We often get people asking this exact question. Our tumbled rock table has dozens of different stones with a wide variety of prices, so do our spheres, raw table, and carved pieces. But why can you get a large piece of rose quartz for the same price as a small palm stone of Charoite? Lots of reasons, here are a few.
Rocks and crystals are natural resources. They are created by pressure, heat, minerals, and a lot of time. We've found ways to replicate many of them in labs, but those are generally used for jewelry pieces. Since we need so many specific factors to go right, it's up to the Earth which minerals we have a lot of and which we don't.
Amethyst is something the Earth is pretty fantastic at producing. We can find it all over in countries like Uruguay, Brazil, South Korea, Russia, and Zambia, just to name a few. It may have different colors and crystals, but it is still Amethyst. This is one reason so many amazingly beautiful Amethyst pieces can be found, large and small, at a more affordable price.
Shungite, however, is generally found in one country, Russia. How much is put into the market is controlled and therefore drives the price up. It's also why it isn't as frequently available in tumbled pieces or jewelry.
Like I was mentioning earlier, stones are natural and generally come from mines. This ties into issues with abundance, but if a mine is shut down, becomes "mined out" or gets destroyed the stone becomes rare and its price often increases. Like Gold or Silver, the price will fluctuate based on what is available in the market.
One example of this is Charoite. There is only one mine that produces Charoite and it recently was flooded, making mining in it impossible. This has made the already pricier Charoite even more expensive. It's rarity, and beauty, makes it one of our favorite stones. We have it in assorted jewelry, palm stones, tumbled stones, and spheres.
Another example is Blue Lace Agate. This stone was thought to be mined out a couple of years ago, making a relatively inexpensive stone to become a highly sought after piece for any collector. Even now, though they've found some other pockets of Blue Lace Agate, this stone is hard to find and has become scarce.
Some stones are expensive because they are just way more of a pain to work with. All stones have different hardness levels and are composed of different minerals. These factors determine how easy it is to create different forms and cuts of the stone.
Celestite is know as a fragile stone. Though it resembles Amethyst and other geodes, which have a tendency towards durability, Celestite is very difficult to polish, or even remove from the mine. It likes to crumble apart whenever it is taken from its matrix (or rock that it originally grew in). It is very occasionally polished, and can end up looking like the tumbled stones in the picture below.
Selenite is another stone that can be finicky to work with. Though it can be carved, like in the picture below, the striations that it grows in makes it difficult to do a lot of small, delicate work. This makes selenite jewelry rare to find, and adds to the cost of a tumbled version of the stone.
There are other factors of course, but these are some of the main reasons why the price of different types stones can vary. What pricier stone strikes your fancy? Let us know below!