Types of Mineral Collections

In this post, we wanted to give continuity to our last post about mineral identification, showing some notes about the different types of collections, that a mineral enthusiast who decides to venture into the fantastic world of starting his or her own collection may consider undertaking.

The most common types of collections that we usually find with our collecting friends and the ones that we usually get asked mineral specimens, are the followings:

Systematic Collection: In this kind of collection what the collector mainly considers, is being able to acquire the biggest amount possible of minerals between the 4000 species that exist. Generally, people opt to use a small piece’s format so it’s easier to acquire them because some mineral varieties show up in reduced sizes in nature and also to get cheaper costs, but finally it is the decision of each enthusiast to make the decision that they consider the best regarding size, aesthetics, color, and crystal habit between other characteristics for their collection. At the end of the day, the right criteria are about the enjoyment and how it really feels.

A single species collection, group or family: There exist in nature mineral species with a wide variety array that at the same time have clear differences between themselves via chemical composition, form, colors, sizes and other characteristics. As an example of this, we can have the beryl family or the garnet group and species that seem inexhaustible in variety like fluorite or quartz.

A collector that only focuses on beryl can have an impressive array of possibilities to build his collection, because they can be classified first by color, just to mention some we have the green colored emerald, yellow beryl, blue aquamarine, red bixbite, etc. and then he can play with the origins, forms, sizes and any other characteristic that moves him to increase his collection.

Aesthetic Mineral Collection: It is, without a doubt one of the preferred ones because it allows the collector the arrangement of very showy minerals, of striking colors, avoiding specimens with hits, very well crystallized and of a desirable size. This kind of collection is flexible regarding the number of different specimens to get, allowing to put more effort in those that are more pleasing to the collector.

Collection by place: This kind of collections are marked usually by very significant geographical areas that motivate the collector to deepen in them, a good example is Colombia that gathers 2 attractions, the presence of a mineral so prominent as the Emerald with a wide number of mines to collect from and other minerals with a higher rarity than emeralds themselves like euclase, pink apatite, parisite (Ce). With no doubts, the difficulty and shortage of Colombia’s minerals make it a challenge for the more demanding ones that wish to form a collection marked by exclusivity.

Collection by rarity: Another option for demanding collectors is to form their collections based on rarity and to do that they work on finding minerals with the presence of rare earths, or unique deposits like bixbite, with very limited productions like Colombian euclase or radioactive element compounds like ichnusaite, among others.

Micromount Collections: This kind of collections are centered in very small minerals, to observe some of them with the help of a magnifying glass, one of the motivations for the formation of this kind of collection is centered around the considerable increase in possibilities of finding minerals with excellent crystallization and that it generates additional hobbies like micromount photography.

There exists an infinite amount of possibilities to undertake or conform a kind of mineral collection, we wanted to share some of them but there is no doubt, it’s every collector the one that is in charge to print their personal label in their collection, the really important thing is to fully enjoy your passion for minerals.