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The Essential Guide to Rockhounding – Where to Rockhound
From rockhounding well publicized and private locales in New York, Texas, Arizona, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana, we consider ourselves rockhound aficionados. So whether you are hunting a site that perhaps you found on our Adventure blog, or you are a veteran rockhounder, this primer on how to plan your rockhounding trip will prove to be a valuable resource of tips to make your experience more efficient and more fun.
First, we suggest planning the site, and day, and time well in advance, and here are the points for you to consider before you take off for a rockhounding trip.
1. Location, location, location,,,we have a friend who has a friend who drives a truck for UPS on the weekends. When the UPS driver passes by a construction site, he calls his buddy, and his buddy drives by on a Sunday with his gear to see if it’s worth his time to crack some rocks in the rubble. So the place to go rockhounding may be closer to you than you think. We know some rockhounds who spend Thanksgiving and Christmas at construction sites cracking open rocks because they know everyone else is home. They are “True Gentlemen” and “True Ladies” of rockhounding because they leave no mess or evidence that they were ever on the property. So be careful, and do not trespass when the site is clearly marked “No trespassing,” but otherwise use your own discretion.
2. There are other sites, run by gem, mineral, and rockhound professionals in the business much longer than us who offer maps, and directions to very accessible sites, but we are determined to help you find a new site, and a new locale for gems and minerals.
3. Do you have any friends who own private property? Either a cabin or a summer house or a shack out in the woods? Have you ever asked them if they have unusual stone or rock structures on their property? Our entire geode business began because a close friend of ours had acres of land full of geodes, and he was unaware of it, and unaware of their rarity!
4. Splitting your loot – this can be tricky. Here’s how we do it: As we rockhound, we collectively assemble all the finds. We literally set them in one pile. Then at the end of the day, after a beer, we determine whose expenses were the most, either because they supplied the generator and jackhammer, or maybe they drove 700 miles, whatever, but we split the booty via a round-robin. The person who spent the most to take part picks their gem first, and then we go around in a circle. We have not found a more fair or democratic way to split rockhound booty.
5. Take pictures of everything, from the site from a distance to the “in situ” photos of the gemstone itself. Remember, and we stress this all of the time, how important is the provenance of the gemstone.
6. Cell-phone or mobile device charger – while you are driving to the locale, or the night before, making sure your devices are fully charged is essential. You will need to place a call to family and loved ones if you are running late, and this goes back to provenance, filming your finds while they are in-situ, while they remain in the matrix and source earth. The camera and video on your phone are perfect for preserving the wonder and amazement of finding a perfect gemstone.
This article is devoted to the logistics of rockhounding. Please refer to our other articles on rockhound gear and outerwear, tools of the trade including styles, types, and weights of hammers, chisels, and crowbars, and articles on how and when rockhounding is most fun and productive.
If you have other suggestions and tips for rockhounding, please click the “Contact Us” button to the left of the screen and tell us. Be sure to continue checking our Events page for the most up to date rockhound announcements along with breaking news in geology, paleontology, and natural history. #GetOutandRockhound