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Bob Harman
 #1 
The recent posting by the fellow inheriting his relative's rock "collection" prompts me to start this posting.

When you collect stamps or coins, you have an album and in it there are specific spaces to fill. These spaces correspond to specific numbers in the stamp or coin catalog. Information on each stamp or coin can be easily found in both the album and the catalog. The pix and info corresponds virtually EXACTLY with your individual example.
Not so with rocks and minerals. There are no albums or catalogs. The mineral books with pictures and descriptions show general examples, but this is far from showing the exact specimen that you have.
Those folks that collect rocks and do little more than put them together have ACCUMULATIONS of rocks. Not specifically and completely labeling them is a recipe for disaster down the road.   There will be little dealer interest in unlabeled ACCUMULATIONS and most knowledgeable collectors will also show little interest.
On the other hand collecting rocks and promptly fully labeling them will return rewards down the road. Years later, when it comes time to make decisions about the COLLECTION, dealer and collector interest might be tweaked.
Promptly labeling each example in your COLLECTION is the way to go.      BOB
Harry Polly
 #2 
I totally agree with you, Bob. Without a label, a mineral specimen is just a rock, with zero value to a collector. The label tells the history of the specimen. If you print a new label, keep the old one with the specimen to help with the history. It adds value. Some in my collection have three or more labels. If there is no label, and I cannot identify the location, it goes in the cutting or tumbling pile.
Alfred L Ostrander
 #3 
Bob and Harry,

Absolutely! 

I will add that the location given on a label should also be a key to opening up the doors to the world. Take the time to look up the county, state, country, or whatever administrative divisions are used in a given country. Stamp and coin collectors are most certainly interested in what country there new acquisition is from.

Look up the chemical formula. See if the mineral is part of a group such as amphiboles, pyroxenes, sulphides, etc. Try to figure out any crystallography. Just try to do some science and you may find that you are more of a scientist than you thought. It may be confusing to start but keep on trying. Just keep on learning and it will start to happen! 

Every specimen has a story!
Harry Polly
 #4 
When I first started collecting back in the sixties, the norm was to put the chemical composition on the label. That was dropped back in the eighties. It is no longer used in judging. It helps identify the family of minerals, but not required for judging purposes, so you see very few labels with it on them any more.
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