Crystal Pricing - Don't get hit!
While I WISH I could give you an exact breakdown of how much crystals are worth for each kind, there are just too many variables that are constantly in flux. But hopefully this post will give you a little bit of knowledge that can help you determine the worth of a crystal you are looking to purchase.
Crystals have been known to possess immense value for centuries, and their worth is determined by many factors, including their rarity, size, color and quality. Much like a precious gemstone or diamond is, just in slightly different ways and with less specificity. One factor that affects a crystal's value is its origin. Some crystals are only found in certain regions, or even specific smaller pockets within the region, and the rarity of the location can drive up the crystal's value. Additionally, the quality of the crystal, including its color, clarity, and overall appearance, can play a significant role in its value. Moreover, the popularity of certain crystals can cause their prices to fluctuate over time.
Even the 'quality' aspect can have different layers. Including the clarity, finish, coloring, formation, and breakage (aka does it have damage or not).
One of the main reasons for posting, and something that crystal sellers have been chatting about recently, is not only that I don't want you to end up with a fake, or even worse.... buying a fake at the price of a real one! Really, I just wanted you to know that you should not gauge a fair market price for a crystal by the fake ones. A $20 faux quartz is not going to be the same size or quality of a real $20. You can read more about how to tell if crystals are real on my previous blog post.
I did want to mention some things to watch out for on general crystal pricing. Sadly there is no hard or fast rule on how much crystals are worth, or obvious signs, just keep an eye out.
Prices Constantly Change
First off, prices are going to always be changing with crystals. We of course fall in to the supply and demand principles of the world just like anything else (also why we now have the fake crystals in the world). For example a few years back, tourmaline was dirt cheap (pun intended haha), but its popularity inflated the prices. (Not to mention minerals can become more scarce as they are mined - specific pockets mostly). Some sellers will also be able to offer certain items cheaper than anyone else, but other minerals they will have to charge more for. So many factors go in to that. Quality (color, clarity, locality, special inclusions, formations, free of breakage, etc) is the biggest, size, locality, how much the wholesaler bought it for etc. So I'm not telling you to judge any sellers based off of that.
Specialty pockets can also make a difference. You can have a clear quartz from brazil of the same exact size, weight, shape, clarity, city, etc. but one may end up more rare than the other and therefore a different price. For example recently you've likely hear of 8th Vein Ocean Jasper. It too comes from Madagacar as does basically all Ocean Jasper, but this specialty pocket is very highly sought after, more limited supply, higher quality markings/formations, and therefore wields a higher price point.
Beyond that, some sellers will be able to get a bulk discount on say pink amethyst, but they can't get as good of a deal on blue aragonite. Just because that seller has a higher price on aragonite does not mean they are a scammer. And again, quality matters!
Shipping costs also fluctuate greatly from year to year which will be reflected in the prices of the specimens. Remember, these specimens are coming from all over the world originally, and with that comes shipping containers on boats. This means pricing is dependent on MANY variables. During covid for example, the cost of one shipping container was increased by 3-5 times what it was before. I was hearing of $30,000-40,000 just in the shipping cost, not including the material cost.
But here are some things you should look for...
What to Look For
What I DO want you to look out for is people who are way too expensive across the board, because there are some who are just flat out being greedy. Although I'm hoping they just genuinely don't KNOW how off they are on what their crystals are worth. I'd like to point out that I'm not talking about any of the shops I follow online. What is worse, is these sellers I'm talking about also often do not know their crystals, and don't take the time to learn about them. (PS, these aren't usually straight up crystal shops, they are people that sell other products typically, but have a crystal section or do live sales occasionally). If you can't tell a herkimer diamond from a standing milky quartz on point... yikes!
Believe me, there is a lot to learn about the crystal world, and I am certainly NOT perfect and still learning myself, but there are certain things a crystal seller NEEDS to know. A common selenite piece for example, especially when everyone else is selling the SAME EXACT piece for $25 and under should never ever cost THREE times that. Seriously though. Selenite is NOT a crystal that can range so widely in price, especially for something like a selenite slab or selenite spiral. A Selenite Spiral for example should NOT be $50, believe me I've seen it before!
And while there are a bagillion different crystals to learn, a Herkimer Diamond has a very distinctive look compared to a $15 milky quartz point. I legit saw someone selling a Brazillian quartz point (not even as nice as the picture shown here) as a Herkimer for $200 (that would have been worth MAX $40) and it broke my heart. They look nothing alike. PS, that was the SAME person that was selling the selenite spiral. Ugh!
Above all, remember size is not the biggest determination of how much crystals are worth, yeah it matters (get your minds out of the gutter!), but quality is generally always more important. Just because it is a big crystal, doesn't mean you should be charged hundreds of dollars for it. A 2 pound rose quartz point could cost anywhere from $50-1000's depending on clarity, color, rarity, and all of those factors mentioned above. You can't just be a crystal seller and go, wow that's a huge crystal, I'm gonna charge $600 for it. Oy.
We aren't all perfect, don't get me wrong, I make mistakes all the time, but I try to keep learning and growing so I can make it a better experience all of the time! Just remember, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is!
How Much Is Quartz Worth
Let's give an example with a very common crystal. After all, you can find quartz that is 5 for $1 and quartz that is thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars... Now if we are talking quartz slabs for your kitchen... that's a whole other ballgame. We are sticking with crystals here. How much is quartz worth can vary significantly based on several key factors (like many crystals):
Clarity: Clear and flawless quartz crystals with minimal internal inclusions or fractures are generally more valuable. High clarity allows for better light transmission and a more attractive appearance.
Size: Larger quartz crystals are often more valuable than smaller ones, assuming similar quality. Size matters, as larger specimens are rarer and can be more visually impressive.
Color: The color of quartz can influence its value. For example, amethyst, a purple variety of quartz, is more valuable when it has a deep, rich color. Citrine, a yellow variety, is prized for its warm and vibrant hues.
Transparency: Some quartz crystals are prized for their transparency, while others are valued for their unique inclusions or patterns. For instance, rutilated quartz contains needle-like inclusions of rutile, which can enhance its appeal.
Origin: Quartz from specific locations may have a higher value due to its color, clarity, or rarity. For example, quartz from Brazil can even vary based on it's specific location within the same country. Quartz from the Himalayan mountains is going to likely be more expensive than most from Brazil due to how much harder it is to mine. For example Himalayan quartz is found in the mountains and must be hand mined and carried down the mountain, a much more labor intensive process.
Cut and Shape: Quartz crystals that have been cut and polished into gemstones or unique shapes may command higher prices, especially if the cutting enhances their natural beauty. For example spheres are typically more expensive than a freeform because they require a larger stone size for the shape.
Rarity: Rare varieties of quartz, such as certain types of amethyst or citrine or highly sought-after color variations, can be more valuable due to their scarcity. This will also be determined by rarity of a specific pocket of material.
Market Demand: Market trends and collector preferences can affect the value of quartz. Popular or rare varieties may fetch higher prices.
Condition: The condition of the quartz crystal, including any damage or wear, can impact its value. Well-preserved raw specimens are generally more valuable.
Formation: Special formations like a Japan Law point, tabular, Faden Quartz, bridges, and more will all change the value of a quartz cluster for example.
Because quartz encompasses a wide range of varieties, each with its own unique features, assigning a specific value without considering these factors can be challenging. For an accurate assessment of a particular quartz crystal's value, it's advisable to consult with experts in gemology or mineralogy or seek appraisal services. They can provide insights into the specific factors that contribute to its worth in the current market.
It is important to note that the value of a crystal is to some extent also subjective and varies from person to person. Like with anything in life, the value of a specific piece may be more to some people than others. I may be willing to pay $50 more than someone else would for a very special collector's piece that you'll only come across once in a lifetime and is something that you have been looking for. Some may value a crystal for its aesthetics, while others may value it for its spiritual significance.
So don't feel bad if you give yourself a little wiggle room on the 'valuation' of a piece if it rocks your world. But just don't get taken by some slimy peeps.