Polished Beach Pebbles - Photo Gallery
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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.