F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions.....

Q - Can I buy specimens on layaway?
A - Yes! We offer a layaway option for the more expensive purchases and it's a very popular one as well.

Q - How does the layaway work?
A - A downpayment is made first (usually about 20% of the price) and then the remaining payments are
made over a number of months. Time is determined by the client since they know how to best fit their budget.

Q - Can a layaway specimen be returned?
A - No. Layaways are considered sold since they are placed aside for a number of months. A layaway
can always be traded back for another specimen however. Cancelled layaways carry a restocking charge.

Q - What is your return policy?
A - We offer a 3-day / 10-day return policy. This means notification of intent within three days of the
specimen's arrival at your address and then up to ten days to return the specimen to our address.
The specimen must be repacked and insured in the same manner in which it arrived.

Q - Can I return auction specimens?
A - No. This is to maintain the integrity of the auction process and confidence of all bidders.

Q - Do you offer a trade-back policy for the specimens you sale?
A - Yes! We encourage trade-backs for all collectors who wish to upgrade their collections. The
specimen being traded back must be of a lesser value of course (usually 1/2 as much or less) and we
prefer to trade the same minerals (Topaz for better Topaz, etc.). This rule isn't written in stone however.

Q - How often do you run auctions and how long do they last?
A - We usually have two mineral auctions per month and they last anywhere from one to two weeks.

Q - What is the live bidding session?
A - This is when we allow all bidders to bid openly against each other as the auction is winding down.
The live bidding session runs until a period of 15 minutes have passed without any further bids.

Q - Do you offer a secure online form for sending personal information and credit card numbers?
A - Yes. We have a secure order form which can be found on the introduction page, banner, or here!

Q - How secure is this form?
A - All information is completely encrypted and safe from second party viewing.

Q - How do you determine shipping charges?
A - By weight and USPS shipping guidelines. We can ship via any service that is requested however.

Q - How do you usually ship?
A - We usually ship via the USPS but sometimes UPS is less expensive if the package is heavy.

Q - Will you ship overseas?
A - Overseas makes up a large percentage of our business and we ship to almost anywhere on the globe.

Q - How long will it take for my specimen to reach me?
A - We generally ship out most specimens within one week of order but sometimes they may be
shipped faster or take a bit longer depending on the backlog. For U.S.A. orders, the shipping
time is usually anywhere from three to seven working days. For international orders, it may
range from one to three weeks but usually takes about twelve working days on average.

Q - What are the accepted methods of payment?
A - We accept VISA, MC, personal checks, money orders, international money orders, and Western Union.

Q - When I open a credit card account, will you keep the information on file for future orders?
A - Yes. All credit card information is kept safely on file. This makes future ordering much easier!

Q - What are your "Exceptional Rooms"?
A - These rooms contain specimens of a higher grade and or rarity. If you are a collector of museum grade
specimens or wish to upgrade to higher quality pieces, these rooms are the place for you to start!

Q - Do you have another website besides The Mineral Gallery?
A - Yes! Our new website is "www.exceptionalminerals.com" and it can be reached via this link.

Q - Do you have a search engine for your website?
A - Yes! And the search engine actually covers both this website and the Exceptional Minerals website!
It can be found at the top of the introduction page and works off of key words or phrases.

Q - What are the "Specialty Rooms"?
A - These are rooms devoted to specific minerals. They include Rhodochrosite, Elmwood minerals,
Beryls (Aquamarines, Morganites, Emeralds, etc.), Gold and Silver specimens, and Tourmalines.

Q - Why do some specimens remain SOLD for a period of time without being removed?
A - Because we wait for the ten day return period to expire before removing any sold specimens.

Q - Why don't you use thumbnail photographs instead of the large mineral photographs?
A - Several reasons. We actually held a poll a couple of years ago as to which format was
preferred and found that the larger mineral photographs were more popular with our clients.
They said that they liked the better quality of image as well as the detail in the larger photos.
Thumbnails were rejected because our clients said they were too tedious to click through.
Most agreed that would rather wait a bit longer for the photos to load to receive better quality.

Q - Do you have an e-mail list that I can sign up with to receive notification of when you update?
A - Yes! Just e-mail us and request to be added to the list. Auction updates are included too!

Q - Do you trade links with other websites?
A - Quite frequently but we prefer to trade banner links. E-mail us if you're interested in a trade.

Q - Do you buy collections?
A - Yes! Contact us if you have a collection to sell or are interested in selling. If I find that I'm
not interested, I can always submit your e-mail to another dealer that probably is.

Q - What are the "Hall of Fame" rooms?
A - These are rooms where the better specimens of both past and present are displayed for
everyone to enjoy. Accreditation is given for specimens which have sold and are in personal collections.

Have any additional questions that should be added?? E-mail me and let me know!

mainpage.jpg (4073 bytes) minmail.jpg (4263 bytes)