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Where to Meet Other Gemstone and Mineral Collectors?
How to find other collectors?
Collecting gemstones and minerals can be considered a rather unique hobby. It's probably not as common as collecting stamps or other things so it can be hard to think of someone else who is also collecting minerals and gemstones. What are the best places to find and meet other gemstone collectors?
The availability of the internet has made it really easy to connect with other collectors. The internet can also be used to find stores and events nearby about rock, gem, and mineral collecting. You can also join a local geological club where fellow collectors and like-minded people regularly gather.
Once you've been to several of these places, you'll find that there are actually plenty of people who are interested in minerals!
The places that I'll mention focus primarily on unpolished and raw minerals though you can also find jewellery if that's what you prefer.
Good places to find other gemstone collectors
Here are some great places to find other collectors:
- Local geological clubs: Geologists have a natural interest in what's happening underneath the Earth's surface and that includes these crystals and other natural creations. These clubs can organize regular meetings or they can attend an event, see below, together as a group. Depending on how big the club is and the interest within the club they can also organize journeys to a mine where you can dig for minerals yourself!
If you become a member of such a club then you can subscribe to their mailing list or regular mailings to stay informed about the club but also about what's going on elsewhere.
- Mineral events and fairs: This is a prime spot to meet distributors of minerals and gems and many small and large organizations also have a stand there, including the aforementioned geological clubs. They'll advertise themselves and the events that they organize. These mineral events are regularly held all around the world and you'll find both polished and unpolished items here, including jewellery that may be hard to find elsewhere.
In the United States there are many of these events but the most well-known is the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show that is held annually. The internet is a good way to find events in your country or nearby countries.
- Museums: Some museums have permanent exhibitions with minerals and gems, such as the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. These museums usually also provide additional information about this hobby and about national or international events. This can be a great starting point for getting in touch with other mineral collectors.
Minerals are a must as permanent exhibition in any geological museum. There are also a few museums that focus on solely or primarily on minerals, such as the California State Mining and Mineral Museum and the Mineralogical Museum, University of Delaware. Gems can also be found in museums of natural history, such as the museum I mentioned earlier but also the museum of natural history in Vienna, Austria and in London.
I'm just giving some examples but there are really many museums that have a collection of minerals. You probably won't need to travel far if you want to see it yourself. If you happen to be on a holiday somewhere else in the world you can also lookup if there's a museum nearby!
Some museums also have a collection of fluorescent minerals which you should certainly have a look at!
- Find other collectors online: The internet can be helpful in getting answers, such as identifying a particular mineral or what tools you'll need to dig for minerals yourself. A simple search for 'mineral forums' is all you need to be on your way to online forums where you can discuss these matters. You can also read the latest mineral news online.
Where can I learn more about this hobby?
I have written several other articles about this hobby which tell you more about what you'll need and what to do:
- What Is Mineral and Gemstone Collecting? Start a Gem Collection Today!
Collecting minerals and gemstones? What is that? This article tells you how to get started with collecting gemstones and minerals and what you'll need. You'll have a mineral collection in no time!
- What Are Fluorescent Minerals?
What are fluorescent minerals? Some minerals don't look very special under normal light but under ultraviolet light their fluorescent effect is visible.