Category Archives: Beginners

Investing In Gemstones – What You Need to Know

Photo of a diamond shaped gem

Gemstones have always been a valuable commodity and there is no reason why they won’t continue to be so in the future. If you’ve got your hands on the right stones, similar to gold, their price will rise even when the economy is falling in shambles. If you’re planning to invest your money in something valuable, gemstones might be a good place to be, because there will always be people who’re willing to purchase them! 

One common misconception is that only people who have a lot of money can purchase them and take advantage of the excellent returns they’re known to be associated with. However, the truth is that you don’t have to have deep pockets to step into the world of gemstones. Anybody can invest in minerals, provided that they have enough knowledge, time and patience. Gems might not change your financial portfolio overnight, but your patience may pay off.

While investing in gems is definitely worth it, the greater benefit comes to those who follow a set of guidelines. This blog talks about some of the important things that you need to know.

How To Get Started Collecting Gemstones

Before you can start investing, you need to have clarity about the extent you want to be involved in. Depending on that, there are two ways you can do this.

Hands-On Approach

In the hands-on approach, you’ll be involved in the process yourself. You do everything yourself. You’re the investor who buys the gemstones and holds the asset, and it is you who sells them later and earns a profit. The good thing about being involved yourself is that you have maximum control over the amount of profit that you make and the gems that you deal in. However, the downside is having the hard asset in your ownership puts extra work and costs on your shoulders, including the cost of insurance. 

Hands-Off Approach

You always have an option to invest in gemstones through a proxy. You can invest in stocks of a mining company and enjoy a share in the profit. In this type of approach, you don’t have to have the gemstone in your possession. It is the best option for people who do not have the time to buy, sell and look after the hard assets themselves. With the hands-off approach, you can even diversify your investment portfolio and invest in multiple gems in stocks and stock funds.

Top Rules for Making Most Out of Your Gemstone Investment

Like we mentioned above, following certain guidelines can increase your chances of making great profits. Like any other investment, you can’t expect returns if you don’t do the right things. Let’s have a look at the top rules that you must follow if you’re stepping in the world of gemstones.

Buy Right

The first and the most important rule when it comes to investing in gemstones is to buy them correctly. You don’t necessarily have to purchase the expensive, high-end minerals for maximum profits. You can earn significant profits from cheaper gemstones. The key is to buy the right ones. The cost basis of the gemstone you’re investing in should allow a built-in profit on the day you acquire it. You must secure a margin of safety. The largest factor that determines how good a profit you’ll generate is paying the right price. You should have ample knowledge of the minerals that you’re buying. You should have the basic knowledge of how to deal with them. The key here is simple – to buy the right gemstones, so make sure you do the necessary research. 

Avoid Bad Buys at All Costs

You won’t be lucky all the time. The chances that you’ll end up with a bad buy are always there. Although the rule is to avoid bad buys at all costs, what is it that you should do in case you do end up buying the wrong gemstones?

If you end up buying the wrong gemstones, you shouldn’t hold on to it in hopes that it will give you a good return any time in the future. A bad buy today will be a bad buy, even after years. As a rule, the value of gems increases with the rate of inflation. Hence, a bad buy today might never turn into a good asset. Therefore, your priority should be to sell it off as soon as possible. Finding a buyer is always more difficult. However, if you hang in there, you might be able to sell it off at an inflated rate.

At times, a gemstone that is high in demand today may suffer a major hit in the future. A great buy may turn into a bad asset later. For example, back in the day, blue topaz was a highly rare and demanded gemstone. However, in the 1960s, a technique was introduced that could convert originally white topaz into blue ones. As a result, blue topazes became readily available, and there was a massive drop in its value. Therefore, when you’re investing in gemstones, you need to have enough knowledge that you can predict the future to some extent.

Find Your Own Buyers

Unless you own a gem-related business, you aren’t likely to get a retail price for your gemstones. You need to look for your own buyers, like jewelry dealers and auctioneers who’re most likely to pay a full wholesale price for the gemstones. How skilled you’re at selling makes a significant difference here. If you’re weak at selling, we suggest you not to invest in gemstones. Selling gemstones doesn’t come easy!

Consider Markup Before Investing

You might believe that higher-priced gemstones will give you greater returns, but you’ll be surprised to know that lower-priced gems have a higher markup as compared to the expensive ones. The markup is usually five times or more in the case of lower-priced gems. As with more expensive ones, the markup is usually three times the wholesale rate. Therefore, another important rule to keep in mind is to consider the markup before investing in any mineral. 

Add Value

The price of a gemstone can drastically jump if you incorporate the right measures. Between a rough and cut gemstone, the cut will be more in demand. Similarly, a gemstone in finished jewelry will be more valuable between a loose gemstone and finished jewelry. Consider adding as much value to the deal as you possibly can to make the most out of your investment.

Closing Word

Investing in gemstones, like any investment requires you to do extensive research to make sure you’re choosing in the right ones. The right start will increase the chances of the tables turning in your favor. However, the wrong investment rarely gives any returns. Following the guidelines mentioned above will help you make the most out of your investment. Take your time studying before making an impulsive decision! 

Things to Consider Before Starting to Collect Minerals

Collecting minerals is a very interesting hobby with collectors passionate about saving minerals from all over the world. In fact, they have taken mineral collecting to a whole new level. But, if you are a beginner and new to this fascinating specialty, you should consider a few things before treading on this path. Let’s explore them below.

Know Your Interest

If you are also a passionate mineral hunter, then you must first know about your interest in detail. Out of the many types of minerals, you may feel like collecting the multi-colored tourmaline and the beautiful red rhodochrosite. On the other hand, your friend may like to get the one they have seen plentiful in their childhood, that is the beautiful little quartz.

Whatever your motivation is, it is always good to know of your interest in detail before starting mineral collection. Interest will be the ultimate element which will make you focus and thus, you must know what types of minerals interest you.

Make a Budget

When you get to know of your interest, you will get an idea and realize how much budget you will require to pursue it. If you are fond of collecting rhodium (one of the most expensive minerals in the world), then need to know that you must have a handsome budget to purchase it. While the best quality minerals can eat up your budget very quickly, you must ensure that you purchase a few that are less costly.

Buy a Book

A novice mineral collector must buy a book. Veteran mineral collectors suggest buying a book so that they are able to know the ins and outs of each mineral. Furthermore, books help develop your interest even more. Also, with good reference books, new mineral collectors will be able to get all the answers to their queries. Veteran mineral collectors suggest investing in publications like Rocks and Minerals, Rocks and Gems and the book titled Mineralogical Record.

Understand its Uniqueness

While there are many people who love collecting other items, mineral collectors must understand and realize the importance of collecting fine minerals that are natural instead of being man-made. As they are formed naturally, they are more valuable. The value of mineral may vary with beauty, rarity, quality, origin, form, shape and size but they are truly the richest resources among all collectibles.   

Four Tips for Mineral Collectors | A Beginner’s Guide

mineral collectionAre you a mineral collector? If you are, then you have come to the right place. Veteran mineral collectors learn lessons in their quest to collect minerals from around the world. Here are some tips that can help you in collecting minerals:

Tip # 1: Label the Minerals

Labels helps keep your mineral collection organized. If you do not keep your minerals labelled, then how will you ascertain that a rare tourmaline is from Connecticut and the ordinary green tourmaline is from Brazil? Labeling them with information such as their source of origination will keep you informed as we all tend to forget things. Also, if you have a large number of minerals, then it is most likely that you will forget where you bought them from. By giving them identification, a label helps mineral collectors remember and recall everything about it.

Tip # 2: Buy and Use a Book

If you are new to mineral collecting, you may have many questions to ask. With a good reference book on minerals or mineral collection, you will be able to get the answer to all your queries. Veteran mineral collectors suggest that a mineral collector who is new to the fray must invest in a good reference book on minerals to start with. By resolving every kind of technicality to understanding the types of minerals, a single reference book is enough to guide them.

Tip # 3: Join Nearest Mineral Club

Among all the tips, joining a mineral club can be one of the most attractive and advantageous options. Joining a local mineral club will help you go on trips with groups. Also, these clubs share their experiences, allowing you to learn about the ins and outs of minerals too. You must always choose a mineral club that suits your requirements. These clubs will be fun for you because they arrange field trips, give lectures and arrange social events for you to meet other collectors.

Tip # 4: Catalog Your Collection

Several mineral collectors have passed away but they have left behind their collection of minerals to serve as a source of reference and inspiration for others. For example, Joe Cilen died a long time ago but left 23,000 minerals specimens for other mineral lovers and collectors to see. You can also make a catalog out of your mineral collection with proper references and labels. This can be impressive and also encourage you to collect more. So, do not just box your collection; start cataloging them or else, you will just ending up finding the rare tourmaline you bought from Brazil.

The best way to catalog your collection is to use a spreadsheet. Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are two of the most popular sheets to use. You can organize and sort them anyway you desire, so it is definitely worthwhile the time to invest in organizing your minerals this way.

Though much of these tips are common, some beginners may not know about it. If you are also fond of collecting minerals, then you should follow these tips for a better mineral collecting experience.


Rose Quartz Healing Gemstone
Rose Quartz Healing Gemstone

Minerals and Their Effects

Beautiful in design, and intriguing in history, Minerals are nature’s hidden paradise and are buried deep within the womb of the Earth. Beneath 10,000 layers of soil and history, they hide the world’s most priceless treasures.

They are everywhere. The dark, rocky Mexican caverns harbor the glittering secrets of luminous gypsum crystals, while beyond the foothills of Kilimanjaro lays a minefield of rare, color-shifting tanzanites.

Purchasing a gemstone or mineral isn’t simply about buying something rare and expensive. It’s about discovering the hidden jewels of our planet by studying their history and composition, their fascinating origins and evolution. The captivating beauty of a precious stone tells a story of a certain part of the world, a story about land and soil, about pressure and metamorphosis.

Mineral hobbyist Howard Fensterman has been collecting minerals for years, learning about their appealing properties and uses from potential healing powers to fashion statements.

But What Are Minerals Exactly?

Minerals are beautiful works of nature

Minerals are inorganic elements that contain an ordered atomic structure. By contrast, a ‘rock’ is a substance that can contain many atomic elements, as well as some minerals. A type of hybrid when considering the minerals’ pure atomic design.  A diamond, for example, is a mineral.

There are five categories that are proprietary to minerals.
They must:

    • Occur naturally
    • Be inorganic in nature
    • Be of solid material
    • Consist of an orderly atomic structure
    • Have a definite chemical composition 

Probably the most known of the mineral family are silicateswhich contain oxygen and silicon.

Below we have an interesting introduction to minerals from the 2010 Tuscon Gem and Mineral Show

A Website for Education

Howard has decided to share his collection with the world, along with information about each of the elements and their geological history.  Not all minerals shown here are part of his collection, but to make this website complete, he has provided information on all kinds of additional geological materials so as to make this site as intriguing as possible.

We have provided educational material on rocks and geology. Good for any student studying earth science as well as anyone interested in Earth’s topography.

Are We Just Talking Minerals?

Kilauea Volcano with smoke plume rising
Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii. Photo: SMS ©

We have expanded our discussions about minerals to other geological developments, such as the natural creations that formed our planet and the results that have materialized, e.g. earthquakes and volcanoes.

Then we moved on to the unnatural. Those that are manmade, such as bridges and buildings. The basics behind the engineering and architecture of these structures. After all, how were these structures built if not for the basic materials from Earth?

Finally, we provide some interesting and fascinating discussions into the phenomena that are beyond our planet. Life doesn’t stop on Earth or does it?

Photo of Andromoda Galaxy
Photo iStock

We have provided informative articles that everyone can enjoy reading and subsequently learn from. So just pick a topic in the menu and begin your learning venture about Earth, our infrastructure and beyond!