Actually Taaffeite isn’t all that rare, for about $2 - 3,000 per
carat you can get lots of respectable stones as big as a couple of
carats quite easily. I think the colour change variety is better
qualified as rare, I certainly have never seen any. This stuff is
not particularly attractive which certainly aids it’s ‘rarity’ as a
gem. I haven’t sold anything bigger than a 62 pointer. Want to buy
I have a really pretty blue jeremejevite crystal that is a lot
harder to find but no one has ever asked me for one of those. I’ve
only ever seen 3 and am keeping mine. Much rarer and prettier than
taaffeite which has much better press, so it isn’t worth much. I
also have a classic little chrysoberyl flat that has a totally
transparent well terminated hex crystal growing out of the side. It
changes from raspberry red to a rich emerald green. I have refused
some silly prices for it. This little beauty is rare, pretty and
has had lots of good press.
Valuing crystal specimens is not as simple as valuing jewellery
The 3 most important factors governing specimen price are
location, location and location. A specimen of unknown origin is
worth as much as a piece of rough. Next there is the aesthetic
value, based on the visual appeal of a cluster which can often
out-value the intrinsic material value. Then there is crystal
quality, termination, habit, associate and inclusion to add to the
standard jewellery valuations for hue, saturation and material. A
really pretty amethyst spray will outsell ugly emeralds on
Mineral specimens are a great source for rough when you have a
customer that can afford to pay for a guaranteed natural, untreated
and provenanced gemstone. Don’t let the dealers know what you are
doing or you will lose a supplier.
If anyone has a display that includes coloured stone jewellery but
does not have specimens as props should feel ashamed of themselves
for ignoring the cheapest ‘silent salesman’ money can buy.
No, I am not in the business of selling specimens, rough or stones.
I fix sick rocks.