Rock shops sell rocks, stones, and gemstones. In general, they sell rough, uncut stones for collections. They also sell minerals that are attractive, but often of no great value.
Gemstone dealers may sell direct to the general public and also to jewelers. Many also sell lapidary equipment. Some may specialize in selling beads made of gems.
Quartz is a crystal that is commonly sold, both in its raw form and cut and shaped. Quartz artwork is sold by rock shops and also by jewelers. Other crystals commonly sold include rose quartz and amethyst.
Rocks may come from a quarry or from other sources, such as beaches and collectors. Collectors may also obtain small stones from a tapped out quarry or sites nearby. Rock shops may purchase stones from collectors or otherwise work with them.
Gem collections tend to include a variety of stones. Rock shops may sell everything from tourmaline to agate. They may also sell geodes and fossils. The value of stones and minerals vary by their type, shape and color. Dealers determine price according to rarity. Most stones sold by rock shops are considered semi precious, including garnet and topaz. Some are very common, such as calcite or citrine, and very affordable. Many crystals are laid down in sediment rocks. Others are volcanic in origin, including such interesting stones as obsidian.
Although most stones are sold rough, some may be polished and all are generally cleaned before sale. They are also sorted by size and shape. Some rock shops are involved in New Age philosophy and may attach significance or healing abilities to certain stones.