How to go about selling or reducing a Rock and or Fossil collection.
I had a very interesting question come to my site the other day, that I realized was an issue that we, or our families, might have to deal with.
How do I sell my husband's collection?
Message: My husband passed away and left a fairly large rock collection. Some are in a tall display case, others are in two metal trunks. I would like to appraise it and sell them. He had a geology degree, he did some digging but I think he bought them through the years. Do you know how to go about it? I would like to sell it in bulk. Thank you in advance,
My response: First let me send my condolences for the lose of your husband. Having been in the biz of buying and selling for many years let me share some thoughts and suggestions.
Did your husband have any"rock-fossil" friends that could help(either buy or help you dispose of them) ? You did not say where you were located, but check for (do the internet search) for:Local Rock clubs, Colleges, Universities, and High School Geology clubs. They might be interested in the collection.
Selling by bulk will probably not get you the best price, unless you can get an organization (like the above suggestions) to purchase all. As far as value..everything is the "PROVENANCE" I can not say that often enough. Let say I have two carnelian agates, just about the same. One I know nothing about and it is probably from Brazil about $15 to $20,, the other one is a Lake Superior Agate from Minnesota so it's value is about $40 to $50. And for me A Petoskey stone (fossilized coral) has great value in Michigan
So where were the rocks- fossils found. Not just general..but like in Brown County, Indiana..with any other complete details..So any and all details about the rock-fossil location, size (usually bigger is better). The more information you can find the better..because you should find out if you have anything rare. You can do searches on eBay to see what they are selling for, you could list several small lots and have pick up only. This would be time consuming, but this would be the best way to get the value. I use the value boxes for USPS. Take Pictures...It is easier to carry around pictures to show ...and have them with you.I tried a search for rock-
fossil value, and it does seem to be "in the eye of the beholder"You can see by the links below. I could not find any books about value..but did not look long enough... https://boneblogger.com/whats-the-value-of-a-fossil/
https://medium.com/@plotnick/what-are-fossils-worth-312df45226be A word of caution, for me I either appraise or or I buy, I do not trust anyone who appraises my item then offers to buy
I see I missed the obvious.....
Your husband probably put the most valuable ones in the display cases, or at least the ones that meant the most to him. I hope he labeled them with name and location found.
The ones in the boxes and trunks he could have used for trades to get something better.
These are the ones that might be harder to get the value out of, they might take more time than you have. These are the ones you could donate(in your husbands name) to your/his favorite local 5th thru 9th grade teachers, science classes, they would be beyond thrilled to have something hands on like this.
The person asking this question was moving from Washington to Colorado, so I made this suggestion: This could be a small business for you in your new community...and a great way to meet everyone. I buy from two men who are still selling their Dad's rock collection once a year at a rock show in Ishpeming, MI. I think I have bought from them for 15 years.