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Introduction to Amazing Hobby of Rock Collecting

Updated on November 28, 2010

An intriguing leisure pursuit for both children and grownups is Rock Collection. Despite the fact that stones and rocks are found ubiquitously and are inexpensive, one can find multiplicity of rocks.

Rock and stone collection is one hobby that has diversity or variety since the gathered rocks can be exhibited in a range of ways and style. Large rocks are generally arranged in the house driveway or are kept in rock gardens and even in a normal house garden. There is a new trend of creating miniature rock gardens in containers which can be kept anywhere. Small rocks are set on sill of the window. Generally these rocks are collected in rock collecting bags.

To pursue rock collection as a hobby, one should be aware that primarily rocks are classified in 4 groups:

Pyrogenic or Igneous Rocks

These rocks are produced under circumstances relating to extreme heat. These rocks are generally formed by process involving volcano eruption or any other similar events.

Igneous rocks are some of the most exhilarating discoveries.

For example: Obsidian which is acid or granitic glass created by the rapid cooling of volcanic emission but no crystals are formed. This rock is generally dark, rigid and shiny but transparent in thin pieces which may look as if it is black glass broken in pieces. Native Americans used obsidian to craft pointed tip of the arrow.

Pumice is one more remarkable pyrogenic rock. It is a light glass formed on the surface of some lavas; is full of pores, which makes it so light weight which makes it float on water. It is utilized to clean and remove callosities from a person’s foot.

Sedimentary or Aqueous Rocks

These sedimentary rocks are produced while matter that has been deposited by some natural process

For instance: Grit or mire compressed collectively due to their weight otherwise by pressure of water; change in solid form, in due course of time.

At certain occasions sedimentary rocks can be told apart easily as these types of rocks much appears as elements attached collectively.

Sandstone is a good example of this type of sedimentary rocks. Noticeable flat layer is another feature of sedimentary rocks which tell them apart.

Limestone, Chert, Arkose, Shale and Conglomerate some more types of sedimentary rocks.

Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphic Rocks are similar to sedimentary rocks are changed from their original form by heat and/or pressure. These rocks occasionally comprises of layers, however these layers are stooped so these will not be found arranged as flatly throughout the rock.

Slate, Schist, Serpentine Marble, Gneiss, Mica Schist, Travertine Marble, Anthracite Coal, Phyllite are some metamorphic rocks.

Minerals, Gemstones & Crystals

Many people who like rock collecting as a hobby, take pleasure in gathering Minerals, Gemstones & Crystals. In reality minerals aren’t comparable in kind or quality with rocks, but pure minerals are also a part of rock collecting.


Some of commonly collected minerals are Iron Pyrite and Quartzite

Pyrite is a common mineral that has a pale yellow color commonly known as fool's gold

Quartzite is a hard metamorphous rock composed fundamentally by quartz crystals which are linked or locked closely. Quartzite appears more or less similar to diamond.

A number of individuals collect rocks as a souvenir when they find a beautifully cute round rock at a beach or any other place they are visiting. This kind of collection does not call for a great deal of analysis of stones and rocks, but more serious rock collectors do a lot of scientific analysis while collecting rocks and minerals. They label their collected stones by using a marker, also add details such as date and location where rock or mineral was discovered.

One thing to bear in mind is that while collecting rocks, different areas or parts of the earth has different variety of rocks and stones. For example, loads of sedimentary stones can be found in American Midwest however very few metamorphic and pyrogenic rocks are found. Gneiss and schist are metamorphic rocks found in the Appalachian Mountains.

Rock Collecting Tools and Equipment

Knowing the tools to take with you will make your trip more productive. Depending on the kind of mineral you are going after

It is very useful to have rock/mineral collecting tools and apparatus when you go on a rock hounding trip. The tools you require may differ according to the rocks you’re after. But you have nothing specific in mind, following is a typical list of rock hunting tools that you may want to take with:

Sieve can prove to very useful if you’re looking for some pretty small rocks so that they can be separated from powdered material or grading particles.

Gloves to keep your hands clean and protected from flying rock chips and also makes sure that you don’t have any blisters or wounds.

Hardhats are worn by more serious rock collectors.

Magnifying lens is a necessary apparatus if you are looking for tiny rocks and minerals. Make sure to purchase a good quality lens which has around 10x magnification.

Safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying rock chips while using a hammer or any other steel tool.

Numerous Hammers are used by serious rock collectors. A wide range of hammers are available depending on the purpose and rocks.

Sledge Hammer: An 8-pound sledge hammer with around 36 inch long handle is generally used to sever large rocks in small pieces so that they can be easily managed. Sledges are heavy so make sure that you’re strong enough to use it and that you don’t hurt yourself while using it.

Crack hammer: A 4-pound or 2-pound crack hammer is useful to sever average rocks or driving chisels.

A geologist's hammer or rock hammer: It consists of consists of a mishmash of a flat head, with either a chisel or a pick head at the other end. Flat head of this hammer is useful while trying to split the rock by blowing it. A pick head has a pointed end to exert maximum pressure which is very handy for finding minerals. A chisel head is used to clear covering foliage from exposures and is also used to lever open the fissures.

Buckets and Rock collecting bags will keep all your rock collecting equipment in one place as well as you can keep your collected rock specimen in these. It is also advisable to have some wrapping paper.

No matter where in the world you live, it is sure that you will find that rock collection is an irresistible hobby!


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I only recently started collecting rocks and this really helped me out

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      This sounds like something I fun I would love to do as a hobby. Very useful! Voted up!

    • Felicia Carrillo profile image

      Felicia Vasquez 

      7 years ago from New Mexico

      I have collected rocks since birth! LOL I was probably born hold a rock! I have recently changed my major to geology to futher my passion! Thanks for sharing this amazing article!

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 

      9 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      I've been a rock collector since I was a kid. They are fascinating. I have several fossils as well as several pieces of quartz crystal. Thanks for an excellent hub!

    • profile image

      Arvind Singh Rathore 

      9 years ago

      hi friends

      i hav been collecting rocks of different size and shapes since 3 yrs & this hub has enriched me a lot on this but i want to know more about mineral rocks, their easy identification marks and places where they can be found generally

      i decorate mineral rocks in dishes & pots and use metamorphic rocks for rock painting & making crafts beside that can u give any other idea to use them?

    • seanorjohn profile image


      9 years ago

      Well done another very informative hub. I think you could do a follow up hub and link them.You are going to do well on hubpages.

    • FuzzyCookie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hello "Wife Who Saves" and Hassam, thank you for reading and appreciating this hub. Since I am new here, its you guys who keep me motivated to write more. Thanks for your support! xx

    • FuzzyCookie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Denise, I really loved the idea of rock being the medium for us to be connected to earth. Thanks for your wonderful comment and for voting my hub. :)

    • hassam profile image


      9 years ago from Pakistan

      Hi there,

      It is really an amazing hub, you have done here. Just found out that it has also been chosen in hub nuggets. Well done! :)

    • profile image

      Wife Who Saves 

      9 years ago

      Your hub is very informative, nice photos. Thanks for sharing.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi FuzzyCookie, welcome to hubpages! What an awesome hub. It resonated with me b/c I've been a 'rock' and shell collector ever since I was a little girl. I love to look at rocks whereever I go, and have brought them back from various places I've visited. It's a wonderful hobby. But, on a deeper level, it connects me with the earth. Cool photos, too. I voted your hub 'up'. Good luck with the contest. ...signed, Earth Child :)

    • FuzzyCookie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks!! :D

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      9 years ago from Central Oregon

      You had me at Igneous...Congratulations on the nomination!!!

    • FuzzyCookie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi akirchner, yes! its really interesting to know how these pretty lil rocks are created and how many people are enchanted by hobby of rock collection. Thanks you for cheering me up for the nomination! :)

    • FuzzyCookie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hello NamVetRich, thanks! I am glad that this hub gave you a new perspective on rocks and rock collecting.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Very interesting - I have a sister who collects gem stones and rocks and it is rather fascinating to learn more about them. Congrats on your nomination as well!

    • NamVetRich profile image


      9 years ago from Springfield Oregon

      Great Hub, very well done, pics are awesome. Makes me take a whole new look at rocks.

    • FuzzyCookie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Ruby, thanks for sharing your story, I am glad. :) Apparently I love to pick rocks (you know free stuff!), never bought any. Cheers!

    • profile image

      Ruby J. B. 

      9 years ago

      Hi! I have been collecting rocks since the age of 6 (i think?) -- i'm 47 now and still doing it, still fascinated, learning, and having lots of fun. It is an appreciation of the simple things, finding beauty in what others overlook, like stopping to smell a wildflower. You can't go wrong with this hobby. It can be very inexpensive, or you can spend money on it if you want. Moving around the country/world, or travelling, and spending time looking, and selecting stones from various distant locations is more fulfilling than buying them, but i have done both and love it all. Ignore any ridicule you might encounter. Some people are not sensitive or intellectually curious enough to understand. I wish you all, many beautiful rocks! (and shells, and etc!)

    • FuzzyCookie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Yes, the multicolored ones look awesome. I specifically love the rounded sedimentary type rocks which has layers but are smoothed because of years of floating about in water bodies.

    • europewalker profile image


      9 years ago

      Good hub, I love collecting rocks from everywhere I have visited. I like the varied shapes and colors. The multi colored ones look like art work.

    • FuzzyCookie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi energyadvisor, thank you for your kind comment. I remember holidaying in the mountains and there used to be a really nice ice blue river pass through the mountains and following us everywhere we went. Luckily, our hotel was near the river and one could find a variety of rocks at the bank, I collected assortment of small really pretty and shiny and large white rocks. When I came back home, i realized that I left the large ones under the taxi seat, was a bit disappointing but teh small ones were in my bag and hence I got to take them home .. anyway.. I still do love picking any sort of rocks that look pretty. :D

    • EnergyAdvisor profile image


      9 years ago from The nearest planet to Venus

      Very nice Hub! I collect only big rocks that I use for landscaping:) Oh and I have a small amathyst, really beautiful. I really can imagine that there are collectors of all sorts of stones and rocks. Some of them are very beautiful and you can't stop looking at them.

    • FuzzyCookie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hello Jess, its amazing how you've been pursuing your hobby of rock collection since early childhood and its cool that your relatives know about your lil hobby and bring you all sorts of cute lil rocks!!

      Oh and thanks for pointing out the shells part, which I totally forgot to include.. yeah people who collect shells also collect shells and suchlike :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Happy rock collecting! :D

    • FuzzyCookie profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi MrKnowledge, thanks for appreciating my hub :)

    • Lifeallstar1 profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm one of those people that find the pretty or interesting rocks and take them home. My mother would get mad at all the rocks I was bringing home but I thought they were so interesting and beautiful. So, when people travel they bring me interesting rocks, I actually haven't looked up to see which are what but I now have quite a collection since relatives travel all over the world and think, "Oh, we can't forget some rocks for Jess" LOL. It was more of a joke to them but i love it. My mother said I was about 3 when I was screaming because I couldn't leave this rock behind and wanted to take it home. I'm now 19 so I have quite a collection of probably nothing but I find them calming and fun to look at. Thank you for describing the different kinds and facts that I did not know. I will be looking at my rocks in a different way now. I also have pretty shells from all different beaches but I love my rocks. People think I'm crazy but they used to BUY pet rocks...mine were free!! Thank you. This put a smile on my face. Jess

    • MrKnowledge profile image


      9 years ago from Tacoma!

      Nice hub, good job


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