John Betts - Fine Minerals, dealer of fine minerals and specimens for mineral collectors.

       Mail-Internet sales only -  No showroom open to public.            

Go To New Mineral Listings Added October 6

New Minerals are Added Every Tuesday at noon.

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Mineral of the Week

Mineral of the Week
#66012, Cassiterite, Centro Minero Viloco, 5.5 km NE of Araca, Bolivia $1950 (25 cm wide! 10 inches across!)

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Arsenates, Vanadates

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Quick Reference for Mineral Species, Formula, Class, and Type Locality

List of Water Soluble Mineral Species

Mineral List Available Upon Request


News and Comments

Yesterday somebody offered me a "rare mineral" of a species that is not rare. I responded that I had many specimens of that mineral from three different localities. He responded that, "it may not be rare to you, but it is rare."

Rarity does not depend on interpretation or on an individual. Rarity is absolute.

A sand-grain-sized crystal of Gainesite is rare (I only know of 6, and one was lost when the owner dropped it on his carpet). The mineral this man was offering to me was not rare, and is commonly available in crystals over 25 mm (1 inch).

This reminds me of Joe Vajdak who always listed on his labels Rare, Very Rare, Extremely Rare, etc. I was told by a linguist that the definition of rare is absolute -- there are no degrees of rarity. An object is either rare or it is not rare. (But the acceptance of the words "rarer" and "rarest," implying degrees or rarity, would refute the linguist's position.)

I have seen some web sites that will state, "..this mineral is a rare zeolite composed of..." yet the mineral is widely available in many sizes from several localities. It may be the mineral species that occurs the least of all or the zeolites. But it is not rare. Barrerite is a good example of this. Compared to it's analog Stilbite, there are fewer specimens available, but it is not rare and I have sold hundreds.

The lesson is: if you are going to pay a premium for rarity, then do your homework and verify it is actually rare.

John H. Betts, 10/6/2015

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Customer Comments:

"Thank you for my August purchases. I traded and purchased minerals back in the 70's and very early 80's when local shows were my only option. Purchasing online has been a new and not always wholly satisfying experience. Overall, however, in the last few years since rediscovering my old minerals and using the internet to acquire new ones, I have learned to be careful, reigned in the tendency to make the chase more important than what ends up in my hands, and managed to acquire some nice new additions. One of the lessons I've taken in the differences between acquiring minerals via the internet as opposed to local shows, though, has been not knowing if they will be as exciting or interesting or even simply the same as they were on the page in front of me when I purchase them. The minerals I received from you were all just as pictured, just as described (critical, given pictures do not tell a complete story), and each one was absolutely lovely. I've been thrilled with them. Thank you very much." D. Nickerson

"This piece of Gypsum is really eye catching. Never thought something so ordinary could look so good. Am glad it was available & that I bought it. You know, when you retire, I will probably stop buying minerals. I don't know if I could trust another dealer as I have you over the years. And life goes on. I do wish you & your wife & friends many happy moments of peace & quiet wherever you go. It is my pleasure to be one of your customers." Carol C.

"I have been looking at your website for quite a bit (years) and wanted to let you know, that I appreciate the work you have put into this as well as your business. Your website is beyond most on the internet and a wealth of information. I can see your dedication, passion and hard work that you have put into this field. I can’t tell you the amount of hours that I have spent in the past 10 years researching and reading articles with a good focus of material I found on your website, while comparing rocks and minerals that I have found/acquired." Kelli C.

"You offer the BEST selection of materials, bar none. Always like to purchase items from you. Best health" Richard

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About the Owner

Background Information

Why I Collect Minerals

Contact Information

Mineral Show Schedule



See me next at:
Autumn New York Gem & Mineral Show, November 14-15

Pledge to My Customers:

Customer satisfaction is my primary goal. I pledge:

  1. New minerals will be added to this site every week.
  2. All minerals offered will be naturally crystallized specimens - no fakes, no dyes,  no irradiation, no crystals glued on matrix.
  3. Only the exact item pictured on the site will be shipped - no substitutes.
  4. Photographs will accurately represent each item - no exaggeration, enhancement or retouching flaws.
  5. Mineral species and localities will be accurately listed on labels with each specimen.
  6. All items will be shipped via US Postal Service, usually the next business day after the order is finalized.
  7. Each mineral will be individually wrapped and carefully packaged to prevent damage during shipping.
  8. All historic labeling, if available, will be included with each mineral.
  9. Returns are gladly accepted. No questions asked, no explanation necessary.
  10. All customer information will be kept confidential and never shared or sold.
  11. I will continue to freely share my knowledge with others and contribute to the study and appreciation of minerals.
  12. All mineral specimens have a lifetime guarantee: if the mineral specimen is ever tested, and I incorrectly identified the mineral species, I will refund the cost of the original purchase & shipping, the cost return shipping and the cost of the test.

 John H. Betts, owner
Mineral dealer since 1989

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564,233 mineral specimens sold, shipped in 19,422 packages to 41 countries.

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John Betts - Fine Minerals, New York, NY
a division of, dealer of Fine Minerals and Natural Crystal Clusters since 1989.

Internet sales only - No showroom

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