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Rough or mounted??

Posted by Don Saathoff  
Don Saathoff June 27, 2009 10:03PM
I've got a question for all of you fellow micromounters - when you acquire specimens, whether it be by trade or purchase, would you prefer the species in the rough as found or already trimmed and mounted??

I ask because I've got a huge backlog of self-collected material, all rough, untrimmed that needs to be in other loving homes - if I trim & mount then I would prefer to sell somehow but if the rough is acceptable then donation to that loving home or trade into that loving home would work....


Don S.
Rock Currier June 27, 2009 10:32PM
Most serious micromounters would rather break down their own material because they have preferred way to mount and label their specimens. They will take mounted material in a pinch and often remount it with their own boxes and labels. I think you would be better off selling your micro rough if you can, but I think you might find it more profitable to give it away or donating it to a nonprofit organization if you can find one that would be willing to accept such stuff and take a tax write off.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Adam Kelly June 27, 2009 10:42PM
I've been nonprofit for a long time! LOL
Do you have any unusual locals for amethyst, kyanite, or rhodochrosite?
I would love to trade.
Antonio Borrelli June 27, 2009 10:53PM
I sometimes trade my extra rough material for other rough from localities I hadn't had the chance to visit myself.

Don Saathoff June 28, 2009 12:14AM, no, and no.....sorry

Antonio....I guess what I'll do is make a list & post in the trade forum.....

Rock.....I'd love to sell it, but venue is a problem....I doubt that ebay browsers would be interested in galenobismutite blebs in skarn!!

Thanks for feedback!!

Don S.
Malcolm Southwood June 28, 2009 12:59AM

My preference would be somewhere in-between. Large pieces of rough straight from the field would be less appealing than, say, material that has been broken up to some degree.

When I was living in the UK, members of the British Micromount Society traded what we called "indoor field trips", which were plastic bags about one litre in volume, containing broken up rough from a single locality that had to some extent been high-graded. (i.e. promising pieces with vugs were included, but obviously barren vein quartz (for example) was rejected). These bags were traded or sold for a couple of dollars a piece and allowed the buyer to select his own material, trim it further as required, and then mount it.

The downside is that it takes a lot of work to get from field rough to a bag of semi-trimmed and high-graded material. The upside is that the result is readily tradeable. I also think that material in this form is a fantastic opportunity for elderly or less mobile collectors who might struggle with the actual field collecting stage of the process.

Douglas Merson June 28, 2009 03:36AM

You should have been at the Northern California Mineralogical Association meeting this weekend. They have a wonderful give away table which would be just what you need. You could get your material to good homes and come back with new material from the numerous field collectors that bring their extra material for the tables.

I prefer rough material to trim as I see fit.

Steve Sorrell June 28, 2009 12:32PM
Rough. There is a lot to be said about the excitement of being the first to ever see a vugh or vein opened up. Nature can be wonderful.


PS: I don't 'mount' anyway, other than on bluetac.
Donald Peck June 28, 2009 03:11PM
Don, Generally, I prefer rough that is somewhat broken down (ie pieces that are about 2 inches or smaller). However, I also like mounted pieces, particularly if the name of the person who mounted them is on the label.
Don Saathoff June 29, 2009 12:23AM
Malcolm, I've done the "grab bag" thing before but in paper bags.....I like the plastic bag idea...I would guarantee X, Y, and Z and then list other possibles.

Thanks all for your input!!

Don S.
Tom Trebisky July 01, 2009 06:20AM
Rough for sure. I think you will be surprised at how many people are interested in trading
for the things you have.

I certainly don't mind getting a small choice piece all ready to be mounted and placed in a box.
Sometimes that almost feels like cheating -- but I don't let it get to me too much.

On the other hand, most of what comes my way are pieces thumbnail to miniature size with
excellent micromount potential -- if I can just manage to trim it right. If I have a lot of material,
then I think it makes sense to send a couple of pieces to "cover peoples bets" when they get
to trimming.
Don Saathoff July 01, 2009 04:25PM
Tom, in 'mail trades' I try to send rough trimmed close to the species....if that's not possible then I send several pieces of rough for the trade partner to work with. For my own micros, if a matrix looks completely unpredictable (as many do!!) I'm not against using the diamond trim saw!!!
The species is more important than the esthetics.

Don S.
Tom Trebisky July 02, 2009 01:00AM
I ran a piece through the saw just this morning! I do my absolute very best to make sure the saw cut is invisible once mounted, and usually I succeed! Often I cut a "slab" off of one side of a piece so the front side has the crystals, it is
about 3/16 of an inch thick (depending on sturdiness of matrix), with the cut parallel to the "nice face". Then it is farily easy to break that where I want to get a mount that fits in the boxes I use. I try not to end up with something cut into a perfect square that fits into the box. I made one like that and was not eager to do it again. However it did preserve some delicate crystals and the mount is nicely photographed once you "zoom in" to exclude the perfect square outline!

But really preservation is what making permanent mounts is all about if you get right down to it.

(I am thinking of something a museum curator dealing with things like indian pots once said to me, basically that these things are all temporary, and only on loan to us for some time period. I wonder what our plastic boxes will look like in a
hundred years, never mind the labels .... but I am wandering far off topic).
Eddy Vervloet July 02, 2009 08:38PM
Rough here too. Just like Steve, I do not really 'mount', but tack it in a box.

Greetings from France,

Robert A Santee September 16, 2009 02:15AM
Hi Don i would be interested in giving your untrimmed minerals a home i am a collector from New Jersey i just started to do micro mounting it is really great so let me no thanks Bob.
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