Met with some friends who enjoy the hobby of rock collecting. We talked about the different types of rocks they collected and I took notes.
Rocks - Nature's Creation
Who Collects Rocks?
Why would anyone want to collect rocks?
It is an exciting and rewarding hobby of fun, adventure, and exploring for anyone who enjoys collecting common, unusual, luxury, and rare rocks on our planet.
The most common rock is sedimentary rocks, which include limestone, shale, and sandstone. These sediments originate from deposits in rivers, lakes, and oceans. Sediments dehydrate and harden into rock.
They use limestone in construction, water treatment, making gravel, landscaping, roofing, filler in plastic, paper, and paints. It will treat soil, purify water, and smelt copper. The purest limestone is marble. They use marble in works of art, interior and exterior decorating, and practical products.
We find natural gas and oil in shale. It is used to make building products of brick and tile. They may also use it in pottery manufacturing.
Commercial and residential buildings use sandstone. Stones are excellent for interior and exterior walls, household décor, counter tops, and tiles. Sandstone is a natural water aquifer. Kitchen counter of granite are very popular.
Sedimentary rocks also help us understand our existence of life on earth.
Color Patterns Effects
What Rocks Interest Hobbyists?
People interested in collecting rocks see wonderment, and beauty in nature’s creation. There are various markings, colors, and designs on the exterior and interior portions of rocks.
We want to know how, when, where, and what are creating these interests. We find our journey for research, and knowledge in articles, books, magazines, and visual aids. Teachers and research personnel are excellent for acquiring knowledge to narrow our search and become more specialized.
We need not collect every rock, just those that capture our interest.
Reasons for Collecting
- History and culture
- Nature excursions
- Outdoor or indoor exercising
- Personal spiritual reasons
- Money and other financial purposes
- Treasure hunting fun
- Meeting people who share the same interests
- Arts and Crafts projects
- Vacationing rock locations
Small Rock Collection
Where Do You Find Rocks?
Nature has an abundance of rocks anywhere and everywhere. Rocks are found at mountains, sea shore, rivers, lakes, mines, and loosely lying about anywhere.
Research and education about rocks will limit the collection. It is to our benefit to narrow our selection to one or two variations. A selection may be modest or elaborate.
Rocks are also available online, at specialty stores, auctions, estates, or private collectors.
Rock hounding is like bird watching. Birds and rocks are everywhere. That’s the predicament. There are so many categories it is troublesome to decide where to begin.
Where do you start?
- Visit local libraries, colleges and museums
- Join local rock club meetings
- Attend rock, gem, and mineral shows
- Talk to rock hounds for their interests, opinions, and experiences.
- Purchase a rock identification kit and guide book
- Invest in reference books to enlighten self of rocks, minerals, crystals, and gems.
- Contact a local Bureau of Land Management.
- Determine which rocks are available in your local area
- Gather essential tools for your rock interest.
- Catalog your collection.
- Provide displays and storage needs.
List of Rocks and Gems in the USA
Rock or Stone
Star blue Quartz
Jelenite, a form of amber
Patuxent River Stone Agate
Petosky stone fossilized oral
Chlorastrolite aka as Isle Royale
Lake Superior Agate
Black Fire Opal
Rose Rock (Barite)
Oregon Sunstone labradorite
Tennessee River Pearls
Tennessee River Agate
Texas Blue Topaz
Missippian (Lithostrotionella fossil coral)
Wyoming Neophrite Jade
Equipment for Collecting Specimens
Climbing mountains, walking river beds, and other rock collecting sites will require comfortable clothing and tools for collecting. Tools will also be needed to break and open rocks.
Tools and Supplies
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Shovels, picks, hammers, chisels specifically designed for collecting rocks.
- Geologist kit
- Protective gloves, safety shoes or boots, and appropriate clothing.
- Hard hats are required in some locations.
- Assorted brushes
- Rock screen or strainer
- Collection containers
- Rock guide book and notebook
- Specialty tools for advanced rock hounds
Collection and Cataloging
Cardboard boxes are excellent for storing rocks. Label the rocks with permanent ink or paint on the corner of the stone.
- Record these numbers in a notebook with the specimen’s number, name, type of rock, date acquired, description of location site.
- Describe its physical characteristics-mineral, crystal, or gemstone.
- Record geologic information if available.
- Other contributing information..
Labeling these rocks is as important as notebook recording. The history of the specimen may be one-of-a-kind and add value.
Blue and Grey Stone
Rules and Regulations
There are laws governing rock collecting. Ask for permission if you wish to search an area on private property. Contact your local Land Management department, division of forestry, and wildlife department in your state or with the federal government for their list of rules.
USDA Forest Service https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/ethics/permit.shtml
USDA Bureau of Land Management https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/bureau-of-land-management
Bureau of Land Management has no charge or permit to rock hound on public lands. However, there is no collecting in National Monuments.
It is best to check government rules and regulations before searching for rocks. The above three mentioned government organizations have maps, exploring lists, locations, and suggestions for rock hounding.
Opening and Identifying a Rock Collection
Sp Greaney from Ireland on October 08, 2020:
I don't know anyone that does this but you article really does provides a lot of useful information for a newbie who wants to pursue this as an interest.