As you might expect, we order and ship A LOT of rock and mineral samples. Although there is some expected natural variability in the samples that we ship, there are also some samples that do not meet the minimum standards. Because of this, every so often we need to go through a clearance process.
In our clearance process, we give these samples away to our subscribers for free in a program called the "Gem Mine"
These rock and mineral samples may be a bit smaller than our standard samples, they may have a unique or very slight imperfection, or their color might be off.
These unique attributes are what make the gem mining program so much fun. For many collectors, these samples become a favorite because they are so unique and different from the normal samples.
With each delivery, every collector receives a gem credit. Six credits can be traded for an extra sample (this is completely free and there is no charge for shipping). Over time, these credits accumulate and can be reviewed by checking your mining operation summary. The mining operation summary will contain a list of all of your unused gem credits, which can be traded for rock and mineral samples.
You can see a list of all of your gem credits (active and inactive) in the gem credit history section of the gem mine.
A second way to earn gem credits is through research and development activities. If a collector writes a report, participates in a science fair, or completes a teacher approved study and sends us a report on these activities and findings, we will gladly award additional gem credits to their account. For privacy, we do not share this information publically or on social media, but we do read (and enjoy) the scientific reports and stories
In order to use the gem mine, you must have user access to a subscription. Use the button below to check your access privleges.
The best way to describe the gem mine program is to imagine a company that takes all of their clearance items, places them in a grab bag, and ships them out randomly for free. Gem Mining is a way that our rock and mineral collectors can continue building their collections by receiving additional free samples. It also allows us to leverage clearance samples for educational purposes.
A win-win for everybody!