Mineral and Rock Collection Storage


How to best storage and display your mineral and rock collection...


Storage and Display

Once you have organised your mineral and rock collection and its information in the database, think of how to best storage and display it. There are different options.


Many collectors store their rocks and minerals in cardboard boxes inside storage trays.



If you are a bit of a handyman, you can also make those trays and drawers yourself.

mineral and rock collection
A small mineral and rock collection. ┬ęcollecting-rocks-and-minerals.com


Cardboard boxes are even easier to make, and the advantage of them is that they can be made to suit the size of the specimen, as opposed to when using a premade trays like on the photo below.

You can buy the drawers, card trays, and different storage boxes from specialist dealers.


There are also specimen stands if you want to display them, jars, tubes, small bottles, dome cases, round boxes, universal boxes, and magnifying boxes for small specimen (I find that fantastic!), and  - all for very affordable prices.


When placing the rocks and minerals into the collection, try to group related specimens together.

Separate
rocks and minerals, and group rocks by igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic; and minerals by silicates, sulphides, oxides, carbonates etc.

Add labels with a number that relates to the information in your database; mineral name, and preferably where it was found, when it was collected, and the collector's name if you like.

Safe Storage

Unfortunately it's not enough to put them into the box - you have to give them conditions in which they last. Generally that means, keep them in a dark, reasonably dry and reasonably cool place.

silica gel
A bag of silica gel which you get for free when you buy shoes, some electronics, certain food (e. g. sushi roll papers), and many other things that need to be kept dry in the bag or box where it's packed. It will keep your rocks and minerals dry too!


Some minerals you have to watch more than that.

Many sulfides and native elements such as silver and copper oxidize and tarnish or even decompose if it's in light conditions for too long so it is better to keep them in a dark place. 

Some minerals, such as borax, laumontite, melanterite and chalcanthite discolour or disintegrate when kept in too dry conditions. They need to be kept in air-tight containers.

Others, such as halite, sylvite and carnallite dissolve when kept in too moist conditions. They need to be kept in sealed containers or bags, preferably with a small bag of silica gel, which absorbs moisture.


Pyrite
is another one to watch. It can deteriorate and turn into powder, with sulphuric acid given off as well as so much heat that it can even light a fire. Watch pyrite for signs of decay and keep it in a dry place!
















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