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About the Owner
#79869, Bournonite, Yaogangxian
Mine, China (m) $550
I recently visited the home of a mineral collector who had passed away recently.
The collector had assembled a fine collection, often through trading minerals
with dealers, always trading up. The collector left instructions for his
heirs including an estimated value of the collection. Leaving your family
instruction on how to dispose of your collection is a good idea. But estimating
it's value is a bad idea for the following reasons:
Your estimate is your's only and is not the same as other's
estimates. If you ask Rob Lavinsky and me for estimated value you are going
to get two vastly different estimates.
The current value is if each specimen were sold at full retail. There is
no way to realize the full value unless the heirs become mineral dealers
and start selling at shows and through the web - and then they will have
increased costs that will still deprive them of realizing the full value.
The full value becomes a target in the heirs mind that, since it is unobtainable,
will only lead to disappointment.
In this case, the heirs fell into the trap of number 3 above. And they probably
can't get past it in their minds.
Instead of leaving an estimated value, leave your family the total you
have invested in the collection.
In the case above, the collector 's investment was about 20-25% of the full
retail value (remember: he traded for many of his specimens, and he started
collecting many years ago when prices were reasonable). If he had instructed
his heirs to accept 50% of the full retail, the estate would get twice what
was invested in the collection. A fair price given the circumstances.
John Betts, 1/5/2020
Click here to read past news and
"I want to thank you for the natrolite specimen I received yesterday. It
arrived in perfect condition. The care you took to package such a delicate
specimen it was incredible, four layers of protection and stabilized in the
inner box with mineral tack! Having recently moved my collection to a new
house I understand the time it takes to carefully pack specimens. The care
you took was really above and beyond reasonable expectations. Steven H."
"On Tuesday this week we ordered (from the UK) a specimen of Prehnite from
Upper New Street Quarry. This was posted by yourself the same day. It has
got to be the most magnificent Prehnite we have ever seen and we cannot thank
you enough for it. Also your excellent service and very fast delivery. We
have had items sent to us from this country taking several days. Best wishes.
Michele and Stuart"
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no dyes, no irradiation, no crystals glued on matrix.
Only the exact item pictured on the site will be shipped - no substitutes.
Photographs will accurately represent each item - no exaggeration, enhancement
or retouching flaws.
Mineral species and localities will be accurately listed on labels with each
All items will be shipped via US Postal Service, usually the next business
day after the order is finalized.
Each mineral will be individually wrapped and carefully packaged to prevent
damage during shipping.
All historic labeling, if available, will be included with each mineral.
Returns are gladly accepted. No questions asked, no explanation necessary.
All customer information will be kept confidential and never shared or sold.
I will continue to freely share my knowledge with others and contribute
to the study and appreciation of minerals.
All mineral specimens have a lifetime guarantee: if the mineral species was
incorrectly identified, I will refund the cost of the original purchase &
shipping, the cost return shipping and the cost for testing.
John H. Betts, owner
Mineral dealer since 1989, mineral collector since 1967
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