Using the Search Form

All specimens for sale on the web site are entered into a database. The search form allows you to specify criterea to select the specimens you wish to view.

The form has a set of fields for you to fill in. You may fill in one or more of the fields. If you fill in more than one, then only specimens satisfying all fields will be returned. (Empty fields match all specimens).

For the type-in text fields, the value you type in is matched against the values in the field for each specimen in the database. Since it's a pattern match, it's ok to type in partial values. For example, when searching localities, if you simply enter "China", you'll select all speciments from anywhere in China. If you type in "Colorado, USA", you'll get all specimens from the state of Colorado in the United States.

Once you stray from the letters of the alphabet and digits, you must be aware that some characters have special meanings. For example "." has a special meaning in the pattern matching, and the "\\" turns that off - so, to search for a field with a literal "." in it, you need to type in "\\."

By knowing a little bit about the conventions used in the values of each field in the database, you can use this search tool more effectively. Here are some notes about each field:

Status

Each specimen has a status of "available", "on-hold", or "sold". You can limit your search to specimens in any combination of these states, by checking the "available", "on-hold", and/or "sold" checkboxes.

    ...since / -or-

You can limit the search to specimens whose current status changed no earlier or later than some interval. The interval ranges from the past 24 hours, to the past year, and is selected in the drop-down menu just below the "since..." and "before..." buttons. For example, if you have "available" and "...since" checked, and select "10 days" as the interval, you will see only specimens that became available in the past 10 days. If you select "...before" instead of "...since", the search will be for times prior to 10 days ago.

Alternatively, you may specify a date limit using an "N days/weeks/months ago" format. (You cannot use both formats at once).

Specimen ID

Each specimen has a unique alphanumeric ID, for example, "CK42", or "URI-01". You can limit the search for specimens whose IDs contain a given string of characters by specifying it here. For example, if you put "CK" here, you would match all specimens whose IDs contain "CK", including "CK40", "HCK9", "CKTSU-42", and so on.

Specimen Name

Each specimen has a name field. Often the name is just the name of the primary mineral(s) of the specimen. But in some cases, there are conventions that can be useful in finding what you are looking for. For example, all pseudomorph specimens will the string "after" in their names, so you can find all pseudomorphs by entering "after" in the Name field. Be aware that the name field might include variety names ("amethyst", "aquamarine", etc.). Thus, to be sure of finding all Beryl specimens, select Beryl in the Mineral field - not in the Name field.

Mineral Species

The Mineral field is different from the Name field, in that it searches the list of mineral occurances noted for each specimen. (Not the mineral names that happen to be in the specimen name!) It is more precise than searching for species names in the Name field. For example, if you search for just "A" in the Name field, you will find Albites, Amazonites, Azurites, and so on... if you search for specimens by specifying a Mineral species name in the Mineral drop-down menu, the only specimens noting a occurance of that mineral will be selected. The mineral field allows IMA-approved species names, only. (E.g., you'll find Quartz, but not Amethyst).

Locality

The locality field is populated with locality names. Spellings and the locality hierarchy are generally as presented in the locality listings at www.mindat.org.

Hint: the special character "$" at the end constrains a search to match at the end of the field value, only. You can use this to search for all specimens form a given country: use the capitalized name for the country, followed by a "$", for example "China$". (Oherwise, other specimens that happen to contain the common name "China" - i.e., the locality "China Grade" - would also match).

Of course, you can also search by any part of the locality name, for example, "Sweet Home Mine" would find all specimens from a specific mine.

Description

The Description field seaches in the specimen descriptions. Since previous owners are usually named in the description, you can search for "Arthur Montgomery" to look for specimens sold by the noted American mineralogist (or perhaps even from Montgomery's personal collection...).

Size

Allows you to search based on the specimen sizes EOM; if ($Site == "irocks") print <<

Price >= and/or <=

By filling in these fields, you can limit the search to a particular price range. For example, with "Price >= 1000" and "Price <= 2000", the search will only match specimens in this price range. Note that the price constraint is applied to status "available" specimens, only.

ex-

Allows you to constrain the search to specimens formerly in the collection of one of the listed collectors or institutions.

General Notes

Searches are "bookmarkable". After clicking "Search", and receiving results, you can bookmark the result page, and your bookmark will store the search. Remember, revisiting the bookmark will re-execute the search; it does not store the search results. If the contents of the database have changed since the search was originally stored, the results may change.