Mineral Collecting–Research, Tools and More

A Basic Guide to Rock and Mineral Collecting

Are you fascinated by the glimmer of a crystal or the geology of rock and minerals? We have for you the best mineral collecting resources from research aids, tools, guidebooks and more–start rockhounding today!

We at Rockology would like to welcome you to expand your mineral collecting endeavors into a full out hobby. Take a look at some of the resources below that offer rock and mineral collectors a more in depth look of the specimens they’ve been collecting. Before long, you will transform into a regular rockhound.

Here’s some tools to help get you started with the art of mineral collecting:


Some say the research is the hardest part–and with mineral collecting, it totally makes sense. It’s quite difficult to just dig right into a site in hopes to retrieve the specific rock or mineral sought. You must first find a dig site. Some dig sites will give you access to the mines for a fee.

However, it’s up to you find each mine with the right sediment for the desired rocks and minerals. This process is made easy by the U.S. Geologic Survey. It just takes a little research to figure out where exactly your rock and minerals lie.


This is the tricky part and requires the intuition of a serious rockhound. It’s easiest to get to collecting those rocks and minerals found in your region. To do this, check out the local listings for mineral societies or upcoming shows near you. You may be surprised to find how many people out there are just as enthusiastic about mineral collecting as you!

The list seems endless–so take a look at the rock and mineral societies listed by state to learn more about what to collect in the various regions throughout the US. You may also be delighted by helpful information provided by each society on where to find it!


There are a few ways to identify rocks and minerals–the properties and chemistry–and you can search for both of these characteristics within this Mineralogy Database.

You can never go wrong with the Smithsonian’s Handbooks: Rocks and Minerals–since this will have all the essential facts and most standard information to help understand the scientific and geologic aspects of each specimen you find. It actually has about 500 specimens complete with pictures. It also provides distinguishing features and main characteristics of each rock and mineral.

For those of you who would rather not pay for a guidebook, we have Rocks 101–our free ebook guide to the most popular rocks and minerals for collectors.


There are many great ways to display your prized pieces. Most rockhounds go with the standard display cases, which separate each mineral item retrieved into separate slots. This method is great for organization and labeling, but it also can be quite boring for those of you that have stunning finds that deserve to be displayed out in the open.

A few alternatives could be a glass shelf–much like the ones you would find in a jewelry store. This suggestion is for the simple fact that you will be able to view the specimen from all angles when contained inside the case. Genius!

Another great way to go is to incorporate your rocks and minerals into the room decor with a little interior design. Some specimens are prized pieces and set off a room when placed as the center of a display.

Get the App

Serious rockhounds will be happy to know that there’s an app for that! If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, go ahead and take a look in the store for a download of Mineral Database–it’s a gem of an identification tool.

This app teaches you the chemistry, the geology as well as the characteristics and distinguishing qualities of the rock and mineral specimens. It is designed to help identify the color and basic chemistry for various levels of study from students, professors and geologists.

The free app Mineral Collector’s Resource found in the Google Play store is a great alternative for android devices. This app provides a list of useful websites and readily available resources to help you explore the world of rock and mineral collecting.


These tools should help get jump start your rockhounding adventure with a few fantastic resources. Gain a wealth of knowledge about geology and science, when you expand your mineral collecting efforts with research as you dig deep within the cave.



cc: Yoko Nekonomania

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