Collectibles and Collecting: Rocks and Gems
While the Collections system was actually introduced in The Sims 3 and expanded in World Travels, this "hobby" also happens to be one of the options that the Bohemian-Slacker has for an alternative profession and a way to earn money... The collection options include Bugs and Insects, Rocks and Gems, and in foreign lands, Relics. This can be a very lucrative profession if the player plans their Sim out to maximize it. Good physical conditioning keeps them from getting tired faster, and high logic skills make identifying and valuing Relics easier and more accurate.
If there is one key Lifetime Reward that you will want to rapidly acquire the points to purchase, it is the Collection Helper (40,000 Points) which you can use to mark item locations on the map and makes collecting a LOT easier!
The first group of Collectibles is the Rock and Gems category -- and bear in mind that some of these will be more valuable uncut than cut, which is something to think about...
They don't look like much but once they are cut they are beautiful
-- Rocks and Gems --
Gems are found in their raw (Rock) form on the ground, and once collected can be sent off by mail to be cut, which can increase their value significantly. The following are the collectibles that are available in the Base Game and World Adventures combined.
(1) Added by the Base Game and encountered in your home town:
Blue Topaz (Common) Value: $9 to $21
Diamond (Rare) Value: $100 to $200
Emerald (Common) Value: $20 to $30
Luminous Gem (Rare) Value: $150 to $350
Pink Diamond (Extraordinarily Unusual) Value: $1200 to $1600
Rainbow Gem (Extraordinarily Unusual) Value: $450 to $700
Ruby (Common) Value: $25 to $35
Smoky Quartz (Common) Value: $15 to $25
Tanzanite (Uncommon) Value: $60 to $95
Yellow Sapphire (Uncommon) Value: $35 to $60
(2) Added in World Adventures and encountered where specified:
Alabaster (Common) Value: $9 to $55 (Egypt)
Amethyst (Common) Value: $18 to $24 (France)
Citrine (Uncommon) Value: $35 to $53 (France)
Geode (Uncommon) Value: $15 to $120 (Home Town)
Jade (Rare) Value: $120 to $240 (China)
Lapis Lazuli (Common) Value: $12 to $30 (Chine)
Opal (Rare) Value: $350 to $520 (France)
Quartz (Common) Value: $10 to $18 (Home Town)
Septarian Nodule (Rare) Value: $50 to $350 (Home Town)
Soulpeace (Extraordinarily Unusual) Value: $1450 to $2100 (Home Town)
Tiberium (Uber Rare) Value: $100 to Up (Several different acquisition points) *
Turquoise (Uncommon) Value: $60 to $70 (Egypt)
* Note: Tiberium while valuable is a cursed mineral/rock/gem and having it in one of your Sim's possession or even on their lot (like in their collection) has a significant negative impact on their mood and may cause bad luck to befall them... If you do decide to traffic in it you are best served getting it shipped off to be cut as fast as you can, and then immediately selling it when the cut gem is sent back.
Note that if you are willing to risk the negative impact, then holding on to it for a day or so may be in your best interest, since no matter what cut you have it made in or even if you leave it raw, when placed on the lot outside of the Sim's inventory it will grow into a Large Spire Cut within a day, giving it a value of around $40,000. And yes, this is the same Tiberium from the Command & Conquer games!
-- Gem Cuts and Increasing the Value of your Collection --
Gems may be sent by mail to the gem-cutter who will cut them (for a fee) into the following cuts:
(1) Base Game Cuts
-- Brilliant ($250) Unlocked after 60 Cuts
-- Crystal Ball ($100) Unlocked after 45 Cuts
-- Emerald ($19)
-- Heart-Shaped ($1000) Unlocked after adding 10 Gems to your Collection
-- Marquis ($75) Unlocked after 30 Cuts
-- Oval ($20) Unlocked after 4 Cuts
-- Pear ($35) Unlocked after 8 Cuts
-- Plumbob ($50) Unlocked after 16 Cuts
(2) Added in World Adventures
-- Polished Split ($45) Geode & Septarian Nodules only
-- Skull (N/A) Transfigure Only
-- Star ($400) Unlocked after 75 Cuts
-- Spire ($6500) Tiberium only
Geode & Septarian Nodules only have polished split and heart-shaped cut, while Tiberium only has Spire and Heart-Shaped cut, but with most of the others it is your choice. You will quickly get a feel for what enhances value and what does not...
Every so often the gem cutter will return a gem uncut, with a note saying that it is actually a Mysterious Mr. Gnome in disguise!
-- Space Rocks --
While they are called "Space Rocks" what these are are meteorites that have fallen from outer space and landed on the surface of Planet Sim -- in fact your Sim can actually witness this happening and if they are very very unlucky, be killed by one!
Space Rocks come in three varieties: Tiny, Large and Gigantic -- and it is actually possible (but not all that likely) to find gigantic space rock in trash cans. An odd thing about Space Rocks is that a lot of them lose their value once you have classified them, so it is something of a crap-shoot as to whether you should do that, but then if it is a really valuable one and you do not, you could be losing out...
Space Rocks are found several ways -- checking trash cans, using the Collection Helper (if you have it), and seeing one fall while using the telescope (that results in its location being marked on the map). Obviously the most reliable method for finding them is to use the Collection Helper and select Rocks and Gems as the type being sought -- though bear in mind that you will also find other types of rocks as well.
When your Sim levels their Martial Arts skill up they can actually break Space Rocks on a board, which can reveal random gems inside them -- and the rare chance to obtain Tiberium, which as has been mentioned is both very valuable and potentially detrimental to your Sims...