Welcome to UnderGround Treasures!
I travel all over the United States and to various parts of the world to hand select the finest specimens. I look for aesthetic value, overall quality, crystal formation, color, clarity (when applicable), contrast, luster, matrix, size, rarity and finally, the “wow” factor. These travels have taken me directly to the wholesalers, and in some cases even to the miners themselves. By purchasing large lots of specimens and bypassing the middleman, I’m able to obtain quality pieces for substantial savings – savings I can then pass on to you. Whether it’s a $10 or a $10,000 piece, I strive to find the best quality at the best price.
I am particularly drawn, though not exclusively, to matrix pieces. I’m a huge fan of the contrast presented by a crystal or aggregate of crystals on a host matrix. These specimens allow us to see exactly how these unique and beautiful crystals formed in their natural environment. A crystal by itself is truly a marvel to behold, yet a crystal viewed on the host matrix it grew on or from is beyond amazing!
I encourage you to browse our site, look at the pictures and specimens, and simply enjoy! You’ll find specimens in every price range and in various sizes, crystal formations and colors from all over the world – more than enough to satisfy the tastes of any collector, young or old, new or seasoned.
I sincerely hope you enjoy your visit to UnderGround Treasures. We continually add specimens to the site, so please visit us often. And if you have any questions, comments or thoughts to share with us, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!
You have chosen an exciting and unique hobby; people of any age with any budget can collect and enjoy gem and mineral specimens. A thoughtfully acquired collection will grow in value over time, and any collection can be passed on for countless generations to enjoy.
As you begin or continue to build your collection, you’ll find it mind-boggling to realize that every specimen is unique, a creation that required countless events and circumstances to converge perfectly over great periods of time. Even the slightest deviation from this finely orchestrated timeline will halt the process. When I try to comprehend all that is involved in the formation of just one of these specimens, let alone the incomprehensible variety that is available for all to see, I can only conclude that a creator is responsible – not a “big bang.” Though one might debate the existence of a creator, I sincerely doubt anyone would debate the indescribable beauty in the natural world, especially the mineral world.
“What do I look for? How do I know whether I should buy a specimen or not?”
In determining the value of a particular specimen, a major consideration is whether the piece is damaged, and if so, whether the damage is acceptable or so extensive that it renders the piece worthless. Specimens often have minor dings, scratches or cleaves that are difficult to see with the unaided eye; this is completely acceptable. Finding a “perfect” specimen is extremely rare and incredibly expensive – the reality is, with enough magnification, we find that no piece is perfect. Some will say that if a piece has any damage at all, don’t purchase it. And in context I agree: if the damage is excessive, easily visible and distracting (that is, it draws attention away from the focus and beauty of the specimen), then yes, leave it behind and move on. But dings, scuffs and other minor imperfections that are difficult to see without magnification and appear infrequently on a piece need not be considered a deal breaker. Feel free to purchase that piece, especially if it reasonably matches all the criteria that determine its value – including the most important of all: you like it.
In addition to minor imperfections, oftentimes specimens and crystals will have a “contact,” which is where the specimen was connected to a cavity wall, a “pocket,” or some other matrix from within the earth. In the process of extracting the specimen, there will naturally be an area of imperfection at the point where the specimen was connected. This is very normal and expected and – assuming this contact area is minor, out of sight and not distracting – completely acceptable. Feel free to purchase the piece if you like it – without minor contact we would never have the piece to enjoy. The only specimen you’ll find without any contact is a “floater,” that is, a specimen, particularly a crystal or crystal cluster, that grew from a point that was free of any impediment on all sides. But this is very rare and very expensive. So remember, contact is normal, natural and totally acceptable to every level of collector.
Finally, on the subject of repairs and restoration: why not? If a piece can be restored to its original beauty to be admired and enjoyed, then why not? Consider the amazing Amazonite and Smoky Quartz specimens that have come out of Colorado (featured on the reality show “Prospectors”) – without restoration you would have a box of individual crystals and no ability to see them in their original formation. However, any repairs and restorations should be clearly noted as such so you can make an informed purchasing decision.
As your collection grows, purpose to increase your knowledge of gems and minerals. Scour the Internet, read books, go to shows, subscribe to one or more trade magazines and ask endless questions. And on that note, please contact us if you have any questions – we’re here to assist you in any way as you build your personal collection.
All client information will remain confidential and will never be shared.
- All specimens will be sold in their natural, unaltered condition unless clearly noted.
- Only the specimen featured in the picture will be sent – never, ever a substitute.
- Pictures of specimens will be honest and unaltered.
- Every specimen will come with an accurate label.
- UnderGround Treasures’ website will be regularly updated with new specimens.