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Polished Beach Pebbles - Photo Gallery

Updated on February 19, 2013
polished quartz-based beach pebble
polished quartz-based beach pebble | Source

I've been polishing up common beach pebbles, and thought I'd share the results.

Beach stones can look exceptionally pretty when wet, but when deposited above the high tide line, or left to dry out, they tend to fade to gray, losing their color and sparkle.

Putting them in a rock tumbler for a month to further smooth and polish them, leaves the stones glistening as if they were wet, when it fact they are quite dry.

Not all beach stones will take a polish.

The softer sandstones are not hard enough to polish well, as they turn readily to sand instead.

Quartzes are around 7 on the hardness scale which is perfect for tumbling.

They take a good shine.

Many of the beach pebbles shown below are quartz-based conglomerates, formed either when lava flows slowly cooled down, or when the rocks were put under tremendous pressure by ice during one of the many ice ages of the world.

They are almost certainly metamorphic types of rocks, but I would like some help identifying them.

polished translucent pale pink quartz
polished translucent pale pink quartz | Source
This could be a red jasper stone
This could be a red jasper stone | Source

If anyone knows what the stone above is, please tell me. It is red and had a 'molten' look to it before it was polished.

It could be either jasper or brecciated jasper, or perhaps another stone altogether.

Red serpentine perhaps?

quartz and feldspar based conglomerate beach pebble
quartz and feldspar based conglomerate beach pebble | Source

The quartz/feldpar conglomerate above is a very attractive stone that is made up of many elements as you can see.

Hard as I tried, I could not get it to take the super polishes shown on some of the quartzes.

yellow quartz
yellow quartz | Source

This yellow/orange pebble is very pretty. It is made from a quartz-like structure. If it has a name, I'd appreciate if someone could tell me.

black stone
black stone | Source

This black stone is another that simply would not take a shine when it was polished, but it does have a beautifully smooth surface.

There is the hint of some tiny fossils showing on the surface, and I have no idea what mineral it contains.

beautiful orange quartz
beautiful orange quartz | Source

This is quite a big pebble, and you can almost see the individual crystals that go to make it up.

It has the odd fleck of shiny mica in it, and a line of a dark grey shiny mineral on one side.

polished beach pebbles
polished beach pebbles | Source
more polished beach pebbles
more polished beach pebbles | Source
polished flint stone
polished flint stone | Source

Polished flint beach pebble

Flints, calchedony and jasper seem to be closely related. This one has the typical outer-coat of a white soft mineral.

While many flints are dark grey underneath, this one is a light brown and it has polished beautifully.

these pebbles shine!
these pebbles shine! | Source
shiny bright polished beach pebbles
shiny bright polished beach pebbles | Source


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    • Ask Izzy profile image

      Ask Izzy 4 years ago

      Thanks europewalker! I only have another 10,000 or so to polish. It is just as much fun collecting them as it is seeing the finished results. I prefer seeing them wet at the water's edge. That way, you have a very good idea of what they will look like when polished. But as you will know if you have polished beach pebbles, the photos can't show what they feel like. They are wonderfully smooth to touch, almost like velvet.

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 4 years ago

      Gorgeous photos. I like collecting colorful pebbles myself. The various colors and shapes of the pebbles are like beautiful artwork. Beautiful hub Izzy. Voted up.

    • Ask Izzy profile image

      Ask Izzy 4 years ago

      Peachpurple - if you buy some clear spray varnish, you can bring your seashells up beautifully. I've got some and might post them in a new hub.

      @SB, I kid everyone on that comes into the house that their pockets will be checked before they leave. The photos do not do them justice. They all have an incredible sheen that except for the top two photos or so, I have failed to capture.

      @Torrilynn, I have been trying to polish pebbles for about 4 months now, and am finally getting it right (at last). Like peachpurple, I collected pebbles as a child (many years ago), but we didn't have rock tumblers then to polish them.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Really great hub on pebbles and which ones can be polished and which ones can't. The variety and colors shown in the pictures. Makes it that much better. Thanks. Voted up.

    • profile image

      summerberrie 4 years ago

      Your photos are amazing. I just want to reach down and pick one of your stones up.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      beautiful beach pebbles collection you have posted. I used to collect seashells and pebbles too, have keeping them since my school days. I don't polish them but they sill look good as ever. Voted beautiful

    • Ask Izzy profile image

      Ask Izzy 4 years ago

      I think most people have no interest at all, which is great for those of us who do. Means it is still there.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, I like the avatar, Izzy! And you are correct, I used to stay busy as a beaver exploring everything in this neck of the woods as there is so much to catch one's interest. At least those of us interested in such things.

    • Ask Izzy profile image

      Ask Izzy 4 years ago

      Wow! If it was me, I wouldn't have time to work. Mind you, as you know I am hopefully on the gold trail now....

      Like the avatar?

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      On occasion we go snorkeling in the Flint River about 100 miles inland from the coast of Georgia. We find several types of coral along with many specimens of Pleistocene fossils including horse and camel teeth. Some of the coral is a beautiful color of bright orange and yellow when broken open. I said I lived in a fascinating area, didn't I? I have too many hobbies I think!

    • Ask Izzy profile image

      Ask Izzy 4 years ago

      Thanks Randy! I'm really quite fond of them myself, so we'll see what I will do with them. I bought in some jewelry findings in case I get the notion to take up jewelry making. It's not really my cup of tea but you never know.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Very nice colors, Izzy! Great for an aquarium or for jewelry also.