Science Education Center of California

Science Education Center
of California
3001 Chapel Hill Road
Orange, CA 92867


Science Education Center of California

We Also Buy


The Science Education Center is always looking to acquire educationally oriented natural history items for use in school presentations, displays in our community outreach programs and to provide a repository of materials that are available (for loan or purchase) to teachers and educational facilities. The natural history items we purchase fall into the following categories:

  1. They are used as is for educational presentations, displays in our outreach programs, and to provide a repository of materials that are available to educators and educational facilities.
  2. Items purchased may also be used as partial payment or as trade to acquire larger specimens that are more suitable as museum presentation pieces.
  3. Items purchased are occasionally sold to collectors and institutions to provide working capital to acquire new items which students, educators and the local community have not had prior access to.

The items listed below represent a partial list of geologically related materials that are pertinent to our educational programs. We are also interested in acquiring entire collections, which may contain some of the items listed below.

General natural history items:

a. Fossils (petrified wood, dinosaur bones, shark's teeth, fish fossils, etc.)
  b. Stone tools that are not modern reproductions
  c. Ceramic bowls and vases
  d. Stone carvings from antiquity to the present
  e. Blacksmith and mining items (over 100 years old)
  f. General objects of antiquity that would be interesting and informative to children in the K - 8 age group

Native elements:

a. Natural gold nuggets (not cleaned)
  b. Gold in quartz
  c. Gold in calcite
  d. Crystallized gold (not treated in hydrofluoric acid)
  e. Native silver (massive, crystallized, and old ingots)
  f. Native copper (massive, crystallized, and old ingots)
  g. Native copper in calcite
  h. Native copper in gypsum
  i. Native silver with copper
  j. Native platinum (Russian and California localities have a priority)
  i. Osmiridium nuggets (any size)
  k. Native bismuth and native lead (old ingots as well)
  l. Native mercury (mercury balls on matrix)
  m. Graphite crystals
  n. Diamond crystals on Kimberlite (not repaired)
  o. Native sulfur crystals and sulfur drill cores.


Well-crystallized metallic minerals on matrix:

a. Wulfenite (Thick tabular crystals)
  b. Franklinite, zincite, and willemite crystals
  c. Cassiterite and other tin minerals
  d. Proustite, pyrargyrite, masses of chlorargyrite, and other silver bearing minerals
  e. Columbite-tantalite group
  f. Cuprite, azurite and other copper minerals
  g. Cerussite, anglesite, pyromorphite, leadhillite, galena and other lead minerals (individual crystals or crystals on matrix)
  h. Cinnabar crystals on matrix that have not been repaired (pure massive material suitable for cutting is also desired)

Fluorescent minerals:

a. All fluorescent minerals from Franklin, NJ that fluoresce three or more colors.
  b. Scheelite that is either crystallized or massive. A special request is for pure spuds from Atolia, CA that are over 10 pounds.

Botryoidal and druzy minerals:

a. Deep blue-green smithsonite from Kelly, NM. Smithsonite from other localities is also desired. Deeply colored specimens or items from unusual localities are the most sought after.
  b. Druzy chrysocolla on gem copper stained silica.
  c. Malachite that has not been polished. I am looking for old Zaire and Bisbee specimens.
  d. Malachite with azurite from Bisbee (cutting grade)
  e. Hemimorphite (Deep blue-green)
  f. Jadeite and nephrite (Complete carvings and massive specimens that have not been cut.)


a. Any iron, stony-iron or stony meteorites. If you think that you have a meteorite, we will look at it for free. Iron and stony iron meteorites will have the following characteristics:
i. A dark fusion crust with a lumpy exterior (pitting)
  ii.   Attraction to a magnet
  iii.   No gas holes
  iv.   Genuine meteorites are usually not found along railroad tracks or in a heavily industrialized area. Metallic objects found in these areas are usually either rusted pieces of equipment or fall into the general category of "railroad slag".
  v.   The meteorite should be noticeably heavier than a terrestrial rock of the same size. Iron-nickel meteorites have a density of about 8 grams/cubic centimeter. The average rock in the desert will have a density of about 2.5 to 3 grams/cubic centimeter.
  b. If we think you have a genuine meteorite we will provide free testing in exchange for a piece of the specimen. We may be interested in buying the specimen outright.

Colored non-metallic crystals

a. Tourmalines in matrix
i. (Old California specimens are a priority)
  b. Corundum (individual crystals and those on matrix)
  c. Rhodocrosite crystals (individual crystals and those on matrix)
  d. Brightly colored garnet crystals (individual or on matrix)
i. Deep green crystals (clear or opaque) are a priority
  ii.   Bright pink grossular crystals
  iii.   Large single crystals with a minimum of damage
  e. Zircon crystals (individual and on matrix)
  f. Topaz (not irradiated)
  g. Titanite and rutile
  h. Benitoite on matrix
  i. Quartz with rutile or other inclusions (suitable for cutting and not polished)
  j. Quartz (var. amethyst, rock crystal, citrine, tiger's eye) Deeply colored specimens and those with larger crystals are the most desired.
  k. Quartz scepters
  l. Precious opal that has not been cut. We are also looking for black opal from Virgin valley, as well as opalized wood and bone.
  m. Lapis Lazuli crystals on a marble matrix (no damage)
  n. Beryl: We are interested in both common and gem specimens that are well crystallized.

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