7 Quick Tips to Start a Rock Collection

Do you like the idea of mapping out a grand adventure in search of lost treasure? Rock collecting is not just about holding onto a box of rocks—it’s the appreciation of the sheer elegance in each unique relic and the act of uncovering rare hidden gems.

Rockology invites you to learn all about Earth’s natural history with a closer look at rocks and minerals.

Why start a rock collection?

It’s educational and fun. Geology is an important subject that helps you learn and understand how such beautiful rocks and crystallized minerals sometimes takes millions of years to form! What an appreciation you will gain for such vast labors in time by building a rock collection of your own favorites over the years.

1. Learn the Basics of Rock Collecting

What is the difference between a rock and a mineral?

  • A rock is usually physical combination comprised of two or more minerals—exceptions composed of one mineral include granite, limestone, sandstone or shale.
  • A mineral is a naturally occurring substance expressed by a chemical formula—like Quartz or SiO2 (silicone dioxide) and Calcite or CaCO3 (calcium carbonate).

Therefore, the rock is combined or reacted form of the mineral due to geologic activity and change. To get a better understanding, you can download our Rocks 101 eBook for a basic overview of qualities to look for when surveying rocks and minerals—such as diphany, color, luster, streak and hardness.

2. Visit or Become a Member of Rock & Mineral Club

Start small, and collect rocks and minerals that are commonly found in your area. There are plenty of others who have discovered the beauty of crystalized rock minerals. Share your interest with other rock collectors who have already surveyed the area by visiting the nearest Rock & Mineral Club. This will be a great opportunity to learn about what types of rocks form commonly near home and what types are rare.

Here are a list of Rock & Mineral Societies throughout the US.

3. Go to a Rock & Mineral Festival or Show

Festivals and Rock Shows are held in various places throughout the year. This is a great place to get acquainted with displays of collections and rare items. You may just find that your local area hosts a rock and mineral show or festival ever year—which may come as a surprise!

To see if there are rock and mineral shows near you and check the listings for events you might want to attend, try the Rock Gem Mineral Clubs feed.

4. Travel to a Mineral Dig Site

One of the best ways to start rock collecting is with a trip to a dig site. All landscapes and places have each their own set of geologic formations, sediment and—most importantly—rocks. Anywhere you go can easily add to the grand adventure of rock collecting by adding a mining destination to the map.

It’s as simple as locating the minerals on this mineral map, traveling the site and learning all about geologic formations and rock minerals along the way.

5. Tumble the Rocks Yourself!

Rock collecting for kids is a great way to get children interested in science at an early age. One of the best ways to learn about rocks and minerals is to make it a hands-on experience. That is why a rock tumbler allows you to incorporate a rock collecting activity for kids.

Kids will love to watch the polished minerals transform and shine right before their eyes!

6. Add All Your Favorites to A Wish List

All of it sounds like a whole lot of effort you say? No problem, we’ve already done all the work for you! It’s quite an exciting experience to travel to a mining site, take the pick in hand, dig up and crack open your own Thunder Egg.

But like so many others, you want to see your collection continuously grow, until you have unearthed the works in a vast selection. That’s where you’ll find the stunningly polished—the gorgeous gems that shine brighter than all the rest! Find which rocks strike your fancy and add them to your wish list.

Crystals, fine stones and precious gems always make great gifts!

Let’s face it anyway—some things are best left to an expert. And in fact, some rocks and minerals are easiest found at a Rock & Mineral specialty shop.

7. Find Your Prized Gem

Out of all the rocks in your collection, you will find that there is one that always stands out above the rest. Find your prized gem to raise the value of your rock collection with a rare and exciting piece. Take a look at our rock shop and we may just have the perfect gem you seek.

There are plenty of ways to start an amazing rock collection, and remember it takes just one stunning piece to crown the perfect the display. It’s time to find your hidden gem!

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