Photographing minerals isn’t really difficult and there are no secrets about it. I did my first pictures with just point-and-shoot camera, color-paper and lot of sunshine. You don’t need a special studio, pro camera or mastering photo SW. PhotographingMinerals.com> will teach you how to jump right in and make better pictures of your minerals today!
Of course there are countless options how to make pictures and endless talk about each detail. Forget about it, start today and fix the problems as you go. You just need to start right now and subsequently learn and practice. Start today and make small steps, choose some problem to fix and start working on it. Do not try to learn it all at once, you will get confused and quit.
I highly recommend starting with some cabinet sized specimens. Avoid metallic or clear minerals as these are tricky. For the beginning use any camera you have. Main problems are usually lack of focus, wrong exposure, wrong white balance and lack of light. Do not worry about anything else until you fix these basic issues. Later you can improve your lights setup, learn how to make black or shadow-less white backgrounds and how to properly postprocess your pictures.