Classification of Gemstones

Gemstones are precious mineral and rock formations that are extracted from within the earth and vary in terms of their size, color and structure. It is due to this diversity in their types that gemstones cannot be classified through a single classification system. There are many ways geologist classify rocks and minerals found. First way to classify gemstones is by categorizing them into natural, synthetic and imitated gems. Aside from that, they are also classified as organic or inorganic and crystalline or amorphous rocks.

Classification as Natural and Synthetic

The only difference between natural and synthetic gem is the way they are made. Natural stones occur naturally, in our geological system without any human interference in their formation. Natural gemstones are regarded as rare because no gemstone is same as the other. Each is formed under slightly different environmental conditions. It is this rarity that makes them precious and unique. To identify a real natural gemstone, one must look for inclusions in the stones as these gems are bound to have inclusions due to the addition of other minerals during the process of their formation.  

On the other hands, synthetic gemstones are those, which are formed in labs by inducing the same environmental stimuli. Carbon and other chemical elements are used and treated under specific time, pressure and temperature setting to produce a gem. The gems produced in labs are chemically identical to those formed in earth.

Classification as Organic and Inorganic Rocks

Aside from classifying gemstones based on their occurrence, they can also be categorized into organic and inorganic gemstones.

Organic gemstones are those that are formed because of a living organism. It can include sea species, plants, shells, fossils, etc. The word ‘organic’ refers to something that involves organisms. Ivory, pearls, amber, coral, jet, ammonites, ammolites – they all are good examples of organic gemstones.

All other gemstones that are not formed through the organic way are categorized as inorganic. Whether they are found in earth, on its surface or beneath it, are known as inorganic minerals and comprise of almost all the gemstones we know of.  Inorganic gemstones, which are created in labs, are not considered as gemstones, and that is why they cannot be advertised as such.

Classification as Crystalline and Amorphous Rocks

Gems can be classified in the manner of differentiation between amorphous rocks and crystallized rocks. Amorphous rocks are those, which do not have a particular crystalline structure. They are naturally occurring and often called mineraloids.  Opal, amber and glass are all good examples of mineraloids. However, not all amorphous minerals are classified as gems.

On the other hand, crystallized minerals or crystals are those, which have a tight molecular structure with repetitive chains and formations. They are formed by three-dimensional arrangements of molecules. Diamonds and rubies are an example of crystals. Zircon is the world’s oldest found crystal. However, not all crystals can be classified as gems because crystals are pure substances that have a solid and definite structure, since their molecules are arranged in a specific three-dimensionally array.  

All about the Volcanic Stone – Agate

For an agate to be regarded as real and precious, the main requirement is that it must have bands all over it. This makes it easy for it to be distinguished from other varieties of chalcedony. However, there are some types of agate, such as moss agate and dendritic agate which do not have bands on them to be called as agate, but they have inclusions of few other colors which appear like bands in some cases.

How it is formed

Agates are known as semi precious gems that originate from chalcedony of the quartz family – a silicon dioxide formation arranged in the form of small quartz crystals.  Agates are naturally formed in volcanoes when cave water rich in silica keeps dripping through the cavities between the rocks. This silica water keeps accumulating in small holes in volcanic rocks and over a long course of time, this silicate matter ends up filling the holes completely. The layers of silicate matter form themselves in the form of microcrystal.  These layers are responsible for the bands found on agate. Differences in colors of agate are due to changes in temperature, pressure and the matter collected during the formation of agate.

Agate in History

If we look back in ancient times, we can find agate among the artifacts discovered from Neolithic regions. History tells that agate was used in carving items, such as ornaments and amulets. Agate has been used in Greek and Egyptian empires because of its medicinal properties, which later spread to Russia through Middle Eastern countries. A Greek philosopher Theophrastus was the one who found agate on the Shore of Dirillo River, in Sicily, somewhere around 3rd and 4th BC.   

The historical backdrop of Agate generation links back to German town of Idar-Oberstein, which has developed to be known as a vital gemstone center. Agates and Jasper were found in the Idar-Oberstein area, and cut and cleaned by neighborhood artisans. When large deposits of agate were found in Rio Grande do Sul, in 1800s, it was shipped to Germany for getting cut and cleaned. The nearby Agate cutters of Idar-Oberstein were appropriate for this work due to their skills and excellent craftsmanship. This is why Idar-Oberstein is important in terms of agate refinement. Agate can be found almost everywhere in the world. It is commonly available and yet equally demanded because of its beautiful unusual color bands and buttery appearance.

Throughout the course of history, agate has been regarded and revered by masses. It hasl also been used in almost all cultures and civilizations, In Islamic culture, it has been worn by prophets, whereas in Babylonian civilizations, agate was used for protection and strength. It was used in the breastplates and swords in ancient times. Not just that, it is believed that agate is a grounding stone, which balances the yin-yang energy in one’s body. It is used to ward off fears and insecurities and help with the feelings of envy and jealousy as it grounds all the energies in our bodies, which are not beneficial. It also represents the 12th and 13th wedding anniversary.

Jasper – The Blood Stone

Jasper is known as an opaque variety of chalcedony, a microcrystalline form of quartz. Yes, jasper can be seen as quartz as well. However, its classification is still not easy. Due to the impurities found in jasper, it is more like a rock than mineral. The mineral content of the sediments it is formed in is responsible for the color of jasper. Sometimes it is red, and sometimes it varies from yellow to brown. Often times the minerals diffuses with each other and the rock is mixed with other minerals of different colors, which then form the swirls and lines found on jasper. Jasper is widely found, comprising of 12% of earth crust.

The historical underpinnings, or Jasper importance, are “spotted or dotted stone” since Jasper in some cases, contains spots of dregs, fiery remains or mineral material. The significance of Jasper stems from the Old French word ‘jaspre’ or Latin ‘iaspidem’— which deciphers the distance back to its old Greek, Hebrew or Acadian roots.

You may see that each piece of jasper is unique and different from the other one because of the organic material trapped inside it, which oxidizes to form a unique structural arrangement. The lines and swirls on jasper sometimes depict the sandy dune in a desert or a mountainous landscape.

Jasper in ancient history

Jasper’s roots can be traced back to early Mesopotamian civilizations, where green and red jaspers were considered highly precious. Historically, Jasper can be traced back to almost all the ancient civilizations. Shamans wore it, and other kings and priests also used to wear it in form of an amulet. It was known to have protective powers against illness and evil.

People believed it to protect them in this world and afterlife, which is why ancient Egyptians used to bury the dead with jasper, hoping it to help ease the transition afterlife. Talismans, rings, amulets and seals used to be engraved with jasper. In ancient Egypt, jasper was also considered as a symbol of motherhood and fertility. Red Indians believed jasper to promote health and aid in rebirth. It was known as the blood of the mother earth. In Viking and German legends, the handle of the mystical sword of Siegfried, the winged serpent slayer, was decorated with Red Jasper to provide him boldness and courage. 

Metaphysical properties of jasper

Jasper is known for protection, physical endurance and strength. It is worn to keep the balance and to keep the person grounded. Jasper is known to activate the root chakra with its red color.

Our root chakra is where the Chi energy resides and jasper is known to stimulate that energy and give a person stability and vitality. It has cleaning properties, which is why it is believed to eliminate the negative energies and clean the aura. It is used to curb aggression and heal infertility.

While metaphysical benefit of jasper may be doubted, jasper makes a great stone to be carved and used to make earrings, rings and necklaces.

Evaluating the Methods to Cleanse Gemstone Necklaces

Gemstone NecklacesGemstone necklaces need effective cleansing every now and then. If you take proper care of these healing gemstones, you can benefit from their extensive capabilities. Their cleansing is necessary to ensure nothing daunts their beauty and healing capabilities.

Therapeutically, it is said that gemstones are capable of releasing unwanted and harmful energies from a person’s body. Sometimes, these unwanted energies gather up on the surface of gemstones as well as in the energy field surrounding each of them, which compromises the healing power of gemstones. Therefore, it is important that you cleanse your gemstone necklace regularly.

There are various methods to cleanse gemstone necklaces. Running water, moonlight, sunlight, salt, soil cleansing, smudging, clay packs and baths are among the most common ones. Additionally, there are cleansing sprays available that are made with the energetic imprint of gemstone energies. These sprays are designed to remove a range of unwanted energies. This method may be considered as the easiest, quickest and most effective of all.


While water is effective for cleansing of crystals and crystal cluster, there are some considerable drawbacks in cleansing gemstone necklaces with water. The most evident one is premature necklace breakage. This problem can occur if the gemstone necklace is cleansed using water daily or more often, if you have a severe medical condition. Also, repeatedly losing contact with the gemstone necklace, to let it dry, can affect its therapeutic resources. 


Bathing in moonlight can be effective, but only in case of certain gemstones, such as Sugilite. It may appear as if it is the light of the moon, or rather sun’s reflection, that does the cleansing, but in fact, it’s the gravitational pull. Remember to first apply a cleansing spray on the gemstone, before placing it outside to bathe in the lunar energy. Also, always place it in a protected area and for few hours.


Another popular method of cleansing a gemstone necklace is sunlight. However, sunlight can impart destructive solar radiation and bleach the color from certain gemstones. If you are going to place gemstone in sunlight, always remember to place it behind a windowpane to avoid the harmful effects of solar radiation. This method is, however, no longer recommended due to constantly changing cosmic and solar radiation level, which can damage gemstone’s therapeutic energies.


An easy way to cleanse your gemstone is by placing it in a bowl of salt. However, this does not provide a complete cleanse. Salt crystals are able to absorb a lot of unwanted energies, but not all of them. Also, you must replace the salt every two to three days.

Cleansing Sprays

Cleansing sprays solve almost all the problems regarding crystal and gemstone cleansing. These sprays eliminate the risk of necklace breakage due to wet threads and also enable you to be in constant contact with your healing gemstone necklace. Surface of gemstones is also not damaged. Soft gems such as Rhodochrosite, Apatite and Fluorite are also not under any risk when cleansed with a cleansing spray.

Different people prefer different methods, but using a cleansing spray to cleanse a gemstone necklace eliminates the risks other methods pose to the physical and therapeutic characteristics of the stones.  

Four Gemstone Alternatives for Diamond Engagement Rings

Gone are the days where a diamond was a girl’s best friend. With the world becoming wiser to marketing campaigns and gimmicks, more and more people are turning towards the idea of using gemstones for their engagement rings, rather than the traditional diamond.

Gemstones are the New Diamonds… Or is it the other Way Around?

Though it may seem like this is just trending now, truth is that gemstones replaced diamonds way before people became aware of it. In fact, if you look back, you’ll even find names such as Jacqueline Kennedy and Kate Middleton sporting rings with their gemstones in them.

So why not take inspiration from them and have your own engagement ring set with one of these gemstones?

We take a page out of Howard Fensterman’s website to provide you with some insight!


Perfect for the original sort, the Amethyst stone is purple and gorgeous even in its raw state. When cut and paired with silver or rose-gold, the stone and metal complement each other beautifully and often give a quirky look to the ring.

However, Amethyst stones aren’t that hard, but they’re quite durable and cost a fraction of the price that you’d pay had you bought a diamond.


There is a reason why sapphire is one of the most popular gemstones. The blue hue of the stone, when set against the sparkle of silver gives off an almost other-worldly aura, and looks quite beautiful after it’s been well-cut. In fact, it looks even better than a diamond, although if you’re looking for a bigger stone, you may want to pay more as well.

Sapphire stands as the third toughest stone, and costs only a third of the price, making it the perfect replacement for a diamond!


Why go for a pink diamond when you have a Morganite on offer?

Coming from the same family as emeralds, this stone looks romantic, feminine and delicate, lending an oh-so-pretty look when set in a delicate design. Regarded as one of the most popular choices for rings at the moment, the Morganite comes in different prices so do your research before you buy it. This way, you’ll be able to get the best cut and quality of stone!



With its dazzling range of colors and gorgeous clarity, topaz has now become the natural choice for those seeking a colorful and vibrant engagement ring.

The topaz stone comes in various hues of blue, orange, green, pink and red, although you can also buy a pure topaz that’s colorless if you’d rather go for the simpler option. However, if you’re more into colors, the range of topaz stones available might give you just the stone you need to make your ring look good.

Want to Learn More?

These are just some of the stones that are the most popular options for engagement rings. But if you want to learn more before making your choice, surf through Howard Fensterman’s website here and be inspired by his lifelong passion for mineral collecting and stones.

What Are Synthetic Gemstones?

Have you ever heard of the term ‘synthetic gemstones’?

Chances are that you have. Also, you may be under the impression that synthetic gemstones are not real; however, in the world of gemstones, the word ‘synthetic’ does not mean ‘fake’. The word has been derived from a Greek word which means ‘to put together’. Thus, synthetic gemstones are those that are man-made. This means that they are manufactured or grown in a laboratory and have the similar physical and chemical properties and appearance to their natural counterparts. In some cases, however, synthetic gems may contain additional compounds. Synthetic gems that are somewhat dissimilar from the natural ones include opal and turquoise.  

Synthetic gems look exactly like their natural counterparts and only a well-trained or experienced expert can distinguish a synthetic gemstone from a natural one.

The production of synthetic gemstones is not a new phenomenon, as many believe. Their production started around late 19th century mainly due to their industrial usages, such as in the fields of microelectronics, laser technology, and communications. They are also used as abrasives. However, they soon started to be used in the jewelry industry as well. The first known gem that was successfully produced in the laboratory was ‘Ruby’.   
How Are Synthetic Gemstones Grown?

Yes, you read it right!

Synthetic gemstones are actually grown (the accurate term used within the industry). This is done in the laboratory. The process entails combining various chemicals in a particular environment so that they automatically arrange themselves–without any human intervention-in a particular manner so as to create the same structure as that of real gems.

Some of the processes that have been used for growing or producing synthetic gems are:

  • Verneuil Process. In simple terms, this is known as the ‘flame fusion’ process. It is the oldest and the cheapest method of creating synthetic gems.
  • Czochralski Process; also called ‘crystal pulling’.
  • Flux Growth
  • Hydrothermal Growth
  • Skull Melt Process
  • Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
  • High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)

The most commonly grown or manufactured synthetic gems are Sapphires, Diamonds, Quartz, Opals, Emeralds, Ruby, Spinel, Alexandrite, Amethyst, Ametrine and Citrine.

Simulated Gemstones Are Different From Synthetic Gems

A lot of people use the terms ‘synthetic gemstones’ and ‘simulated gemstones’ interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two.

As mentioned above, although synthetic gems are made in the laboratory, they mostly have all the same properties as that of natural gems. However, this is not the case with ‘simulated gems’. These are actually the fake stones. They only look like the natural gems, but their physical and chemical properties are different.

Plastic or glass is used for the production of simulated gemstones. This is why they are available at extremely low rates.

So the next time you go for gemstone shopping, always remember that synthetic and simulated gems are two different things. It is a simulated gem that is fake, not the synthetic one.

Three Incredible Gem Sites to Visit this Summer!

The fact of the matter is that there is a plethora of gemology-themed vacation destinations within the US that attract solo travelers and families alike!

Here are some of our favorite picks of the year:


Digging for diamonds?

Check out Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas.

Take your family, partner, and friend (or simply go alone) to a literal treasure trove full of diamonds, just waiting to be found.

In 1975, a visitor discovered a 16-carat wonder right here, while in 2015, an 8.5 carat diamond worth over $1 million was discovered. To date, over 30,000 diamonds have been found within the park. In addition, you have an appraiser available on site who can estimate the value of your precious findings!


Looking for something a bit different?

Head on over to Morefield Mine in Amelia, Virginia. An excellent opportunity to put your mining skills to test—here, you’ll find an abundance of amazonite, topaz, garnet and other minerals!

Herkimer Diamond
Herkimer Diamond

New York

There’s more to the Big Apple than Broadway and pizza.

Crystal Grove Diamond Mine gives you a unique opportunity to discover gemstones within one of the busiest cities in the world.

Any specials on the menu?

Try the Herkimer diamonds and quartz—we hear they’re the real deal!

You also have the option to rent out your own prospecting tools. Pro tip: Keep a chisel and hammer handy to break down the rock—you’ll thank us later!

The US is an incredible place for gem-hunters and mineral collectors. And if you’re interested in expanding your collection, be sure to explore the rest of our blog for updates and insight on various new gem sites all over the region.

Honorable mentions include Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine in Montana and Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine in Nevada.

For more on gems and minerals, follow Howard Finsterman Minerals to discover a world of glittering marvels!

All You Want to Know About the July Birthstone

Ruby - Gemstone of July
Ruby – Gemstone of July

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know what birthstones are and how they are believed to help people in metaphysical healing and bringing good fortune with their unique properties. Each birth month has a different gemstone associated to it and a few months are even associated with multiple gems.

Birthstone of July

Ruby, known as the ‘King of Gems’ in ancient India, is the gemstone of folks born in July. Ruby is considered as one of the most prized of all gemstones and they are much harder to be found in large sizes than sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. Due to their rare occurrence, rubies are expensive and their prices increase exponentially with size.

The ruby is a type of mineral corundum that was discovered about 2000 years ago. Mineral corundums are found in many different forms, only the red one is called Ruby while all others belong to the family of sapphires.

The Benefits Rubies Are Believed To Bring Into the Lives of Their Owners

The word ‘Ruby’ comes from Latin and it means ‘red’. The most high quality rubies are found in Burma and Thailand.

Like all other birthstones, rubies are believed to bring many benefits, if worn by the people born in July. Some of these benefits are:

  • During ancient times, it was believed that rubies have amazing healing properties and can help prevent hemorrhages and cure inflammatory disease. Also, it was believed to soothe anger.
  • Europeans found rubies to bring health, wealth, love and wisdom to their owners.
  • According to a wide held belief during The Middle Ages, rubies have the ability to warn their owners about the upcoming problems so that they can figure out a way to deal with them. Whenever something bad is going to happen to their owners, rubies were believed to change their color to dark red or brown. This allows the wearer to prepare for the upcoming problem.
  • It is also believed to offer protection from all kinds of evils.
  • Burmese warriors had a strong belief that they became invincible in battles by wearing these precious red gemstones.
  • For the people born in July, ruby is believed to increase mental strength, courage and stamina.
  • They are also believed to fuel one’s creativity and motivation.
  • Rubies are also known to help in overcoming depression and eliminating fatigue.
  • According to experts, ruby has the unique property of helping its owner to achieve life goals by inciting refreshing and positive energy that motivates them to move forward in their lives.
  • It is believed that ruby helps in maintaining healthy blood vessels and, ultimately, normal blood circulation. It stimulates the pineal gland and is also linked to heart energy center.
  • Rubies are also widely associated with power, vividness and passion and the symbolic meaning of the gemstone’s red color is passion and love.

It would not be wrong to say that people born in July are lucky because they have got one of the most beautiful, valuable, unique and rare gemstones that look perfect no matter how you wear it.

Gemstones and Astrology

The sky, planets and stars have been sources of wonder and inspiration for a large number of people for hundreds of thousands of years. Poets and writers have used the moon to symbolize beauty and scientists have studied the movements of stars and planets to find and study various laws of nature.

There is another group of people that believe that the relationship between various stars and their movements affects human beings. They are known as astrologists.

Astrology: What It Really Is?

For a common person, astrology is all about zodiac signs. However, the sign is only a part of the wider field of astrology. In broader terms, astrology is defined as “a field that investigates and studies the influences of stars and planets on human life.”

According to the proponents and experts of astrology, a person’s life and personality is largely shaped by the positions and movements of stars, planets, sun and moon at the time of his/ her birth.

Astrologists study these very positions and movements to not only find out someone’s personality traits, but also to predict their future, in terms of finances, relationships, successes and failures and even health.

While some claim astrology as a field of pure science, others think it falls under the category of metaphysics because it deals with the non-physical entities.

Why Astrology Has Been So Popular?

Despite the fact that time and again, scientists have discredited astrology and its significance or relevance to human life, in any way, it has continued to appeal and fascinate millions of people all over the world. This is believed to be due to the very nature of human beings.

Humans have always wanted to be in control of their lives however, the unpredictable nature of human life is the greatest hindrance in this regard. Therefore, anything that in any way promises to remove this obstruction has always attracted humans. Since the ability to predict future greatly increases one’s control over life (as one could prepare for the upcoming things beforehand and could avoid unfavorable things and circumstances), it has captivated people’s’ attention since ages.    

Types of Astrology

There are two key methods to study the positions and movements of stars and planets and the relationship between them, giving birth to two main types of astrological systems:

  • Western Astrology

The origin of Western astrology can be traced back to Babylonian and Hellenistic traditions. As evident from the name, it is largely practiced and followed in western countries. It mainly revolves around horoscopes and sun signs. It has often been criticized for having a limited approach; it only considers the position of sun at the time of a person’s birth to make predictions.  

  • Vedic Astrology

Vedic astrology traces its origin to ancient India, about 5000 years ago; this is why it is alternatively called Hindu or Indian astrology. It uses a holistic approach i.e. it studies the positions, and movements of both sun and planets, to calculate horoscopes, to interpret someone’s personality and to prophesize about people’s’ lives. Since Vedic astrology takes into account various factors, it is said to be more accurate than the Western astrology.   

Considered as the ‘Science of light’, the Vedic astrology studies the connection between the human body and various celestial bodies of the earth’s solar system.


The lore associated with gemstones is as old as human beings. Not only gems have been associated with cultures, religions and various spiritual practices, they were also used for adornment and various medicinal purposes during ancient times. This is due to the belief that gemstones have various inherent qualities and can affect the personalities and lives of humans.

How Do We Define Gemstones?

Gemstones are usually inorganic minerals that occur naturally in the earth’s crust and are extracted, cut and polished to be sued for various purposes. Gemstones are known for their beauty and durability.

Thanks to the advancements of modern world, we now have some synthetic gems as well. Synthetic gems are those that are not naturally found, rather are prepared in labs. Since real gems tend to be really expensive, synthetic gems are considered as good, cheaper alternatives. They have properties similar to the real gemstones.

Gemstones and Astrology – The Connection

Gemology i.e. the “study (ethnic or scientific) of gemstones, has been an essential branch of applied astrology from the time immemorial

The connection between gemstones and astrology was first identified by the Vedic astrologists. They believed that each gemstone is ruled by a planet and if we could identify the position of planet in each person’s chart, and the planetary rulership of a gemstone, gems can be used for personal development, healing and for attracting positive energies.

It is believed that every living being produces some energy in the world. It is this energy field where our emotions, habits, beliefs and thought patterns reside. Gems are thought to affect that energy field and as a result a person’s’ mental and emotional energies. With time, these subtle effects of gems can cause long term changes in a person’s habits, emotions, thoughts etc.

However, to gain the benefits of gems, it is crucial that you use the right gemstone according to your ruling planet or horoscope.

Since only astrologers can understand the complex details associated with planets, their movements, relationships etc. and not many people understand the idea of ruling planet, they have used the horoscope system for gemstones recommendations.

Gemstones According To Sun Signs (Astrological Gemstones)    

  • Aries – Bloodstone
  • Taurus – Sapphire
  • Gemini – Agate
  • Cancer – Emerald
  • Leo – Onyx
  • Virgo – Carnelian
  • Libra – Chrysolite
  • Scorpio – Beryl
  • Sagittarius – Citrine
  • Capricorn – Ruby
  • Aquarius – Garnet
  • Pisces – Amethyst

Gemstones According To Ruling Planet

  • Sun – Ruby
  • Moon – Pearl
  • Mars – Coral
  • Mercury – Emerald
  • Venus – Diamond
  • Jupiter – Yellow Sapphire
  • Saturn – Blue Sapphire
  • Ascending Lunar Node – Hessonite
  • Descending Lunar Node – Cat’s Eye

Modern Birthstones

  • January – Garnet, or Rose Quartz
  • February – Amethyst or Onyx
  • March – Aquamarine or Bloodstone
  • April – Diamond
  • May – Emerald or Chrysoprase
  • June – Pearl, Moonstone or Alexandrite
  • July – Ruby or Carnelian
  • August – Peridot or Sardonyx
  • September – Sapphire
  • October – Opal, Watermelon Tourmaline, or Pink Tourmaline
  • November – Topaz or Citrine
  • December – Turquoise, Zircon, Lapis or Tanzanite

Final Word

Despite the fact that the roots of the connection between gemstones and astrology can be traced back to the ancient times, it is still not considered by many as having any scientific base. Therefore, different opinions and views exist with regard to the role gemstones and astrology plays in one’s life.   

Easy Ways to Start Your Own Mineral Collection!

Are you a fan of relaxing, quiet time, spent in the outdoors? Are you an individualistic person, who enjoys bonding with others with similar interests and building connections?

Collecting minerals involves adventure, a connection with nature, spending time outdoors and then enjoying the collections created by others; hence building some interesting, possibly life-long connections.

Howard Fensterman is a NY lawyer, with a knack for mineral collecting. He has helped scores of collectors build and secure their personal collections and that makes him the perfect advisory for anyone just getting in the habit of mineral collecting.

He also suggests the following concrete steps to get your mineral collection off to a great start.

  • Invest In a “Field Guide”

Get a guide or catalogue that clearly defines the qualities of different mineral specimens along with clear pictures. Learn your way through these books and you will soon be able to recognize and class the minerals.

  • Check Out Museums and Other Collections

Books are great; but there is something immensely engaging about seeing mineral collections in person.

There is something so enthralling about the cuts, colors, lustrous finishes and shapes of an amazing specimen.

Find out if there are any public displays of mineral collections in your city and pay them a visit.

  • Attend Mineral Shows

Hundreds of mineral shows are held across the world each year. Try to get to a few once a year and you’ll love the atmosphere if you are a true mineral connoisseur.

Remember mineral shows aren’t just for buying raw-form minerals, but also precious jewelry and other items. These are also a good place to get an up-close and personal look at some beautiful specimens.

  • Go Field Collecting

True-blue mineral collectors can’t resist the charms of finding and collecting fine mineral specimen all by themselves. Go out in the field, visit an active or inactive stone quarry, or take a walk along a natural rock exposure for example, along a shoreline or in the woods. It’s easier to see the veins and pockets containing traces of minerals. And if you are lucky, you might even be able to prospect some beautiful precious/semi-precious stones for yourself.

Are you excited about making your first mineral acquisition? Keep visiting Howard Fensterman’s website here and be inspired by his lifelong passion for mineral collecting.

Howard Fensterman Minerals