Frequently Asked Questions

For Collectors

Take A Look At Some Of Our Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Sweet Home Mine still open?

No, it was closed in 2004, the portal was removed, and the entrance cemented and reclaimed.

Will the Sweet Home Mine ever reopen? And if no, why not?

No, there are multiple reasons to not pursue mining rhodochrosite in the old workings.

Is the Detroit City Portal the same as the Sweet Home Mine?

No, it is approximately 300’ or 60 meters above the old Sweet Home Mine workings. The two mines do not connect.

Why open another portal so much further up?

Geologically, rhodochrosite is found in “veins” or cracks in the rock that result from faulting or fracturing. Mapping of these veins indicated that the same crack that contained Graham’s Pocket for example, potentially continued upwards and might contain more production. However, “raises” or digging upwards in a mine is quite complicated and can get expensive, so the decision was made to reclaim the old workings and intersect the vein further up the mountain.

When did the Detroit City Portal open, and how did it get its name?

The Detroit City Mine opened in 2016. “Detroit City Mine” is the original name of the block of claims containing the Sweet Home mine. It’s also an homage to Collector’s Edge Minerals founder and President Bryan Lees’ roots in the ‘Motor City.

Is the Detroit City Portal still operating?

Yes! It is currently still quite active, though weather restrictions sometimes force a closure for winter.

Has any rhodochrosite been found in the Detroit City Portal?

Yes! Several pockets in fact, with more coming out soon!

Can I visit the mine?

The mine is strictly off-limits to unauthorized visitors.

Can I visit the office?

Yes! We love visitors! You just need an appointment to make sure someone is here. Email us: [email protected]

Do you only sell super expensive rocks?

No! We actually have both keystone and wholesale departments with a wide range of high-quality, affordable pieces.

I have a mineral I can’t identify; can you look at it for me?

Sure, but depending on the time of year it may take us a while to get back to you as we get quite busy during shows!

I have a really nice rock that I know is worth a lot, will you price it or give me an estimate?

No, we do not offer pricing services. That is a very specialized field, and we recommend that you contact an expert.

Will you buy my rock?

If you have rocks to sell, please email a few clear pictures or videos to [email protected] and if we’re interested, someone will get back to you promptly.

Do you buy collections?

Yes we do! Please send a list of specimens along with some clear pictures or videos of the collection to [email protected] and someone will get back to you.

I like a rock for sale on your website, but I am still on the fence. Can I get pictures or a video of it to help me decide?

Definitely! Feel free to email [email protected] and we will send you whatever information you need.

What rock/mineral/gem shows do you attend?

We set up in Tucson every year and Denver twice a year.

Where can I find you in Tucson?

Our high-end material is displayed in the Fine Mineral Gallery (maybe make this a clickable link to directions?), and our Keystone and Wholesale locations are both in Mineral City (clickable link again).

Where can I find you in Denver?

At the Denver spring show, our keystone and wholesale material is set up at the Crowne Plaza (link) in the main room. During the Denver fall show, our high-end material is set up at the Hard Rock Summit (link), and the Keystone and wholesale material is at the Crowne Plaza (link).

Do you ship internationally?

Yes! Though it will be slightly more costly, we will get your specimens to you as safely as possible.

Why is rhodochrosite so expensive?

Fully formed, gemmy, lustrous, and deep red rhombohedrons of rhodochrosite are extremely rare and highly sought after by collectors and jewelers alike. The Sweet Home Mine and Detroit City Portal have produced some of the highest-quality specimens in the world.

Why does sphalerite from the Sweet Home Mine and the Detroit City Portal fluoresce?

Divalent manganese replaces zinc in the crystal structure. In other words, manganese molecules with two electrons available to bond with other molecules are included in the crystal structure instead of zinc. Divalent manganese and zinc have pretty similar properties to each other, so replacement is quite common during crystal formation

How do you define your specimen sizes?

Thumbnail < 3 cm
Toenail 3 – 4 cm
Miniature 4 – 5cm
Small Cabinet > 5 cm
Large Cabinet > 10 cm

Have another question?