Most minerals worthy to collectors are found in mineral deposits, or areas of rock where
large amounts of certain minerals occur. Many deposits were worked on for extracting
minerals for industrial, commercial, or research purposes. Deposits worked for the
extraction of certain rocks, minerals or ores are known
as mines. The most practical place to find mineral specimens is in mines. Mines can be actively worked or abandoned. Minerals can also be found in construction sites and roadcuts, and occassionally in bedrock exposures and river deposits.
Mineral shows provide an efficient way to purchase
minerals. They consist of organized exhibits that take place in large auditoriums, where
dealers sell minerals from stands. Many populated areas have these shows, which may
be annual or bi-annual. Most regions also have mineralogical organizations and
groups that can be beneficial to join. They offer excursions into mines that would
otherwise be prohibited to individuals. Additionally, mineralogical organizations provide
trading opportunities and meetings. Rock shops provide yet another venue to acquire minerals.
When bringing minerals home to your collection, they should be carefully wrapped
up for protection. Two specimens should not be placed together. The exact locality of the
mineral should be known, whether the mineral was found or purchased. When brought home,
they should be cleaned if necessary, and stored in suitable conditions. Care must be
exercised not to break a mineral when cleaning it.