Fluorite on Quartz (#66)
|Europe||Tarn, Lebuc, France||6" x 4" x 3 ¼"|
First, don't be concerned about "ex Arkenstone" in the label. "Ex" is Latin for "from," and Arkenstone is the name of an online mineral dealer. So "ex Arkenstone" just means that the specimen was purchased from that dealer. Collecting minerals is a hobby for many people, much like collecting stamps or books or anything else. Minerals may be collected in several ways. One, of course, is for the collector to go out to wherever good mineral specimens occur in nature and gather them herself. This is an enjoyable experience for people who like being outdoors, but it requires travel to localities that may be remote and hard to reach, which is often impractical.
There are many whose profession is the sale of minerals, fossils, or other geologic curiosities. Some of them have strictly online businesses, and some have physical establishments (generally called "rock shops," even though they mostly do not sell rocks). Mineral dealers offer specimens from low to high quality, and may have some from classic localities that are no longer producing, or from localities that are inaccessible for most people. Of course, the rarer the specimen or higher the quality, the higher the price, and good mineral specimens are very highly priced nowadays.
Another way to build a collection is to trade with other collectors. You may have duplicates and be willing to part with one in exchange for a specimen not represented in your collection and offered by another collector.