This criterion relates primarily to the physical condition of the specimen and its lack of damage or appearance of damage. We often say that if it looks like damage, then it is damage. There are different kinds of damage: “Wilbur’s” (named after one of America’s greatest mineral collectors, and our good friend, Dave Wilbur – not because his minerals had “Wilbur’s”, but rather because they did not), dings, nicks, breaks, and cleaves on a crystal or matrix. Damage is part of the reality of collecting minerals as very few are truly perfect.
Damage, which are noticeable and interrupt the beauty of a specimen, are not acceptable. Often, a crystal will have what is known as a contact. Contacts are where a crystal was up against, or grew next to, another crystal or matrix. This is natural and as long as they are not unsightly is acceptable.
This criterion also includes repair and restoration. We believe that repair and restoration are acceptable when it is invisible, nearly invisible, does not impact the beauty or aesthetics of a mineral, or when the specimen is considered the finest or among the finest known examples. This must be considered when assessing specimens that are considered so magnificent, rare, and important that repair and restoration is unavoidable to preserve a specimen of great significance.