sell.

Understand the potential long term availability of the rock or mineral

Remember that one of the keys to investing in any commodity is the law of supply and demand. Look for fabulous looking rocks and minerals that are fantastic looking and have the highest possible potential for developing a high demand.

Look for rocks and minerals that have a very limited supply. Many rocks and minerals come from very small deposits and can be available for purchase for a few short years or even months.

Getting Even Higher Returns On Your Investment

Breaking down and selling part of your larger parcel by the individual piece can often pay for itself. A smart investor can completely cover their original purchase price by keeping half and selling half in smaller individual amounts.

Your profits can further be increased by cutting individual rocks into slabs. Slab saws are available in various sizes. Smaller slab saws can be found for under $500 while large saws can be well over $10,000.

This is where your knowledge of good material can really pay off. Cutting a rock into smaller quarter of an inch thick slabs can increase your potential profit by over ten fold, however, if you invested poorly and ended up with poor quality slabs, you could end up with a huge rock pile that you can't do anything with.

  • Consider investing in newly discovered rocks and minerals. Once you have a good understanding of what sells well and what does not, you may wish to consider investing in newly discovered rocks and minerals. These newly discovered deposits have the potential to give you the highest returns. Often newly discovered rocks and minerals are offered at relatively low prices until the demand for the material increases. This is often the time that the best quality material is offered for sale in large quantities.

  • Buying in larger quantities can help maximize your return. While the product is still readily available it can often be purchased in larger quantities for relatively low prices. Buying in larger quantities can help you not only save money on the product itself but also on your shipping costs. Larger parcels are often sold offering shipping using USPS Flat Rate Priority MailĀ® which is an extremely good value for heavy rocks and minerals.

Breaking it Down Even Further

Slabs can be broken down even further by cutting them into cabochons for use in jewelry. This can substantially increase the value of your investment if you can cut well and made wise choices in the material you invested in. Remember that when cutting slabs down to cabochons, there is a huge amount of material that is wasted however the returns on your investment can be remarkable. Machines for cutting cabochons require a substantial investment, usually well over $1,000.

Taking Advantage of Where You Live

Buying your rocks and minerals locally can have several advantages. No matter where you live, it's likely that there is some type of rock or mineral that is readily available in your area. Often these rocks and minerals can be collected yourself or purchased at very reasonable prices at your local rock and mineral store. Great rock and mineral specimens may even be found at your local landscaping company.

Get to know your local laws before collecting rocks & minerals. Recently many areas have been closed to collecting due to the large number of national parks that have been established in recent years.

Your local rock and mineral shops can be a great resource for obtaining great rocks at very reasonable prices. Prices on rocks and minerals can increase dramatically in a very short time and often the local rock shops are slow to adjust the prices to match the current value.

Local gem & mineral shows are also a great opportunity to find some fantastic investment material. Another advantage is that it gives you a good opportunity to see the differences in quality in person.

Readily available Rocks and Minerals

Here is a list of some rocks and minerals that look great and are still relatively inexpensive:

  • Pope Creek Brecciated Jasper
  • Rhodonite
  • Gela Monster Jasper
  • Volcano Agate
  • Owyhee Picture Jasper
  • Peruvian Chrysocolla
  • Mariposite
  • Mexican Crazy Lace Agate
  • Cady Mountain Jasper
  • Rocky Butte Jasper
  • Succor Creek Picture Jasper
  • Biggs Picture Jasper
  • Deschutes Picture Jasper
  • Peruvian Pink Opal
  • Indonesian Fossil Coral
  • Noreena Jasper
  • Rainbow Obsidian

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