Disposal of a Rock or Mineral Collection

What do you do if you wish to downsize, or dispose of a rock, mineral, or fossil collection, or equipment? Maybe you have inherited such material and you have no interest in pursuing the hobby? You know a lot of effort went into obtaining, or collecting the material, so simply tossing them in a pile somewhere seems like a poor solution. Where can you go for information about who would want these materials? The Kettle Moraine Geological Society, (KMGS), can help by offering the various suggestions.
 
1. Donate it all to a museum. While the collection may hold great emotional value to you,
museums are generally interested in the highest quality, or rarest specimens. They may accept the donation and then store it in a dusty room in the basement, or throw it out. If you feel you have some specimens that meet this highest quality criteria, it would be best to have a dealer or other geology professional evaluate them first.
 
2. Sell them yourself:
A. Sell them on the internet. First you will need an accurate description of what
the individual specimen is, where it came from plus a fair valuation. You must plan shipping costs and you will be rated for customer satisfaction. Note, a percentage of the sale will go to the internet provider. All this can be a hassle.
B. Sell them at your rummage sale. You may not attract a high percentage of
interested people.
C. Sell them to a local dealer. The dealer may or may not be interested. It will
depend on the quality of the collection. Remember the dealer will have expenses such as travel, overhead and profit needs. His offer will reflect such needs and might be quite low.
D. Let a local rock club (such as KMGS) know what you have to sell and how
interested members can contact you for a specific date and sale.
 
3. Donate loose specimens to a local rock club.
A. KMGS may use them for children’s education in geology programs.
B. They may be used as door prizes at our annual show.
C. They may be sold at our annual show with the proceeds going to our Education Fund.
D. They could be displayed at our annual show with a notation “Donated by —-” or “in memory of ——-“ Specimens well written up and/or in display cases.
E. It would be most helpful if you can document where the specimens came from; identification, if known, and any other provenance.
 
Contact a KMGS club officer for more information.