It’s a good hobby, but since it’s not that popular, our club became one of those places where you can share your experience, tell a story about how you've got your first rock, update your map with new spots, get yourself a drink and a couple of new friends as well.
It’s a special feeling when you find your first agate or a Petoskey stone...some may even say that it’s like to become Indiana Jones. For a moment at least. But the most precious thing in rockhounding is to become closer to the wild. Trust us, Mother Nature still has a lot to give in our digital world.
You don’t need any experience at all! Get yourself a backpack and go down to the nearest cave, a creek etc., and find some pretty gem or a mineral.
No sky-high sums, well at least if you’re not eager to spend such. You can rockhound around the world or 15 miles from your hometown.
Do you have kids? Then here’s the way how to get them outdoors. Just say the words - Treasure Hunting. Who knows maybe you got yourself new ‘Ross’ in a family:)
Joining a local stone club grants you a warm welcome in a really close family. It is always good to meet with new people and you never know whom you may run into.
One day you’ll get tired of some stones or you’ll need more space for new ones, that’s when a gem club comes in handy. You can sell some stones and earn some spare cash.
Learning about the rocks, minerals and fossils may took you a lifetime and even more. A great way to start is to get in contact with those who share your hobby. That’s one of the reasons clubs were created for. Also, it’s good to create a library. You can easily find some great and cheap books in your local store or online. We recommend to start from one of these:
A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals. (Peterson's Field Guide)
Simon and Schuster’s Guide to Rocks and Minerals.
Rocks and Minerals- Golden Nature Guide by Zim and Shaffer.
Each of those are extremely useful and quite simple for beginners. A great plus is that identification procedures have lots of photos (photography website builders) and detailed explanations.
The easiest way is to buy them!:)
It’s pretty clear that some rocks can be found anywhere, but still some places are better than others. Remember to check the rules first, some places are forbidden and others need a restriction.
Mountains are excellent places to find lots of interesting rocks.
Sea/river cliffs and beaches are another classics where rocks are laying around.
Quarries are great places for rockhounding. But you need to remember that a permission to remove rocks from a quarry must be received first.
Old mines and old mine dumps another good places for ‘hunting’. Be cautious - old mines may be dangerous! Don't go under anything that may collapse, it’s only a matter of time it will. Usually, mine dumps have more rocks that old mines.
Roadcuts/railroad cuts are excellent places to collect some rare rocks examples. It’s essential to have a proper field equipment such as: a geological hammer; a chisels set, a hand lens; bags/containers; a compass and/or a GPS. Don’t forget about a safety gear: safety glasses, a hard hat and protective gloves!