Collecting rocks is a great and rewarding hobby just like collecting stamps and coins when you were younger. If you are a beginner rock collector who cannot wait to explore the interesting world of rocks, you came to the right place. Here at Earth Brite, we will be sharing a blog post discussing the tips to consider when collecting rocks. If you are interested and you want to know more information, we encourage you to keep reading below to find out. 

What are the different rock collecting types?

Rockhound

A rockhound is an individual who loves to hunt for unique, rare, or invaluable rocks and minerals during an organized group trip to different locations such as mines. They exchange rocks and minerals with other collectors and may sell some of their specimens. Most rockhounds acquire piles of bulk rough that they can work on later but some may keep their collection of different exquisite types of rocks and minerals in them in display cabinets. They are hobbyists that may turn into dealers or sellers. 

Lapidary

A lapidary is an individual who collects rocks to create products with them. Jewelers can be included in this category as well. They are individuals who cut crystals and gemstones for jewelry making. These hobbyists may turn into artisans. 

What are the different tips to consider when collecting rocks?

Do your research

If you are interested in collecting rocks as a hobby, you must first study and do your research about rocks. You can explore your area’s geology. You can learn about the rocks and minerals that are commonly found in your area. You must know about geological features in your location. You can study the different specimens available in your area. You can practice your rock collecting skills and get used to the tools needed for collecting rocks in your area. 

Researching a specific type of rock is important before you start looking for it. With knowledge attained from your research, it will be easier for you to search for them and even more rewarding when you finally find them. 

Learn the basics

Before you start your rock collection, you must know the important basics of a rock collection. 

What is a rock? 

A rock is a combination of two or more minerals while there are exceptions which are rocks that are composed of just one mineral such as granite a polymineralic rock (composed of granite, feldspar, and mica), and quartzite a monomineralic rock (composed of quartz). Common examples of rocks are basalt, limestone, sandstone, and shale.

What is a mineral?

A mineral is a naturally occurring material found on the earth. It is usually expressed by a chemical formula such as Quartz, Silicon dioxide, and Calcite or Calcium carbonate. 

A rock is a combination of a mineral or different minerals which can be influenced by the geologic activity in the area. 

Hunt for rocks 

When searching for rocks you can ask this question, what kind of stones do you want to find? It is best to start with rocks that can be locally found in your area. Since the earth is made of different types of geologic formations, minerals and rocks may vary depending on the location. If you prefer searching for rare rocks sometimes you just have to know where to look so you can find them. You must check the geology of the region so you will know which minerals can be found in it. 

Join an organization or club

You can check your area if there is a local group, club, or organization for rock collecting. This way you can connect with others who have the same passion as you do. The local club for rocks and minerals can help you learn about the most common rocks and minerals that you can find in your area.

They can also teach you the best approach that you can acquire when you are just starting your rock collection. You can benefit from the knowledge of experts and more experienced members of the club. It can also be a great way to learn more about gatherings, events, activities, expeditions to the local mine, etc. 

Attend a rock and mineral show or event

Various rock and mineral shows and festivals are held in different places throughout the year. You just have to learn about when and where they are held so you can see displays of rock and mineral collections and rare items during the events.

You can ask your local club if they host a rock and mineral event throughout the year. You can also check for rock and mineral shows near your area by checking online for a listing of events so you can attend them whenever you can. 

Acquire the tools that you will need

If you are planning to collect rocks and minerals you must acquire the basic equipment that you will need so you can start. You do not have to spend too much money when getting the tools especially if you just started your hobby.

As a beginner, you must get the basic toolkit that includes safety glasses, a small shovel, hammer, fingernail brush, geologist’s pick, mallet, chisel, bucket, empty pill bottle, heavy-duty work gloves, and a pair of heavy-duty boots. These items can be found in hardware stores or tool shops. You do not have to acquire advanced equipment early on; you can get more tools as you increase your collection and improve your collecting skills.

Take a trip to a mineral/rock dig site

When you are starting your rock collection, you must go to a mineral and rock dig site near you. Different places have different geologic formations, sediments, and rocks. Wherever you go you can easily add more rocks and minerals to your collection by going to a dig site. It can be like an educational tour where you can learn about the rocks and minerals in the area by traveling to the site and checking the different geologic formations. 

Clean and display your rocks

Rocks do not usually need special treatment, you can just clean them by rinsing them in cold water and using an old toothbrush to remove some dirt. You can use old shoe boxes and egg cartons as containers if you need to store your rock collection. If you prefer displaying your collection at home, you can get a glass jar and place the small specimens inside. You can buy glass cases that have compartments and transparent covers so you can display your rock and mineral collection accordingly. 

Catalog your rock collection

As you grow your rock collection, you must create a record book of when and where you found them. You can also place a temporary label using a tape and place it on each rock so you will not forget its details. Once you return home you can record the details of your find in a record book. You can also catalog your specimens or you can create a database.

You can use a unique name or number to help you identify each rock specimen. On the database you can place the mineral, varietal names, the year you found them, and other details such as mine name, depth, or level. You must also include the price you paid for each specimen you have purchased so you can easily determine the value of your rock and mineral collection in the future. 

Limit the size of your collection

You must invest in a glass display cabinet or case so you will limit your collection on what will fit inside. This will help you choose your specimens with careful discernment and avoid having too many specimens which can lead to an unmanageable rock collection.

As a beginner rock collector, you might be too enthusiastic to collect and find all rare specimens but you must remember that collecting too much and placing them in a storage area is not practical. If you do not have space to display your rock collection, then there is no point in you owning them. You can sell some of the pieces and get one or two display specimens to use for your home. 

If you are based in Caldwell, Idaho, and you want to join our rockhounding membership you must check out Earth Brite. If you are interested in our rockhounding membership please click this link here.  

You can check out our shop by clicking this link here, or you can send us your inquiry by filling up this contact form here. 

If you are looking for a shop that offers rocks and crystals, Earth Brite in Caldwell Idaho is worth checking out. Our shop started our operations in 2014 because we want to share our passion for crystals and rocks with our community. We are offering rocks, crystals, jewelry, lamps, decorations, etc. We are also offering classes about crystal healing, meditation, geology, silversmithing, and tarot cards. Please let us know what you need so we can assist you accordingly.

We are also offering rockhounding trips for our club members and we facilitate activities for small kids such as digging up crystals and thundereggs. If you want to inquire about our products and services please contact us today. You can reach us by calling us at 208-369-1067 or sending an email at honeyonyx1@gmail.com. We are located at 3506 Cleveland Blvd. Caldwell, ID. What are you waiting for? Contact us today so we can assist you with your rock and crystal needs!