Stones And Minerals - Checklist

Check it out, a list on how to be a true rockhound.

  • Get yourself a good local guide or general rock and mineral reference book so you can identify rocks in the field. When at home, the Internet has many useful reference sites.
  • Label your rocks with a tag and keep a record of where you found them.
  • When chipping off a piece of rock or mineral for testing, wear goggles to protect your eyes.
  • Along with goggles, a budding rockhound will need other tools, including  a small rock chisel, and a hand lens for closer inspection of mineral granularity (six to ten times magnification is best).
  • Compare your rock samples with those in a museum to help in identification. 
  • If your sample is possibly valuable, don’t do any physical testing (such as using hydrochloric acid, or a mineral hammer or even your fingernail), as these may cause permanent damage. Instead, compare it to pictures in a field guide to rocks and minerals, or consider having a local expert (possibly from a museum) examine it.
  • Most importantly, remember the old adage taught to doctor's: When you see hoof prints on the ground, don't assume they're zebra-they're probably from a horse. In other words, the stone you've found is probably quartz, not diamond
  • Bitten by the rockhound bug? Search the web for local organizaions or groups you can join to learn more about rock collecting.

Related Content