How To Start A Rock Collection

  • Time to read: 7 min.

Starting a rock collection is a fun and rewarding hobby to engage in during your leisure time, whether a beginner or a seasoned rockhound. 

Exploring The Leisure Activity Of Rock Collection

If you are at the beginning stage of exploring this leisure activity as a possibility, here are a few thoughts to help with your exploration before deciding if this leisure activity is for you.

Begin your exploration by checking out local gem shows, mineral fairs, and rock shops. These are great places to touch the rocks, talk to others who enjoy the hobby and find unique stones and minerals.

Perhaps you would like to explore the potential hobby more formally. If yes, then go on a guided rock-hounding tour, as this is a great way to learn about different types of rocks and where to find them. Or you may opt to join a local rock club.

Can Money Be Made From Rock-Hounding?

Many wonder if rock-hounding would make a great side hustle. Yes, you can make money from rock-hounding. If you find rare or valuable rocks and minerals, you can sell them to collectors or dealers. However, most rock-hounding people do not make money immediately as it takes some knowledge and experience, which takes time. It’s important to check things out, talk to experts and research before selling any stones. Be sure to get a professional opinion on the value before selling them. 

The Best Places To Find Rocks

There are many great places to find rocks, but some locations are better than others. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • The Beach: Beachcombing is a great way to find interesting rocks and seashells. Be sure to check tide pools for hidden treasures.
  • Deserts: Dry conditions make it easier to spot rocks on the ground.
  • Mountains: Hiking in mountainous regions is a great way to find unique rocks and minerals. Popular rock-hounding spots include the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Sierra Nevada.
  • The Canadian Shield: This area has some of the oldest rocks in the world and is a great place to find rare minerals.
  • The Great Lakes: These massive lakes are home to many rocks and minerals.
  • British Columbia: This province is known for its rich deposits of gold, silver, and other precious metals.

The Best Places To Go Rockhounding In The United States

If you’re interested in starting a rock collection or want to find some remarkable rocks, you’ll need to know where to look. There are many places to go, but here are some of the best places to go rock-hounding in the United States:

  • The Mojave Desert, California: This desert is home to various rocks and minerals, including jasper, agate, and petrified wood.
  • The Black Hills, South Dakota: This area is known for its rich deposits of gold, silver, and other precious metals.
  • The Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia: This mountain range is home to a wide variety of rocks and minerals, including quartzite, amethyst, and garnet.
  • Death Valley National Park, California/Nevada: This national park is home to a variety of rocks and minerals, including obsidian, turquoise, and beryl

The Different Types Of Rocks You Can Find When Rock Hunting

One of the great things about rock hunting is that you never know what you might find. Here are some of the different types of rocks you might come across when rock hunting:

Igneous rocks are created or formed from cooled lava or magma, including granite, basalt, and obsidian.


Sedimentary rocks are formed from sediment deposited over time, including limestone, sandstone, and shale.


Metamorphic rocks have been changed by heat or pressure, including marble, quartzite, and slate.


Look for rocks in different colours, shapes, and sizes. Variety is the key to an exciting rock collection. You can even begin your collection by asking friends and family members if they have any rocks that they would like to add to your collection. Be sure to label your rocks with the name, location, and date found as this information will be valuable to you or a future owner of your collection.

Rock Hounding Safety Tips

Rockhounding can be a dangerous hobby if you’re not careful. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear sturdy shoes: This will protect your feet from sharp rocks and help you maintain your footing.
  • Bring a first aid kit: This is always a good idea when hiking or spending time outdoors.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially on hot days.
  • Watch for snakes: Be on the lookout for snakes, spiders, and other animals while rock hunting. If you see one, back away slowly and give it plenty of space.
  • Don’t climb without proper equipment: If you’re planning on doing any climbing, make sure you have the proper gear, including a rope and a harness.
  • Don’t go alone: It’s always best to hike with a friend or family member. This way, someone will know where you are and can call for help if needed.

By following these safety tips, you can have a fun and safe rock hunting adventure.

Rockhounding Tools: Everything You Need To Start Digging For Treasure

Now that you know where and what to look for and how to be safe, it’s time to start, but before you start digging, you’ll need the right tools. Here’s everything you need to get started rock hunting:

  • A rock-hounding shovel with a wide, flat blade, as this will make it easier to sift through dirt and sand. Shovels are necessary when looking for treasures hidden beneath the surface.
  • A pickaxe helps break up rocks or dig in hard-to-reach places.
  • A hammer for breaking rocks into smaller pieces.
  • A magnifying glass for examining rocks closely.
  • A first aid kit is always a good idea when hiking or spending time outdoors.
  • Water and snacks for staying hydrated and fueled during your rock hunting adventures.

As your interest grows you may want to add on tools you think best suit your adventures.

Tips For Using Your Rock-hounding Shovel Safely And Effectively

A great rock- hounding shovel will be your best friend when trying to dig out that rock that you eyed up.

  • Use the shovel to dig a slightly wider hole than the shovel blade.
  • Insert the shovel blade into the hole and use your foot to stomp on the back of the shovel.
  • Repeat this process until you have dug a hole that is deep enough for your needs.
  • To remove rocks from the hole, place the shovel blade under the rock and lift it out of the hole.
  • To fill in the hole, place the shovel blade that is full of a substrate in the hole and use your foot on the back of the shovel to remove the substrate into the hole.

How Can I Clean My Rocks?

Once you’ve found the perfect rocks for your collection, you’ll want to clean them. Of course, the best way to clean rocks is with a brush and water.

Scrub the rocks with a soft brush to remove any dirt or debris. Then rinse them off with water. If you want a complete cleaning of the rocks, you can also use a diluted solution of bleach and water. Simply soak the rocks in the solution for a few minutes, then rinse them with clean water. Tumbling is also a great way to clean rocks and give them a smooth, polished finish.

The Best Rocks for Tumbling

The best stones for tumbling are ones that are relatively soft and free of impurities, such as quartz, agate, jasper, and petrified wood.

Before you start tumbling, selecting the best rock for your project is important. If you’re new to rock tumbling, we recommend starting with quartz or agate. These rocks are relatively soft and polish up nicely with time and effort.

To get the best results for your time and effort, consider:

  • Start with clean rocks. Remove as much dirt or debris as possible before you start tumbling.
  • Use the right size grit. For best results, use coarse grit to start and then move on to finer grits as needed.
  • Add water to your tumbler, as this will help keep the rocks and grit moist during the tumbling process.
  • Be patient! Tumbling can take several weeks to achieve the desired results.

How to Display Your Rock Collection

Once you’ve collected a few rocks, it’s time to start thinking about how to display them. Here are three great The Value Of Hobbies In A Productive & Relaxing Lifeideas:

– A shadow box is a great way to showcase your favourite rocks.

– A picture frame is an easy way to display your rock collection. Glue the rocks onto a piece of cardstock and insert it into a frame.

– A jar or vase is an excellent vessel for your to place the rocks in and enjoy

Final Thoughts

Rock tumbling is a great option if you’re looking for a fun and rewarding hobby. With time and effort, you can create beautiful, polished rocks that are perfect for display or use in jewelry projects. 

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