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Rock Hounding



Rockhounding is the recreational collecting of rocks and/or mineral specimens from their natural environment. Early rockhounds were prospectors looking for valuable minerals and gemstones for commercial purposes. Eventually, however, more and more people have been drawn to rockhounding for recreational purposes, mainly for the beauty that rocks and minerals provide.


One reason for the rise in popularity of amateur geology is that a collection can begin by simply picking up a rock. There are also many clubs and groups that search for specimens and compare them in groups as a hobby. Information on where to find such groups can be found at libraries, bookstores, and "gem and mineral shows". Tourist information centers and small-town chambers of commerce can also supply valuable local information. The Internet can also be a useful search tool as it can help find other amateur geologists.

The amateur geologists's principal piece of equipment is the geologist's hammer. This is a small tool with a pick-like point on one end, and a flat hammer on the other. The hammer end is for breaking rocks, and the pick end is mainly used for prying and digging into crevices. The pick end of most rock hammers can dull quickly if struck onto bare rock.


rockhounding-quartzAvid rock collectors often use their specimens to learn about petrology, mineralogy and geology as well as skills in the identification and classifying of specimen rocks, and preparing them for display. The hobby can lead naturally into lapidary projects, and also the cutting, polishing, and mounting of gemstones and minerals. The equipment needed to do this includes rock saws and polishers. Many beautiful crystal varieties are typically found in very small samples which requires a good microscope for working with and photographing the specimen. The hobby can be as simple as finding pretty rocks for a windowsill or develop into a detailed and comprehensive museum quality display.

Rockhounders should take safety precautions, such as wearing safety goggles and gloves. It's best to travel in a group in case of accidents or injuries. Always carry water, maps, and good lights.

. . . Wikipedia/Rockhounding
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For a complete list of rock hounding supplies, please page through our complete Mr. Detector Catalogue. (Index is on page 3.)

Mineral Identification & Specimens

Rock Tumblers & Accessories

Tools & Accessories - see Tools



Related Links

Colorado Treasure Hunting



Rockhounding - Squidoo

Treasure Hunting - gems and minerals