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Rhodochrosite Sweet Home Mine

Posted by Steffen Neukamm  
Steffen Neukamm November 29, 2008 08:34AM
Dear collectors

Would you do me a favour and estimate the value of this piece. It is from the Sweet Home Mine in CO.
Sorry that the size is in cm (!!!!!) and not inches.
It is about 3 inches wide.
Steve Hardinger November 29, 2008 02:50PM
I've sold similar pieces for $250-$300, but the value is critically dependent on quality and color of the rhodochrosite crystals, which cannot be fully determined from a photo. For example are the rhodochrosite crystal faces natural or are these cleavage faces? Are the corners and edges of the crystals pristine, or are small chips present?

Adam Kelly November 30, 2008 12:03AM
I agree with Steve
It looks like the flat crystal in front has a cleaved off termination.
The specimen might be better if it was trimmed off.
I live about 30 miles from Sweet Home, and prices are higher here.
Same reason I never bought a Maine tourmaline while in Maine.
Steffen Neukamm December 06, 2008 08:45PM
No more suggestions?
Chris Stefano December 06, 2008 10:02PM
Specimens like that can be grabbed on ebay for under $200 on occasion
Rock Currier December 07, 2008 12:36AM
I think a retail dealer at a show would ask at least $500 to $750 for a specimen like that, perhaps more.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Barry Miller December 07, 2008 12:49AM
Regarding the suggestion that a portion of the specimen be trimmed off - I wouldn't recommend it. It would be too easy to trim too much and ruin the speciemn. Leave it as it is - probably worth around $400 IMHO.
Alfredo Petrov December 07, 2008 01:28AM
I think those of you suggesting the higher prices might have been mislead by the size of the photo filling your computer screens - Remember the whole piece is only 7cm wide, the largest crystal measures 2cm and that one looks like it might have a cleavage chip missing from the corner? I'd go with Steve's estimate.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2008 01:30AM by Alfredo Petrov.
Bryan Manke December 07, 2008 03:50AM
Personally I agree with Steve's estimate, but Rock is right on from what I recall seeing retail.
Steve Hardinger December 07, 2008 05:26AM
Rock's retail price estimates are consistent with what I see at many local shows. However, I think they overestimate the value of these specimens by 2-3 fold. I suspect that Sweet Home material is overpriced right now, and that its price will drop somewhat as China continues to produce stunning rhodochrosites.

IbrahimJameel December 07, 2008 06:37AM
This specimen was listed a couple times on Ebay for somewhere around $200-300. I dont know if it sold.

I agree with Steve's estimate too. The crystal is not more than 2 cm, and may have a chip. The second (larger) crystal looks to be cleaved in half, not to mention the quartz crystals on the bottom half of the specimen seem to have been sheared off, along with that second crystal. I would value it around or under $200.

As Rock said, retail dealers at a show may ask a higher price for it, but then again that applies to just about anything.

On another note , I would disagree with the statement that the production of Chinese rhodos will cause the prices of Sweet home material to drop. Unless dealing in ore, a mineral from one locality is not equal to the same mineral from another locality. They are separate "commodities" so to speak, and the prices are unrelated--particularly where "classic" material is concerned.

Did the Urumqi wulfenites cause any change in the prices of those from Red Cloud, or Tsumeb? Or better yet--has all the Chinese pyromorphite had much of an impact on the prices of stuff from Les Farges or Bad Ems? It hasn't.
Craig Mercer December 07, 2008 07:04AM
I seriously think that the majority of the posts are all over estimates apart from Chris Stefano's. I have recently seen specimens much stronger in colour and in perfect condition selling at shows for under $200au, in some cases well under. I personally think as soon as we see ( Sweet Home Mine ) the dollar signs begin to flash a little brighter.

Christian Auer December 07, 2008 07:41AM
This specimen is heavily damaged. I wouldn`t buy it at all.
Dominik Schläfli December 07, 2008 08:08AM
A smaller, chipped crystal wants to sell for $200:

If you have the right channel, you can try to sell stuff that should have rightly ended on the dump:*1*2&cm_pos=2&bca=XTG987&ptid=7362&R=2932789#photos

A smaller out of focus matrix piece alledgedly sold for $250:

Irrational customers seem to be available, if you're not in a hurry you should first attempt to sell it in the price range given by Rock.
Andrew Tuma December 07, 2008 08:54AM
From all to previous post we can come to one conclusion - the value (price) of a specimen is dependent only on one thing and on nothing else - what someone is willing to pay for it.

The cost of a mineral can vary due to may things - location, supply, availability, is the mineral in fashion (yes this happens) etc. I live in Tasmania - would I pay the same for a specimen of Crocoite as someone in Europe or the US...NO but I have paid substantially more for a specimen from Mexico than would a local resident.

Yes I agree with Christian that I would not buy it due to the damage but I would have a number of years ago, why ....I have become more discerning on the specimens I add to my collection.

Remember a specimen has no value if no-one wants to pay money for it - then it solely becomes an item to provide pleasure for its visual impact, then it has a very different value (so is it now priceless????)

Andrew Tuma
Gail Spann December 07, 2008 12:54PM
I think a lot of people wish to have one in their collection, and the Chinese rhodos still pale in comparison to a really good SHM rhodo, in my opinion....and I have seen a few hundred of the Chinese ones for what that is worth. I would not buy the above shown rhodo myself, but I have purchased, on the net, some similar sized albeit richer colour and more pristine cyrstals, for about $ 125.00. I recently added two for about that price range, but as I said they were in better shape and the colour was richer, different pocket I suspect.
You never said what pocket that came from, that actually helps determine the price too.

Gail Patricia Copus Spann
Steve Hardinger December 07, 2008 04:58PM
One of my Chinese dealer friends who is well-respected by the mineral collecting community has some quite exquisite Chinese rhodochrosites, which rival equivalent Sweet Home pieces. A case full of these rhodos next to deep green pyromorphites always draws a crowd at shows.

The Urumqi rhodochrosites have had no significant impact on the wulfenite market, because most are heavily damaged.
Steffen Neukamm December 07, 2008 05:57PM
Thanks for all the input.

Of course this is not THE super master piece but I would not say that it is heavily damaged. I think it is still a very nice piece for the Location compared to most of the stuff that is sold on ebay.

I think the price I paid for it was not to high but also not really really cheap. ;o)

@ Gail Spann: Where did you buy on the net? Ebay?
Gail Spann December 07, 2008 07:05PM
I never buy on Ebay, for no other reason than I think it would dangerous for me to go there and learn how to do so.

It was on a dealers website and I made an offer for two and got a break in the price.

Gail Patricia Copus Spann
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