Now that we’ve established the foundation for building your rock, mineral and gemstones collection, we’re going to focus on preserving the value of your prized pieces. The following tips will help you keep your collection organized and tidy.
Preserve As Much Information As You Can
When you find the perfect treasure, there are some quick steps you should take each time you buy an item. Be sure to record its size, identity, place of origin, the person or company from which you bought it and how much it cost. If your item comes with any type of details or printed information such as a label, card, receipt or invoice, you should save those documents and file, photograph or scan them for future reference.
Photograph Each Piece
Having photographs of each piece and any associated records is helpful for sorting your collection as it gets larger and also necessary for insurance purposes. Here are a few tips for capturing the best shots of your treasured pieces:
- Photograph your items in the early morning or evening with your setup area near a window.
- Diffuse any harsh shadows with a white sheer sheet or paper towel placed between the light and your item. Place foam core or white board opposite of the window so light bounces off the board.
- Pick a solid white surface or a non-reflective simple, colored background for the layout of your item.
- Be sure to use the correct cleaning cloth to remove any finger prints before shooting.
- On your camera, turn off the flash and set it to the macro setting or zoom into the product to shoot close-up.
- If your photos are too blurry, move the camera back a little. You may be too close to the product.
- Setting the camera or phone on a mini-tripod will help keep the camera from moving and make the photos sharp.
- Don’t move the camera when you push the shutter button. You can also set the camera on a 10-second timer.
Label, Number or Sort Your Collection
Using a numbering system or labeling your items is recommended and much easier in the beginning when you’re just starting to build your collection. Taking a little time to establish this process will make it easier to identify a piece if it’s separated from its container. When it isn’t appropriate to place a sticker directly on the item, you can label the display container with the following details: name of the item, species, weight and a short summary of how, when and where you found it. You may also want to include a photograph of the piece and catalog of information.