Answers to Collector’s Edge Popular Questions
Is the Sweet Home Mine still open?
No, the Sweet Home Mine was closed in 2004. The portal was removed and the entrance was cemented and reclaimed. Current operations are taking place at the Detroit City Portal, located above the original mine workings
Will the Sweet Home Mine ever reopen? 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 feet, or 90 meters, above the old Sweet Home Mine workings. The two mines do not connect.
Why open another portal 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 pockets. 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 in pursuit of more rhodochrosite!
When did the Detroit City Portal open, and how did it get its name?
After years of planning, Detroit City Portal mining operations began in 2017. “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! The Detroit City Portal is currently active, though weather restrictions sometimes force a closure during the winter months.
Has any rhodochrosite been found in the Detroit City Portal?
Yes! Several pockets of rhodochrosite have been discovered at the Detroit City Portal, with more coming out soon!
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.
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 at: [email protected]
Do you only sell expensive minerals?
No! We sell specimens in all price ranges, and have a wide range of quality affordable pieces in addition to our high end inventory.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes! Though it will be slightly more costly, we will get your specimens to you as safely as possible. Please see our shipping policy
What does stablized/repaired/restored mean?
Collector’s Edge Specimen Preparation Standards
Collector’s Edge Minerals Inc. operates its own laboratory for the purpose of processing mineral specimens for cleaning, trimming, stabilization, repair, restoration, and documentation. Our laboratory work has helped set the standards for our industry. Our laboratory customers have confirmed what we believe; that the quality of the service received from the Collector’s Edge specimen preparation lab is without equal. We are proud of the superior work done by the Collector’s Edge laboratory staff.
Collector’s Edge Minerals, Inc. has always taken the lead in documenting and disclosing to customers all stabilization, repair, and restoration work performed or found on specimens coming through our lab. It is our policy to disclose whether a specimen has been stabilized, repaired, or restored in the description of the individual specimens on our website, on our invoice, and on the specimen label.
The matrix rock or crystal-to-crystal contacts of some specimens are so friable/fragile that the mineral specimen may require reinforcement with an adhesive substance. Stabilization will help to preserve delicate mineral specimens during shipping and during handling and display in your collection. When stabilization is performed on a specimen we make every effort to ensure that the stabilizing adhesive is “invisible” on the finished specimen. Stabilization is disclosed in the description of the individual specimens on our website, on our invoice, and on the specimen label.
The repair of a mineral specimen can be defined as the simple gluing of broken pieces back together in their original growth positions. No attempt is made to change the orientation of the reassembled pieces in order to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the specimen. Repairs are typically made using long-lasting, high-purity adhesives. When repairs are made, we make every effort to ensure that the areas being repaired are as “invisible” as possible on the finished specimen. Repairs are disclosed in the description of the individual specimens on our website, on our invoice, and on the specimen label.
A restored specimen is one of which a high-purity adhesive or other substance has been used to replace a missing crystal fragment during the repair process. Generally, replacement of small fragments lost from an otherwise complete crystal with an adhesive or other substance will be viewed as restoration provided that the area to be restored is constrained by the geometry of the original crystal. When restoration work is performed, we make every effort to ensure that the areas being restored are as “invisible” as possible on the finished specimen. This may include the “carving” of striations into the replaced crystal section that align with the striations observed on the adjoining natural crystal faces. Restoration is disclosed in the description of the individual specimens on our website, on our invoice, and on the specimen label.
I have a mineral I can’t identify - can you look at it for me?
Sure! Depending on the time of year, it may take us a while to get back to you. We get quite busy during shows! Please note that we do not offer appraisal services.
Do you do appraisals?
No, we do not offer pricing or appraisal services.
Do you buy collections?
Yes we do! Please send a list of specimens along with clear photos and/or videos of the collection to [email protected] and someone will get back to you.
Can I get more pictures and/or a video of a specimen on the website?
What rock/mineral/gem shows do you attend?
Where can I find you in Tucson?
Where can I find you in Denver?
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