A Safe Alternative Investment? Why Billionaires are Buying Crystals
“Near-gemstones” as the $1 billion-plus industry has been dubbed is studded with celebrities from Kate Hudson to Kim Kardashian, David Letterman to Alicia Keys, and has been holding steady in the face of COVID – unlike the diamond business. High end mineral arrangements can heavily appreciate in value. “A good example is the Weill Collection that we built in 2001 through 2010,” said Marc Tanjeloff, President of Astro West. “Marc had a wonderful 800 piece collection which sold for quite a large multiple of what he invested over the ten years and even pieces that were bought from his collection are now being offered at multiples of the purchase prices from 2010. When a simple rhodochrosite starts at $250,000 and ends up at $2.5 million with a turned-down offer of $2.8 million in recent days, this is an example of how lucrative crystals can be – just as if you were buying Amazon stock in 2001.”
The class of collectors buying up crystals isn’t the strictly metaphysical set, but rather those transitioning from collecting other items like coins, cars, and artwork – and they will spend for quality minerals that are true art. If you plan to invest in minerals, look for specimens that are straight out of the earth, unpolished and uncut and naturally radiant in their beauty. The piece should resonate with you – you are forming a relationship. This isn’t just cold hard finance, especially since crystals can require a little bit of upkeep. It’s possible to grow a handsome collection at the $500-$10,000-a-pop price point, which here at Astro West we call Fine Minerals, while the more entrepreneurial might gravitate toward Museum Quality pieces at $10,000 and above – which will garner you the kinds of dazzling arrangements you might find in the Museum of Natural History’s new Hall of Minerals (we happen to have furnished a few of their statement pieces through our own collection and through partnerships with our clientele).
When investing in crystals buy the best you can afford, which means look for properties like no flaws and vibrant pigmentation. Spend it all on one standout piece rather than a bunch of smaller, lower quality specimens. Pricing depends on size, as usually pieces are priced by weight – but the amount can drop if the specimen gets too unwieldy. Finally, buy the pieces that resonate with you. Again, this isn’t emotionless investing – you’re acquiring fine art curated by the cosmos.