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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.



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.



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.



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.



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.


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.


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 so everyone can see it.

Submit Your Photo

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.

10 Comments on How to Start a Rock Collection

  1. this was very helpful on to how I can start my own rock collection. I liked how you included how and where we can find these really cool rocks. Thanks to you I can now have a better Rock collection than my brother

  2. waka waka // May 22, 2019 at 7:39 pm // Reply

    Mine never really worked

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

  4. A few days ago I got a selenite tower

  5. 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!

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

    I have quarts in mine!

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

    I have a sweet collection I probably have over 300

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

    chinese people cant fit in there tanks lol

  9. I love rocks I am finding lots

  10. Love it I’m finding cool rocks thanks

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