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ave and cavern gift shops are well known for selling beautiful selections of rocks and minerals for collectors and those looking to add a natural touch to their home décor. Their customers are so diverse that most gift shop owners agree that the key to stocking rocks and minerals is variety.

Tommy Moak, tour guide, cracks open a geode purchased by guest Sylvia Sewell at Colossal Cave Mountain Park in Vail, Ariz., as Sewell looks on. This unique add-on element to a geode purchase adds value to the gift shop experience.

“We want to have something in our store for each customer,” said Tom Hagen, the owner and operator of Rushmore Cave in Keystone, S.D. “On one end we have a wide range of $1 samples primarily for kids, and on the other we offer some really nice specimens up to about the $200 range for the more serious collector.”

Don Henk, director of retail at Natural Bridge Caverns of Virginia in Natural Bridge, Va., advised, “Don’t underestimate what the consumer will purchase. Some of the pieces we brought in were designed to be large display pieces; the type you bring in just to get the guest’s attention. However, in many cases, those pieces were the first ones sold from the display.”


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