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BARBARA POIRIER
 #1 
WHERE COULD I SELL MY DAD S (82 YRS.OF AGE)ROCK AND MINERAL COLLECTION. HE HAS GOLD, CORAL,MINERALS AND 56 YRS. WORTH OF SPECIMENS-BIG AND SMALL. HE LIVES IN TIMMINS ONTARIO AND IS NOW LIVING IN OLD AGE RESIDENCE SO MOM MUST GET RID OF HIS COLLECTION THANKING YOU FOR YOUR DIRECTION AND HELP IF POSSIBLE. DAUGHTER OF PROSPECTOR . BARBARA.
Don Peck
 #2 
Hello Barbara;

Firstly, I am sorry that your Dad has to reside in an assisted care facility and that his collection must be sold.

There are not a lot of options when selling a collection.

1) The easiest is probably to find a dealer who will but the whole lot. If you go that route, I recommend that you do not let them buy individual pieces, but specify they take "everything". They will make their bid based on what they think they can sell, but you will not then have a lot of pieces left that you must dispose of. Try to find at least three dealers so they bid against each other. Most collections are worth less than the owners think they are worth.

2) A second option is to sell it yourself. Either invite local collectors to come look, or join a local mineral club where you can sell at meetings and take four to six flats of specimens to each meeting. This means that you have to price everything and spend some time selling it.

3) A third option might be to ask a local club to sell it for you on percentage basis.

4) and a fourth option is to give it away. Perhaps to a local school or museum. Most museums are getting a little picky about what they will accept. They will not take anything with strings attached. Mostly if they accept a collection, they will keep the pieces that improve their collection; but dispose of the remainder, often selling specimens in their gift shop.

I hope this helps. Good luck and come back with more questions if you have any. There are a number of people on this board who can help.
Jim Adams
 #3 
Hi Barbara,

I'm an antique dealer in Michigan, and I would give you the same advise I would give to someone who wanted to sell an estate. First get an appraisal of the collection from a dealer who specializes in rocks and minerals, and who is not buying anything from you. That takes away any temptation for the dealer to make a dishonest appraisal, and all you want is the approximate value of the collection. To find such a dealer, you might contact a local rock and mineral club, who could point you in the right direction.

Once you have an approximate value on the collection, it's really up to you. Do you want to hold out for top dollar, or just unload the collection? For top dollar you would probably have to rent a space at one of the bigger rock and mineral shows and name your price. On the other hand you could contact a local auctioneer who advertises well, takes phone bids, and has a website with photos so that those interested can view ahead of time and make absentee bids. At auction, if you get two bidders fighting for the same piece, that's one way to get higher prices, but it doesn't happen very often. Usually things at auction bring 1/3 to 1/2 of their retail value, and the auctioneer takes a certain percent.

A dealer who came to your house to buy would probably pay about 1/3 of the value.

You could also do your own research. If the specimens are well documented, you could look on ebay and see what similar pieces have sold for. Keep in mind that right now ebay is pretty much a wholesale market with average items selling for less than half their retail value, if they sell at all. Other websites that sell minerals could give you a better idea of the retail value.


Hope this helps,
Jim Adams
Al O
 #4 
Hello Barabara,

Don and Jim have given excellent advice. Jim brought up the subject of documentation. By this, he was referring to any information with the specimens regarding what they are and where they are from. If the specimens are labeled with this information, make sure you keep that information with each specimen. The more information with the collection, the easier it will be to sell and you should get a somewhat better price. If information is missing and your father is still able to provide information about the collection, get that information. If your father cannot give you any more information, ask your mother if he had any collecting buddies that may know more about the collection and ask them for any information. This may seem like a lot of work but it is important and will make a sale much easier.

Best Regards,
Al O
Christty
 #5 
Hi Barbara
 
I was just reading over this old conversation and realized its quite old. Have you had any luck with your fathers collection? I am a resident of Ontario as well... 
 
Christty
Christty
 #6 
...sorry about that, i apparently can't type out what I'm thinking lol
Unobtainium
 #7 
Once you get a feel of the value of the collection you may want to consider to donate the medium and lesser value specimens to the Geology Club of young aspiring geologists at a local university.  The club may sell them to raise money for their field trips etc...
Zoe
 #8 
Barbara, how far is Timmons, Ontario from the NY border? I live here in Malone and also collect.
If, you havent sold everything yet with the collection I would love to see some of what you have and
perhaps add it to my collection. Your welcome to email me and we can talk about the. Minerals.

I know a guy in Conneticutt who deals in minerals and was a geologist for 40 years. I get quite a few
minerals from him (including freebies he sneaks in which I love). His name is Larry Rush.
Steve G.
 #9 

Dear Zoe;

    You're correct; Larry is an awesome dealer & very fair - HOWEVER, it's 525 mi. from Buffalo to Timmins, & FAR more for Larry. This is a 2 day trip you're talking about! If she follows the others' advice, which is excellent, then, you must be willing to buy the whole thing. If she can take some pics & send you those that mean the most - maybe it would be worth the trip.

    As this message is so old; most likely, she's disposed of the collection, already. David Joyce, a nearby dealer, will most likely have acquired it; we're talking about a post that's 6 yrs old!

Your friend, Steve

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