It is if it's your wife who is doing the collecting....
However if as you ask as a hobby no not really, there are of course both precious and semi precious stones to collect and of course quality of the stones plays an important part.
Depends also on how you intend to collect them, there are professional dealers who have to make a profit on their sales so these will obviously cost more.
Why not look for a collectors club in your area, or join one of the many online.
Read plenty of books on the subjec and learn how to use a good quality magnifying glass or jewellers eye glass. And know what you are looking at and looking for.
Yes, the reason is it might take your life too. Traditionally,we know it's wealth so if you get involved then, "the rich guy is here"
Anyway, it's a get rich quick assumption and it comes to taking your life!
I have lost three of my friends in this.
The answer is no. You can buy semi precious gems at little cost in bulk on some of the gem shoppers websites as well as gem tv. Buying in bulk is cost saving and some good deals are to be made. I have seen 100 stones bought for as little as $79 dollars.
Collecting gemstones may be an expensive hobby. It all depends on where you are buying the stones and will the stones be in a jewelry typesetting of gold or silver.
If you are collecting semi precious stones like amethyst, rose quartz or topaz and displaying them on a mantle then you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of them.
If you save them in a wooden box then you will be hiding your hobby and your stones won't be emitting their glamour when sunshine illuminates their surface.
This sounds like a very cool past time! Displaying your stones in a glass menagerie will be sight for soar eyes!
You can make it as expensive or inexpensive as you wish.There are rock and gem shows where you can buy gemstones.As said you can buy on home shopping sites like jtv also.Then you could always go collect you own.In the Northeast we have the Herkimer Diamond mines,old mica mines with beryl,rose&smokey quartz.
It is all dependent on what you want your collection to be.
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