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Readers Respond: My Rock Collecting Philosophy

Responses: 40


Tell us what you collect, why you collect it, and what hints you have for the rest of us. Are you a rockhound, a lapidary or a jackdaw? Where Do You Fit?

Kid at Heart

I loved picking up fossils when I was a kid. Now I'm a mom of a 13 year old rock hound. We collect and buy rocks for our display. My husband buys them to make jewelry. It's in my blood!
—Guest Cathy Smith

Rock Stories

I love going to the Columbia River to collect rocks from shoals and gravel bars, some deposits fairly recent, some millions of years old. I love classifying rocks so that I can know their geological stories, stories ending with the rocks' transportation to where I pick them up. I'm not interested in baubles or bangles; I'm interested in the rock stories and the science behind them.

Shape sorter

I've been collecting since I was a kid, but not a hunter. I live on the California Coastline and love the different rock types in each area. I go for shape, particularly spherical, stripes, and smoothness. I have a little rock garden (rocks are little). The colors are beautiful -- gray, green, bluish, peach, pink...I hold them and talk to people about how fascinating they are. I am holding a piece of our planet -- old and beautiful in it's smoothness. I don't have a ton of them and sort them by type. Pebbles in a little ceramic dish, three that are almost perfectly oval, a collection at the corner of the living room that are too fabulous for the outdoor garden. I love them. I'm not sure which ones, or even if, I want to tumble them yet, but I have started hand sanding them.

Sculptor's Many Questions

I do a lot of direct stone carving and have to be careful about stone dust from unknown minerals. Thankfully many stones here (Southern AZ) are close to pure Calcium carbonate, but I also carve petrified volcanic ash with a respirator. I love all the rocks here and want to find out as much as possible about them.

Eyes at my feet

Just opened my classroom 3 days ago and look on the kids faces when they see the collection of rocks and minerals is amazing! I am so very lucky to teach earth science to 6th graders and influence a whole new batch of rock enthusiasts and future geologists. I find myself planning trips that 'happen' to pass through or terminate in good rock collecting areas. I find the best at/near road cuts and stream beds - Northern California. I don't think I will ever tire of the thrill.

just love rocks

I have had a pocket full of rocks as long as I can remember they rotate in and out of the house. I have a LG rock garden out front of my house that is mostly hand picked from the smallest to the largest. Where ever I go I firstly find a rock to bring home. My tastes have changed over the years but mostly it is just what ever catches my eye. Fossils granite Indian arrowheads and tools rocks found in water next to water red white purple green striped dotted any and all. Rounded rocks eggs I even have a perfectly round rock from the pine river up in Michigan smaller than a tennis ball bigger then a golf ball it amazes all who see it


Crazy for rocks! I dig in the corn and bean fields and I love to look on creek beds. Always have an extra bag or crate.
—Guest Mandy Cordray

Vicarious Traveler

I collect rocks from all over the world. When friends travel to other countries, Iask them to bring me a rock. This request seems odd, but most oblige. I live in the US, and have rocks from South Africa, Ghana, China, and Germany. My coolest rock by far is from the walls of Pompeii.
—Guest osing07

Buckets of rocks!

From rocks to fossils I can't stop picking them up. From jobsite excavations, quarried sand, beaches and more, I usually find a nice specimen wherever I go. Rocks are everywhere in my house and even once in awhile in the washing machine (got to remember to empty my pockets out). Now I wish I could share these with the world. Every rock or fossil tells a story and I love to read them. My wife says I have a good imagination, she doesn't see what I see! Who knows maybe someone held that very rock in their hands hundreds or thoudands of years before! I'm addicted! Now i'm beginning to learn what i have! Thanks Andrew and About.com!
—Guest I need help...

Whatever catches my eye

I constantly am told that I have a gift for finding rocks. My first rock was Serpentine (williamsite) which I was amazed upon finding, thinking it was Emerald. Since then, I have studied, explored, collected, and haven't looked back since. Whenever I go out hunting in an area, I simply grab what looks cool at a first glance, sort through my findings later with a bucket of water and a toothbrush and find even more than I thought I had.
—Guest Marchosias

wonder awe

I picked up a rock many decades ago and I'm still doing it. Since retirement I have been taking geology very seriously and following a course to better understand my passion. Picking up a rock gives me a "Wow!". Now I will have a notion of what I'm actually holding in my hand. The chemistry side is daunting but it connects all the dots and begins to form 'families' of rocks which might go unconnected from just visual observation. I also put them in plastic boxes with index card labelling/information. However, the kid inside still says "Wow!" whenever I pick a rock up.

I love rocks!

like a snowflake, no two rocks are alike. I've always held a fascination for rocks all the different shapes, sizes, colors and especially the marks, nicks, and scrapes found on them that tell a story and give a clue as to the history of that rock! rocks are cool!
—Guest Diane Plymel

i love rocks

If rocks could talk, I would have no need for human companionship.
—Guest tiffany

Rocks attracted to a magnet

My interest as an amateur is in rocks that are attracted to an N52 neodymium super magnet. West central Wisconsin is an excellent location since there is an abundance of rocks of this type and the variety is amazing. The only cost so far has been the magnet.


I love that most rocks don't look the same and there's so many colors. I just love collecting rocks.
—Guest Lisa

Where Do You Fit?

My Rock Collecting Philosophy

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