Rock collecting is a fascinating hobby for kids and adults alike. While rocks are common, cheap, and found everywhere, the variety is huge.
Collected rocks can be displayed in many ways, from rock gardens to neatly kept showcases. This makes rock collecting a versatile hobby.
When rock collecting, you’ll discover that rocks can be categorized as one of three types:
- Igneous: formed by volcanic activity
- Metamorphic: has been changed through intense heat and pressure
- Sedimentary: formed when sediments were pressed together and eventually became solid
For some people, rock collecting consists of saving a pretty rock from different places they visit and keeping it as a souvenir. If these rocks are large, they can be used in the landscape or start a rock garden. If they’re small, they can line a windowsill or be added to a tabletop altar.
This is how I started my rock collection when I was a little girl (and I’m still guilty of picking up a random stone here or there when I see one that catches my eye). I still have a few of these little treasures from my childhood. Although they aren’t quite as pretty or valuable as some of the other stones in my healing toolkit, they are still very special to me.
So right about now, you may be asking yourself…
Can I Use Rocks I find in Nature for Crystal Healing?
My favorite books about natural stones for healing and connection to the earth are Sacred Stones and Crystals by Philip Permutt and Lyn Palmer and Crystals and Sacred Sites by Judy Hall. Disclosure: The links here are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Yay!
I personally believe that these stones do have the ability to shift energy in the body, mind, and spirit, just as a sparkling Amethyst or shimmering Selenite would. After all, these stones are made of minerals just like other items we use in crystal healing. They may not be “crystals”, per se, in that they don’t have an outward crystalline structure, but they are crystals in that they are made of one or more minerals that may have a crystalline structure on the microscopic level.
So…yup…still good for healing (especially grounding and meditation!).
The souvenir type of rock collecting doesn’t require much scientific investigation, but identifying rocks and minerals does. Some types of rock can be differentiated easily, other times not. For instance, sedimentary rocks often look like particles glued together. Sandstone is a common example of this. They also sometimes have visible flat layers. Metamorphic rocks, on the other hand, sometimes have layers, but those layers have been bent so that they are no longer laying flat across the rock.
MinDat is a great resource for helping you learn about your stones so that you can become an identification pro!
When rock collecting, the igneous rocks can make some of the most exciting finds. Obsidian is an igneous mineral that looks like a piece of black glass (because it actually IS a piece of natural glass). It is shiny and hard, and was used to make arrowheads in the past. Pumice is another interesting igneous rock which is porous, making it so light that it will float. This stone is used for cleaning and rubbing calluses off people’s feet.
Keep in mind when rock collecting that different regions of the world have different types of rocks. In the American Midwest, there are many sedimentary stones, but metamorphic and igneous rocks are less common. In the Appalachians, however, you can find metamorphic rocks such as gneiss and schist. But wherever you live, you’re sure to find rock collecting a hobby that’s hard to resist!
So tell me…are you a rockhound? What’s the coolest rock that you’ve ever found?