ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Rock hounds-Collecting Rocks as a Pastime

Updated on April 11, 2020
Tricia Deed profile image

Met with some friends who enjoy the hobby of rock collecting. We talked about the different types of rocks they collected and I took notes.

Rocks - Nature's Creation

Gray and blue rocks.
Gray and blue rocks. | Source

Who Collects Rocks?

Why would anyone want to collect rocks?

It is an exciting and rewarding hobby of fun, adventure, and exploring for anyone who enjoys collecting common, unusual, luxury, and rare rocks on our planet.

The most common rock is sedimentary rocks, which include limestone, shale, and sandstone. These sediments originate from deposits in rivers, lakes, and oceans. Sediments dehydrate and harden into rock.

They use limestone in construction, water treatment, making gravel, landscaping, roofing, filler in plastic, paper, and paints. It will treat soil, purify water, and smelt copper. The purest limestone is marble. They use marble in works of art, interior and exterior decorating, and practical products.

We find natural gas and oil in shale. It is used to make building products of brick and tile. They may also use it in pottery manufacturing.

Commercial and residential buildings use sandstone. Stones are excellent for interior and exterior walls, household décor, counter tops, and tiles. Sandstone is a natural water aquifer. Kitchen counter of granite are very popular.

Sedimentary rocks also help us understand our existence of life on earth.

Color Patterns Effects

A simple brown rock with many color variations and patterns.
A simple brown rock with many color variations and patterns. | Source

What Rocks Interest Hobbyists?

People interested in collecting rocks see wonderment, and beauty in nature’s creation. There are various markings, colors, and designs on the exterior and interior portions of rocks.

We want to know how, when, where, and what are creating these interests. We find our journey for research, and knowledge in articles, books, magazines, and visual aids. Teachers and research personnel are excellent for acquiring knowledge to narrow our search and become more specialized.

We need not collect every rock, just those that capture our interest.

Reasons for Collecting

  1. Education
  2. Science
  3. History and culture
  4. Nature excursions
  5. Outdoor or indoor exercising
  6. Personal spiritual reasons
  7. Money and other financial purposes
  8. Treasure hunting fun
  9. Meeting people who share the same interests
  10. Arts and Crafts projects
  11. Vacationing rock locations

Small Rock Collection

Assorted color stones in a simple display.
Assorted color stones in a simple display. | Source

Where Do You Find Rocks?

Nature has an abundance of rocks anywhere and everywhere. Rocks are found at mountains, sea shore, rivers, lakes, mines, and loosely lying about anywhere.

Research and education about rocks will limit the collection. It is to our benefit to narrow our selection to one or two variations. A selection may be modest or elaborate.

Rocks are also available online, at specialty stores, auctions, estates, or private collectors.

Rock hounding is like bird watching. Birds and rocks are everywhere. That’s the predicament. There are so many categories it is troublesome to decide where to begin.

Where do you start?

  1. Visit local libraries, colleges and museums
  2. Join local rock club meetings
  3. Attend rock, gem, and mineral shows
  4. Talk to rock hounds for their interests, opinions, and experiences.
  5. Purchase a rock identification kit and guide book
  6. Invest in reference books to enlighten self of rocks, minerals, crystals, and gems.
  7. Contact a local Bureau of Land Management.
  8. Determine which rocks are available in your local area
  9. Gather essential tools for your rock interest.
  10. Catalog your collection.
  11. Provide displays and storage needs.

Purple Crystal

A purple jeode crystal.
A purple jeode crystal. | Source

List of Rocks and Gems in the USA

Rock or Stone
Star blue Quartz
Nephrite Jade
Yale Marble
Agatized Coral
Black Coral
Star Garnet
Salem limestone
Keokuk geode
Greenhourn limestone
Jelenite, a form of amber
Kentucky agate
Freshwater pearls
Patuxent River Stone Agate
Roxbury Puddingstone
Petosky stone fossilized oral
Chlorastrolite aka as Isle Royale
Petrified wood
Lake Superior Agate
Montana Sapphire
Montana Agate
Blue Agate
Prarie agate
Black Fire Opal
New Hampshire
Smoky Quartz
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio Flint
Rose Rock (Barite)
Oregon Sunstone labradorite
Rhode Island
Blue Granite
South Carolina
Blue granite
South Dakota
Fairburn agate
Tennessee River Pearls
Tennessee River Agate
Oligocene palmwood
Texas Blue Topaz
Grossular garnet
Petrified wood
West Virgina
Bituminous Coal
Missippian (Lithostrotionella fossil coral)
Red granite
Wyoming Neophrite Jade
Source list from


A sample of cracked red quartz.
A sample of cracked red quartz. | Source

Equipment for Collecting Specimens

Climbing mountains, walking river beds, and other rock collecting sites will require comfortable clothing and tools for collecting. Tools will also be needed to break and open rocks.

Tools and Supplies

  • Safety glasses or goggles

  • Shovels, picks, hammers, chisels specifically designed for collecting rocks.

  • Geologist kit

  • Protective gloves, safety shoes or boots, and appropriate clothing.

  • Hard hats are required in some locations.

  • Assorted brushes

  • Rock screen or strainer

  • Collection containers

  • Rock guide book and notebook

  • Specialty tools for advanced rock hounds

Collection and Cataloging

Cardboard boxes are excellent for storing rocks. Label the rocks with permanent ink or paint on the corner of the stone.

  • Record these numbers in a notebook with the specimen’s number, name, type of rock, date acquired, description of location site.
  • Describe its physical characteristics-mineral, crystal, or gemstone.
  • Record geologic information if available.
  • Other contributing information..

Labeling these rocks is as important as notebook recording. The history of the specimen may be one-of-a-kind and add value.

Blue and Grey Stone

A blue and grey stone on a white background.
A blue and grey stone on a white background. | Source

Rules and Regulations

There are laws governing rock collecting. Ask for permission if you wish to search an area on private property. Contact your local Land Management department, division of forestry, and wildlife department in your state or with the federal government for their list of rules.

Federal Listings

USDA Forest Service

USDA Bureau of Land Management

Bureau of Land Management has no charge or permit to rock hound on public lands. However, there is no collecting in National Monuments.

It is best to check government rules and regulations before searching for rocks. The above three mentioned government organizations have maps, exploring lists, locations, and suggestions for rock hounding.

Opening and Identifying a Rock Collection


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)