The Joy of Finding & Collecting Stones
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?
23 responses to “The Joy of Finding & Collecting Stones”
My favorite finds are the ones I’ve found on beaches, because the water has worked to naturally “polish” them. I’ve found some really nice stones on the shores of Lake Superior and the Pacific Ocean, and I made my set of runes from flat stones found on the shore of Lake Michigan.
Ashley, thank you for sharing this article on rocks. I could go on for ever.
I have been picking up rocks since I was a kid. To this day, when I’m out walking, if I see a rock’ that catches my eye, I’ll wait a few days before I pick it up.
I see rocks that have characteristics that remind me of places, animals and even more. I could go on.
I would like to thank you again. There is a group in Baltimore on Facebook called ‘Dundalk Rocks’. It’s all about sharing rocks(painted) with others. If you go there, you’ll see how it has grown.
Hi Thomas! Thanks so much for your comment– those painted rock pages are so cool! What a neat initiative <3 Crystal blessings!
Oh! Yes! I have got many stones from everywhere ( France, Spain, Scotland, etc), from mountains, rivers and seaside. There are plenty on my window sills, many colours, but I don’t remember where they come from except for a few ones…!
I was born the biggest rock hound!!! I’ve always had pockets full of rocks!! I get the biggest kick out of finding holey stones!!!! It never gets old finding them, and I know they have to have special powers!!
Haha! Yes– every single one is so special!! <3 Crystal blessings!
I also have collected stones since childhood and I’m afraid my house is full of them some have stories attached I have little mandala formations in various spots in side my house and in my garden.
That sounds so beautiful Chez! And what a great idea to make mandalas with all those rocks– I’ll have to give that a try sometime rather than just keeping them lying around haphazardly or in jars 😉 Crystal blessings!
so interesting to know that so many people like picking up rocks! I impulsively have to at least pick one or two if I am on a pebbly beach and secretly hope it will bring that energy of that place to my flat in London! I think for me it is not just a souvenir but a link to a beautiful place and a comfort to hold.
Absolutely, Malin- It’s SO wonderful to have that link to places we visit and they are certainly comforting to hold and keep around <3 Thanks so much for your reading! Crystal blessings!
I have loved rocks since I was five (40 years ago) and I still pick them up and take them home. It drives my husband nuts. I’ve always felt like they have little souls and want to be loved (that might sound weird). I usually pick up the ugliest, most scarred ones because I figure few people will appreciate them. I also am amazed by how old they can be and the things they have “seen.” I got in trouble one time by digging some larger rocks out of a man made berm because I couldn’t stand to see such beauties being buried. I brought them home though and placed them in my garden where they could be admired. The coolest rock I ever found was a small one with depressions that looked like a screaming face. Super cool – it lives in my kitchen. Thanks for this great article!!!
Hey Jennifer! Trust me– nothing sounds weird to us haha! We are big believers in rocks wanting to be loved 😉 Your screaming face rock sounds absolutely amazing– I love that you pick up the ones that are ugly & scarred and give them a loving home! <3 Crystal blessings!
Thank you so much for posting this. I still pick up little lovelies when I’m out for a nature hike or a walk along the beach. I live in coastal New England and we have a lot of quartz here. Found my first schist on the beach this past summer. It still shimmers! I also pick up a lot of sea shells and some sea glass. I’ve found many different & interesting things on the beach. A lot can be found, especially after a storm.
That is so awesome, Kim! There are SOOO many beautiful stones and shells to be found in nature <3 Crystal blessings!
The best rocks I’ve found was while out hiking on the trails in Utah! very beautiful..
Hi Michelle! It’s always a wonderful surprise to find such gifts crossing our path…literally! 🙂 They must have been meant to be found by you! Crystal Blessings <3
I have been a rockhound all my life.i have found many different crystal in the Santa maria riverbed.my favorite one weighs around 30 lbs.and is a beautiful golden yellow.
When I was a kid I had about 3-400 landscaping pieces in granite, quartz, lava, etc, collected in my treehouse. I thought I was pretty awesome. I used to try and break larger stones by dropping them off of the roof onto a slab because I always wanted to find a geode. Ahh yes, the time before the interwebs.
Hi Brandi, sounds like you had an exciting childhood exploring for treasures, and was quite successful at it! <3 Crystal Blessings
My favorite rock is a stone from the Priestess Temple in Macchu Pichu that was gifted to me from a wonderful teacher in grad school. I treasure this rock and have a special pouch for it.
Hi Michele, sounds like a beautiful gift you received from an amazing teacher, a stone to treasure for sure. <3 Crystal Blessings
My favorite are my beach finds! I love all the Jasper’s, Petrified Wood, Amber, and Quartz that have been naturally tumbled! My rarest piece was the AMBER, found under an old abandoned thrift store’s back balcony, right next to where boats launched, all the way up against the building!
Ooh, very nice find Christine! Its always amazing to me when these new treasures find their owners in unexpected places. <3