Collecting for Kids
Jessy Chekal, a 13 year old Kid who owns her own Rock
and Mineral Company
collecting is a popular and rewarding pastime. It
was started by amateur geologists in the 19th century.
I started rock collecting as a school project and
found out how cool it is. I've even started a company
to show other kids how fun it can be. I've even considered
becoming a geologist when I grow up. Making collections
is a good way to learn about geology and have fun
at the same time.
Plan ahead when going to do field work. Use geological
books and maps to find your location. Because most
collecting sites are on private property , make sure
to tell the owners ahead of time, so they don't stick
their guard dogs on you! When collecting specimens
in the field, there are certain rules to follow. Make
sure you disturb the environment as little as possible,
leave enough specimens for other collectors, and since
most collecting involves digging and excavating, remember
to fill your holes when you're done.
A photograph or sketch of a specimen before collecting
provides a permanent field record. If you want, you
can also use a compass to write down the bearings
when you find a specimen. It's a good idea to record
the location and details of a specimen. A hammer and
chisel are used to separate the specimen from the
other rocks and to trim the sharp edges. You also
need protective clothing like goggles, gloves, and
a helmet in case of flying rock or metal shards. To
bring your specimens home safely, wrap them in bubble
wrap or tissue paper. Once home, try to identify the
specimen if you don't already know what it is. A magnifing
glass and a good book about rocks and minerals are
very important for identifying your specimens. A bead
organizer or embroidery thread box are wonderful places
to store and display your specimens.
There are other ways of getting specimens besides
finding them in nature. Some times, craft stores carry
specimens but they're usually expensive. Rock shops
are scattered all over the U.S., so check online to
see if there's one near you. The internet is a good
source of specimens, some rock shops are online so
they can serve a wider range of customers. Ebay is
a wonderful place because you can get specimens from
places you can't travel to; some times, people who
have given up rock collecting, will sell their old
collections and is wonderful way to start yours.
In the present time, there are more then 2,000 mineral
species known to us. They are broken up into nine
classes. The specimen's class is determined by it's
structure and chemical composition. Some people like
to sort their collections by the nine classes. The
nine classes and some of their common minerals are
Native elements: gold, silver, copper, mercury,
sulfur, and diamond.
Sulfides: pyrite, galena, chalcopyrite, bornita,
sphalerite, and cinnabar.
Halides: halite, flurite, and atacamite.
Oxides and Hydroxides: quartz, cuprite, anatase,
magnetite, hematite, and cassiterite.
and Borates: aragonite, calcite, azurite, malachite,
Molybdates, and Chromates: celestine, crocoite,
gypsum, and wulfenite.
Arsenates, and Vanadates: vivianite, apatite,
adamite, and turquoise.
garnet, topaz, beryl, mica, and talc.
Organic Minerals: amber, coral
All rights reserved
by the author - © March 2004
reprint is possible, please contact the author for