When I spotted this calcite it was laying on its side on a dealers table. I could tell it was a clump of calcite crystals but, until I picked it up, its aesthetic qualities were not apparent.
While some minerals will sit on a shelve and look good with out any base., most minerals look better if elevated or angled. Glass/ wood disks, display stands designed for non-minerals and commercial plexiglass mineral stands, are all options for making a mineral present better.
Many minerals show best from a particular view point.
Walking around a Mineral Show, it is easy to spot that stand out specimens setting on the nice display stand but can you spot that one that isn't standing out But has potential? ...
updated in 2016
SHOWING OF YOUR COLLECTION
For the calcite spar above I decided a custom created base was the best way to stand it up straight and show off the phantom crystal inside. Using a dremel tool I carved in to a block of pine to conform to the minerals base. I then used a wood sealer to cover the pine grain and painted the base black.
Should we mix display base types? My wife emphatically states all my mineral bases should match. But, making custom bases for all my minerals would be a lot of work. I also think some minerals show better on clear acrylic than wood. I guess time will tell.