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How to Start a Rock Collection

A rock hound is an amateur collector of rocks and minerals. Becoming a rock hound is easy (just pick up a rock!), but here are a few ideas to get you started on your rock collection.

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WHICH ROCKS TO COLLECT

You can base your collection on color, shape, texture or anything that you find interesting. Many rock hounds try to collect all the related rocks from the area where they live. Others look for unusual rocks from places they visit.

As your collection and interest grows, you can start to learn more about different rock classifications.

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WHERE TO FIND ROCKS

Your rock collection can start with rocks you find in your own backyard or neighborhood. Look for stream beds or areas of erosion which can often reveal unusual rocks.

Interesting rocks can also be found in places where humans have cut into the earth, like quarries, ditches, road cuts and construction sites. Be very careful when visiting those sites and always make sure to let an adult know where you’re going.

Remember, it is often illegal to collect rocks in state parks, national parks or national monuments. If you are rock hunting on private property, make sure you ask for permission from the landowner.

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ROCK COLLECTING TOOLS

A magnifying glass and a geologist’s hammer are the basic tools of any rock collector.

The head of a geologist’s hammer has two sides, a blunt end and a pick end. It can be used to break off rock specimens and trim them to display size. Always wear safety glasses when hammering rock to keep sharp chips from flying up and damaging your eyes.

Other useful equipment could include a field guide to rocks and minerals, gloves, newspaper to wrap rocks, labels and a felt-tip marker.

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CLEANING AND DISPLAYING ROCKS

As you collect rocks, it’s a good idea to keep a record of when and where you found it. You can make a temporary label with piece of tape and stick it to your rock. Record the details of your find in a field notebook.

Rocks don’t usually require special treatment. You can rinse them in cold water and gently clean them with an old toothbrush.

Egg cartons and shoe boxes make excellent containers for storing rocks. If you want to display your rocks, try a decorative glass jar. You can also buy cases that have individual compartments and transparent lids.

HOW TO FIND MORE INFORMATION

Many cities have rock and mineral clubs that offer classes and workshops. Local rock and gem shows are another fun source of information and can be an excellent place to buy or trade specimens. Many natural history museums have rock and mineral displays, and also sell starter kits in their gift shops.


SEND US PHOTOS OF YOUR FAVORITE ROCKS

Found an awesome rock? Just use the form below to send us a photo of it. After we review it, we’ll post it in a photo gallery on Boyslife.org so everyone can see it.

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Important Note: Please only upload photos of rocks. Because of privacy rules, we can’t post any photos that show people’s faces. Always ask for your parent’s permission before uploading anything to a website.

18 Comments on How to Start a Rock Collection

  1. I love collecting rocks. Its just awesome!!!

  2. A few days ago I got a selenite tower

  3. I have rocks from 21 countries. Missing continents are Australia and Antartica! Not a traveler, but co-workers and friends have brought these back to me. Very fun!

  4. Mr. meow meow // November 28, 2018 at 9:50 am // Reply

    I have quarts in mine!

  5. A girl that rocks out // May 31, 2018 at 8:10 pm // Reply

    I have a sweet collection I probably have over 300

  6. Antwonnett // April 27, 2018 at 8:29 am // Reply

    chinese people cant fit in there tanks lol

  7. I love rocks I am finding lots

  8. Love it I’m finding cool rocks thanks

  9. Love it I’m finding cool rocks thanks

  10. I have 200 rocks

  11. omg very lit

  12. remember on a campsite leave no trace.

  13. I love it it is so fun and I cleaned them with cold water the rocks tired shine and I have over 60 rock I put mine in a hole bunch of shoe boxes

  14. I love it and recommend it,very fun!

  15. fun fun fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! // November 1, 2016 at 5:35 pm // Reply

    I love rocks! I keep mine in an egg carton and I have over 15 I think.

  16. I Have 8 Rocks So Far

  17. I love rocks

  18. boss12345678910 // September 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm // Reply

    Making rock collections is amazing!

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