familiar with rocks Ė
Learn how to recognize and classify the rocks. Itís
good to have a book with pictures of rocks and
minerals in it. It is also good to have a map
that shows what kinds of rocks are in your search
area [geologic map]. Study
that you might find in your area.
Equipment you will need: a small hammer, magnifier,
pocket knife, a medium sized brush, and some bags.
The most popular hammer has one blunt end, and one
pick end. Another kind has
one end blunt and the other end chisel [like picture
on right]. The
magnifier will help you have a closer look at the
stone. The pocket knife is a useful gadget to pick
off pieces or scratch them. The brush can be used to
dust away dry dirt as you uncover the rock or
mineral. You should put each type of rock in a
Pick up rocks from beaches, river
banks, caves, mountains,
quarries, even close to
your home. Itís good to visit several areas with the
same type of rocks. Then you can select the sample
which best represents that kind of rock. Hint:
River banks [where the river bends] are
especially good places to look. Water and weathering
push rocks and minerals down rivers. The
bends in the river stop them. Never go near
rivers alone, though. Rivers are dangerous
places and you need adults with you.
for permission to collect rocks on private
property. Itís not legal to collect rocks in natural
preserves, some caves, and rock monuments.
good idea to have a notebook or, even better, an MP3
player. Then you can keep notes about what specimens
you find and where they came from. With an MP3
player, you can record this information and write it
down later. That's so much easier!
You won't get your information mixed up if you use
one of these ways to 'write' it down.
what size stones you want to collect. They shouldnít
be too big or you will need a big space to store
they shouldnít be too small because you need to see
what their features are.
the stones. You can use the brush for this.
boxes for keeping them. You can use either
cardboard, glass, or clear plastic boxes. Usually
rocks donít need special temperature and humidity.
system for labeling and be careful not to mix up the
specimens. On the label you should write the name of
the rock or mineral, the date it was found, and the
place where it was found.
extra rocks and minerals to trade with other
collectors. Suppose you get really lucky and
amethyst. You know that your
collection could use a really nice one so you pick
the very best. Before you leave all the rest,
take a couple more with you. If you meet
someone else who collects rocks and minerals, you
can trade one of the extra amethysts for something
from his collection that you don't have.
Trading is a good way to get rocks and minerals from
areas that you will never visit.