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Readers Respond: My Rock Collecting Philosophy

Responses: 22


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?

Different Textures and Hues

I like to collect all sorts of rocks--and minerals. I like to find rocks with unique textures, whether very smooth or very rough, and I like to find rocks and minerals of vibrant or dull hues. I have a lot of rocks and minerals that are grey in colour and some very brightly coloured rocks.

Beautiful rocks

My daughter loves to collect rocks that are white or marble looking or unusual looking, small, big, really large or very tiny.
—Guest michelle jamison


Love them pegmatites--those crystals are overwhelming--geology wonderfully created.
—Guest Bill


I am a rock serendipity collector - i.e. when happy chance presents me with a good looking rock I take it with me
—Guest hilaryisabel

Rocks for brains and brains for rocks

I consider myself to be a rockhound. I love rocks and am eager to learn all I can about them, and learn from them. My story is a great one, but I will simply say that rocks have changed my life and have given me something to live for. Silly you may say, but a blessing for me I'm sure. I started breaking rocks for a stress reliever. I realized they were not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well. (Kinda like me.) I have found many amazing things on my rock hunting adventures. Things like quartz, crystals, fossils, hematite, and best of all, meteorites. After 4 months of rocks and research, I recently enrolled in college to become a geologist/mineralogist. My dreams are coming true, and my passion for rocks grows every day.
—Guest Metallicisme85

Rocks in my pockets...

I'm not sure what I would be classified as. I love collecting rocks. For years, I collected only the 'cool looking' ones, in hopes that someday, I would have a rock tumbler. Well, I finally got one. I tumbled many rocks for jewelry and even tumbled some just because I wanted to see what it would looked like polished. I'm out of sand, so my rock collection grows again. I love finding fossils. I also pick rocks that look unusual. Whether it be by shape, colour, sparkles, shine, transparency, etc. I have rocks in my purse, pockets, bathroom counter (so they can be washed/scrubbed so I can see what they really look like), pails under tables, small piles in corners, in a designated rock drawer, on random shelves, in the car, etc. I can't help it. I am facinated with them. Looking up info on each rock, is not as easy as collecting them. lol. Not quite as fun, either.. So, I don't do it too often. =-)
—Guest Lisa Drouin

Fluorescent rocks and minerals

I find collecting these particular rocks a challenge, really fun to identify.
—Guest glowdog

I have all my rocks & my marbles too!

I've been collecting since I was 8 and am now 73. I've never stopped educating myself about rocks/minerals and living in CA have an amazing amount of material available for a lifetime of collecting and identifying and enjoying. I learned early on to keep the specimens small as a 50 cent piece with some exceptions, and they are all in plastic collecting boxes, labeled. Sorry to be so neat, I'm a disgrace to the name of "rockhounding" ha ha. I do have some massive howlite and garnets on calcite specimens which sit on my hearth. After 50 years I still love looking at them. . . and of course the Indian obsidian points and jasp/agate scrapers, etc. I've found as a "by-product" of rock hunting are displayed in a cabinet. As long as I can crawl up a hill I'll be adding to my collection!
—Guest Karen Cotter


I studied geology as part of my degree and got the collecting bug on field trips. However I ended up more in the chemical side (I also studied chemistry) so the rocks and fossils have become a hobby and are scattered around the house/garden. (My wife gave up long ago.) I recently dug out some old black and white photos I took when mapping as an undergrad. Wow-- I wish I knew then what I know now and with digital photography I would have hundreds of photos.

All of the above

I come from a long line of rock collectors. I'm the only person I know who gathered all the 'good' rocks from my parents' property, when it was sold. (Took days, but no way was someone else going to get those agates!) Like other respondents, I have rocks soaking, rocks on windowsills, in coffee cans, boxes, drawers, in the garage, basement, under the eaves! I do have a couple of nice display cases, but no way can they accommodate all the rocks! Does anyone have a good solution to the display problem? I realize that they can't all be sitting out--one must have some furniture!--but I'd sure like a solution, if there is one. Of course, I'm attracted to the sparkly things, who isn't?, but the unusual and ungainly ones usually end up being my favorites. I'm lucky in where I live--Minnesota has stuff from the Archaean and on--so I can satisfy scientific aspects as well as aesthetic. My best stuff has come from northern MN--makes one learn about glaciation as well as stratigraphy.
—Guest AirFlow

A little of this, a little of that

I don't fit completely into one category but I guess I'd be between a lapidary and a jackdaw... I love collecting rocks, but only as a casual past-time; group jaunts feel too much like a job, I'd much rather be alone on the beach enjoying the weather and delighting in the beauty and uniqueness of all the rocks I can find. I do like to make jewelry from them, but only because I feel like I should do SOMETHING with them rather than let them sit there in the often-needed-never-available buckets in my garage. I guess I'd be closest to a jackdaw because I do just like to collect them because I find them pretty or interesting in some way but I certainly do not decorate with them and they do not always need to be pretty to catch my attention. One thing that I know for sure is that I am NOT a student/teacher because besides knowing the basics (it's an agate! ooh a piece of jade!) I do not really care to get into the nitty-gritty details about what it is made of and where it came from, etc. :)
—Guest JS

I'm a Student/Teacher

I love rocks and have been collecting and studying them for 40 years. My passion is learning all I can about each specimen, then identifying and labeling them. But I also love passing that knowledge on to others. I run a Rock Club at the school where I work. I love nurturing the same passion in the young children that I have for the rocks and minerals I collect. So I find myself buying rough and tumbled specimens, finding them and also asking people to bring rocks back from their trips away. I also decorate my home with them and use many of the crystals and minerals for their healing properties.
—Guest Joan


Yeh it consumes me. My brother needed sugar for his coffee! Well guess what he found in the canister! You got it lol rocks! lol "one rock or two!" Ha! They fascinate me!

I am probably a rockhound

I love rocks, I look at them everywhere I go, I have lots and lots in storage boxes, shawdow boxes, baskets, cups on my counters (soaking), outside in buckets waiting to be inspected, on my furniture displayed, I find most of them myself but do have a few I've bought. I love looking for fossils, crystals, and just out of the ordinary looking rocks. I collect rocks shaped like hearts and have found them everywhere. I want to learn as much as I can about types of rock and where to find certain types. I love to get them out and look through them and see the beauty each one holds. I love knowing that I am holding rocks that have formed millions of years ago, and remembering how wonderful this earth we all live on is!!!!! Have fun all. Annie

Design, beauty and composition

I started collecting rocks before I knew I was collecting rocks! As a photographer I was drawn to the design, texture and composition of rocks and formations. After one of those life changers I found myself in Oregon looking at basalt and other formations and wondering "How did that happen?" Now, after several courses in geology and a few years of self study I find my house full of boxes of rocks, and now some minerals in their matrix. A mineral found in their matrix is a joy forever, a mineral bought at a mineral show is a fleeting fancy. This is an educated guess, but I'de bet that most geologist, whether they are aware of it or not, are at some point, if not at the beginning drawn to the beauty that geology offers.
—Guest rfault

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