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Start Rock Collecting

A starter list for a lifelong hobby.

Introducing Rockhounding
A glimpse at the possibilities.

Rock Collectors: A Collection
A look at several types of rock collectors, including my type.

Rock Collectors: What Kind of Rock Collector Are You?
Tell us about why and how you collect rocks.

Rock Shops: What Are They Good For?
Rock shops are worth a visit for geologists and amateurs alike.

What to Buy a Rockhound
My best suggestions for geologists and those who think like them.

Your Gift Ideas for Rockhounds and Geologists
Readers share their best gift ideas for geologists and those who think like them.

Before You Buy Handheld Magnifiers
Next to a rock hammer, your best friend in the field is a powerful lens for close-ups.

Rock Hammers
The hammers that geologists and rockhounds use.

How to Use a Rock Hammer Safely
Some best practices for this powerful geological field tool.

The Code of Hammering
Rules of good practice with the rock hmmer.

Is It Bad Luck to Take Rocks?
If you think it might be wrong to take away a rock from somewhere, you're probably right.

Rocks I Took Back
Readers tell about rocks that they returned to the wild, even years after collecting them.

How to Prepare for Field Season
Geologists and rockhounds share their best practices for getting fieldwork-fit.

Mineral Collecting at Contact Zones
For mineral opportunities, be aware of contact zones.

Rock Identification Tables
These tables will help you identify almost any rock you're likely to find.

Rock Pictures
A couple dozen photos of different rock types, part of the Image Gallery.

Poison Plants
Geologists and rockhounds alike need to be aware of these hazardous plants in the field.

The Acid Test
An easy chemical test to do in the field or at home.

A photo gallery of some typical specimens.

Pet Rocks and Favorite Stones
The stones we can't put away.

Why I Put Rocks Back
It can be fun to bring stones back to the place they came from.

Before You Buy a Rock Collection
Advice on what to look for in those 'candy boxes' full of little rocks.

Removing Iron Oxide Stains from Rocks Safely with Oxalic Acid
The standard cleaning method for rust stains, especially on quartz.

Storing Rocks
Simple ways to keep your rocks organized and clean.

Treating Rocks and Fossils with Hydrochloric Acid
For some purposes a brute-force approach is what works.

Rockhounding Arkansas
More than just a guide to Arkansas, this is a splendid introduction to rockhounding, lovingly prepared by Mike and Darcy Howard.

Leaverites: Oddball Rock Features
Steven Dutch of the University of Wisconsin has a handy set of photos showing what to focus on and what to ignore.

Physical Characteristics of Minerals
The Mineral Gallery presents what amounts to a whole course on identifying minerals from their hardness, crystal form, streak, and so on.

Bob's Rock Shop
Find lots of articles about collecting in this table of contents.

Photographing Minerals
"A Photographer's Guide to Taking Mineral Specimen Photographs" has thorough advice for photographers both professional and aspiring from The Mineralogical Record.

Rock Club Web Sites in the U.S. and Canada
This list is maintained by a Canadian group and sticks strictly to Web sites.

American Rock and Mineral Clubs
A huge list from Bob's Rock Shop, organized by state.

What Rocks Have You Lost?
Rock collectors of every kind recall the ones that got away.

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