Privacy, Security, & Accuracy Policies
We do not (and never will) sell or provide our customer lists to others. All customer data will remain confidential.
simply cannot know that an order is yours. That is the way that the WWW
protocol was designed. Our cookies are only required for ordering and purchasing
We display ads by Google as an Adsense Partner site, and offer
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Cookies – When
you visit Google, we send one or more cookies – a small file containing a
string of characters – to your computer or other device that uniquely
service, including for storing user preferences, improving search results
and ad selection, and tracking user trends, such as how people search.
publishers serve and manage ads across the web. We may set one or more
cookies in your browser when you visit a website, including Google sites
that use our advertising cookies, and view or click on an ad supported by
Google’s advertising services.
Google uses the DoubleClick
advertising cookie on AdSense
partner sites and certain Google services to help advertisers and publishers
serve and manage ads across the web. You can view, edit, and manage your ads
preferences associated with this cookie by accessing the Ads
Preferences Manager. In addition, you may choose to opt out of the
DoubleClick cookie at any time by using DoubleClick’s
The cookies used by Google and other affiliates have a primary purpose - to enable us (Amethyst Galleries,
Inc.) to receive a small commission on purchases made at an affiliated merchant
when referred to them by this web site. The cookies enable the merchant to
remember that we were the source of their customer (you). If you don't allow
these cookies, then we will not get credit for your purchases or for "clicks" on displayed ads. Your purchases do
help fund this site, allowing us to provide educational content for over
2,000,000 visitors (mostly students) each year. Thank you for your support.
Please send any comments or questions to the webmaster.
The cookies may have additional purposes, depending upon the advertiser
network. For example, Google, Amazon, and Shopzilla/Bizrate remember the ads (in
their own networks only) that you have clicked on previously, and that
information is used to display ads more likely to be of interest to you. Some
advertisers (including Amazon) may use your previous purchase history to display
products related to those previous purchases.
We may use your IP (Internet Protocol) address to identify your country. In
nearly all cases, this is an IP address owned by your Internet Service Provider,
and only reflects the country of your ISP. We (and our advertisers) may use this
country code information to display different ads (possibly in different
languages) based upon your location. In most cases this is only to prevent ads
from displaying when the advertiser will not ship merchandise to the country in
which you are located. In some cases your IP identifies a specific metropolitan
area, and it is possible that locally appropriate ads will be displayed.
We use PayPal (and the PayFlow Link product developed and previously operated by Verisign, the most trusted name on the Internet (if you believe their marketing literature), to handle secure credit card transactions.
In addition, we do NOT store credit card info on ANY of our computers that are connected to the Internet. That way, we can be confident that even if someone hacked into our systems, our customer's credit card information would remain secure.
We cannot promise that PayPal/Verisign does this. However, they have committed to keeping all credit card (and related customer data) encrypted to eliminate hackers from being able to read any database information, even if they did manage to steal it.
We agree that all information provided on our site should be as accurate as possible. We endeavor to provide accurate descriptions of specimens, including descriptions of significant damage (especially for more valuable specimens).
Unless otherwise noted, all of our specimens have not been repaired or processed via heat, radiation, dyes, or other artificial enhancements. Note that in some cases (described on the mineral page) such enhancements are so common that essentially all specimens have that treatment. This would include, for example, blue topaz specimens (radiation), citrine geodes (heat), dark smoky quartz (another kind of radiation), emeralds (almost always oiled), and pyrite suns (invariably removed from the matrix for cleaning, then glued back in their original location).
Unless otherwise noted, all of our specimens are natural and not produced in a lab. Note that nearly all chalchanthite is of recent origin - the minerals are often a byproduct of copper mining. Also, nearly all California halite specimens formed quite recently in salt lakes, sometimes on sticks and anything else thrown into the lake (for
a while, we had a really beautiful skull of a bull that was covered in pretty pink halite crystals). Some minerals are essentially always lab grown, such as moissanite and many metal elements such as
bismuth or nickel.
Our weights and measures are intended to be accurate, but we are human. Larger items are measured in inches and pounds, converted to metric. Nearly all minerals are measured in grams and millimeters, with different scales (and resolutions) depending upon their size. Our carat scales are accurate to 0.01g up to 10g, then our next scale is accurate to 0.05g up to 50g, then 0.1g up to 200g, then 1g up to 600g. Above that, we use a relatively crude scale which claims to be accurate to ¼ pound.
We recently acquired a very accurate caliper for measuring anything up to 150mm (about 6 inches) to an accuracy of 0.01mm. Unfortunately, us humans aren't that good, and also we tend to measure at different points, and often not quite at right angles, so even we don't get the same measurements on the same specimen two days in a row. We are sure that whatever dimensions on the specimen that we did measure, we reported accurately (excluding typos). We do average the millimeters to
hundredths of an inch and tenths of a millimeter.
We do not apologize for our lack of perfection. We are human, after all. We make up for it by promising to accept the return of any specimen
for any reason (within 30 days of receipt), including that the measurements were not right, or that we described the mineral inaccurately.