Donate now to keep alive!Help|Log In|Register|
Home PageMindat NewsThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusManagement TeamContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatSponsor a PageSponsored PagesTop Available PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
What is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthMineral PhotographyThe Elements and their MineralsGeological TimeMineral Evolution
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsMember ListBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

Mexican Fluorapatites

Posted by Phil Persson  
Phil Persson April 17, 2009 07:34PM
So not too long ago I acquired a lot of Mexican Fluorapatite xls., or whatever the new IMA silliness has deemed them ,from the classic locality of Cerro Mercado in Durango State. They range from around 1.5 cm .in size to over 8 x 3 cm .for some of the larger ones. Very few are perfect and most have some minor chipping/scuffing as these all seem to have, but they are quite gemmy for the most part and most of the smaller ones are cutting quality. Really have no idea what these might be worth, i've been thinking five or ten bucks a piece but some friends have told me apparently these aren't as common as they used to be as the mine is no longer producing them. Some of the bigger ones are pretty nice, ie terminated and with large gemmy areas.... there are around 150 crystals total I think. Any guess as to how fairly sell these is appreciated.
Best regards,
Phil Persson.
Phil Persson April 17, 2009 07:47PM
On the same not of large lots of similar specimens, I also have quite a few of these floater Pyrite crystals from the old Talc Mines near Chester, Vermont, there are about a hundred of them and they range in size from 1 cm to 3 cm on edge, most are around 2 x 2 cm. They are pretty undamaged for the most part, and some have interested dodecahedral type truncated corners. Like the Fluorapatites, I was guessing these to be worth from a dollar or 2 up to ten bucks a crystal, but am not sure. They are old and were probably mined in the early 20th century. I've since taken them and mounted groups of them onto specimen stands with mineral putty to save some space in storing them.
Thanks and best regards,
Adam Kelly April 17, 2009 11:04PM
Most parcels like that yield the best profit if they are slowly trickeled out to collectors via gem shows or ebay.
You could possibly sell the whole lot for a profit, but with a much smaller markup.
Very cool pyrites, do you ever do trades?

Rock Currier April 18, 2009 12:51AM
For $2 to $10 each, the apatites should sell briskly. The pyrites you may be lucky to get two or three dollars each. They are broken and not very bright. These are from a classical locality where collectors for years could collect as many as they wanted, but it is hard to compete with the cubic pyrite crystals from Spain which can usually be bought by the KG and are much more perfect and shiny and larger.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Albert Mura April 18, 2009 01:27AM
The pyrites you show have octahedron faces on the corners not dodecaheron faces. The one thing they do have going for them is the fact that the Calton Talc Mine has been closed for many years and was a classic location for pyrite. Rock is correct with his analysis, they do have a lot of competition. I would put a couple up on ebay and see if true pyrite collectors bite.
Alfredo Petrov April 18, 2009 02:03AM
Phil, I'm assuming they came to you all lumped in a box, not individually wrapped. That means most of them will have minor damage on the edges, which makes a big difference to the price. If I were you, I'd carefully classify them and separate out all the best undamaged ones. For the larger ones of those you might get much more than $10 each; try asking $25 or $30. For the majority, with abraded edges, you'll get much less. From those you should separate out the ones that are really clean and gemmy inside, and sell them by the gram as cutting rough. The rest... get rid of them cheap.
Rob Woodside April 18, 2009 03:40AM
Hmm... two styles of dealing. Blow them all out quickly from a wholesaler. High end the good ones and blow out the remainders from a retailer. Both are right. One significant difference between a collector and a dealer is that a dealer must generate a cash flow, whereas a collector could hold out for a decade or two gambling that the value could go up substantially. To generate cash flow prices must be fair, i.e. low to move material. As a collector not bothered by cash flow, you can afford to put higher prices and suffer the decrease in sales. If prices were to continue up as they did untill recently, sooner or later someone will pay a high price and think it cheap. However times are uncertain right now and you might have to wait a long while.
Phil Persson April 20, 2009 05:49PM
Great commentary and suggestions guys, thank you!

While on a similar train of though, I am considering selling my current collection and am a little unsure how to approach the proccess... basically the break-down is that of many collections assembled over time in that 80% of the value is in 20% of the specimens... probably amounts to a hundred or so high-quality specimens, mostly is cabinet size from old classic locales, with labels/pedigree information/current value estimates from me, the rest consists of bulk fluorescent minerals from Franklin/Sterling Hill NJ moslty, as well as field collected specimens from all over, most having more "scientific" than specimen value. There are also assorted fossils, representative petrology samples, ect.... that would probably be best off donated at a college geology department or thrown back on the dumps they came from... you get the idea.

I would like to sell the entire collection as a lot, but know that is is going to be difficult to find a buyer who wants the good, bad ,and ugly, especially when the ugly constitutes the bulk of the collection. The top 10% of the specimens are very good and I know I would have no problem selling, its just disposing of the rest short of losing money or renting a Uhaul truck to take them back to the Sterling Hill Mining Museum dump that is the problem. Hypothetically, lets say the collection as a whole is worth $40,000. The top hundred or so specimens constitutes 25-30K or that value. The fluorescents as a whole along with the rarities are maybe another 7-10K, leaving a few thousand dollars worth of bulk lower grade material that while still interesting, is mostly just valuable becuase of the sheer bulk of it. Think hundreds of lbs. of willemite/calcite from Franklin and Norbergite/Diopside in Marble from Limecrest worth a buck or 2 a pound.

Basically I'm looking for the best options to try and liquidate everything in one shot, but also get a decent price relative to my input in time/$$ over the years, and appreciation ect... Perhaps the best way to go would be to sell the high-end stuff to a higher end dealer; I can think of several offhand in the NY metro area who deal in those type of specimens who would be easy to work with, then sell the Franklin/Sterling Hill collection locally as a lot.... then donate the dregs somewhere as a modest tax write-off. This seems like a bit of work but i'm guessing could be productive. Any suggestions appreciated.
Best Regards,
Rock Currier April 20, 2009 10:27PM
Phil, This is not a site to advertise your collection for sale, but this forum is here to ask for advice about how to get the most money for your collection and to request an evaluation of various individual specimens or small lots of specimens.

To get the most money for your collection you will have to do precisely what mineral dealers do. What ever you do, you will probably not be able to come up with any new or novel idea about how to sell them. The question is, how much effort and work are you willing to do to sell your collection. You can take pictures of each one or each small lot and put them up on ebay. That would probably yield the the greatest return, at least for the lower quality stuff, but you would have to take a picture of each one, and then after they sold you would have to send each one off. Or you could try and get a booth in a well known gem and mineral show, put labels on each of them, a price and offer them for sale at the show. Your idea of offering the better specimens as a lot to one of the high end dealers is also a good idea. That would be pretty easy and probably offer the best shot you could get without doing a lot of work. Again it boils down on how much work you want to do to sell the stuff.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Tim Jokela Jr April 29, 2009 09:14PM
1) The apatites - get them out of that tray and into individual boxes before they get any more abraded. Then do a fast sort for size, damage, and gem value. The largest, if in great shape, might bring $20, you don't see that many nice big clear ones anymore. It all depends on what you paid for them and how long you want to take to sell them. Box 'em up and sell or trade them by the flat, or move a dozen or two if you're lucky at a show.

2) The collection - Do you want cash, the warm glow of helping your club/university, or local beginner collectors, or a nice fat tax rebate? Painful truth is you'll only get back maybe half what you paid. Think hard about the tax thing, and where you could donate it... some universities/museums will appreciate good things more than others. I've seen some pretty poor collections get big appraisals for tax purposes... great for the heirs. It's pretty simple, call some dealers and get appraisals. Discuss the possibilities with them, and your accountant.
Sorry, you do not have permission to post/reply in this forum.

Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2018, except where stated. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: January 21, 2018 10:27:37
Go to top of page