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  Author   Comment  
Bob Harman
There are a fair number of postings on this website by new collectors. They commonly ask for collecting advice, locations where to collect, and collected specimen identification among other things.

Much of the advice I give is the standard sort of things.  General locations where to collect respecting  private property, collecting safely, join your local club(s), attend a show or two and peruse this and other rock collecting websites to ask questions and educate yourselves. That sort of things.

However, I also give some not so standard advice. The advice is meant specifically for adults who, hopefully, will get enthused and continue the rock collecting hobby for years to come.   My first piece of advice, meant for field collectors, is NOT to start off with monetary value of collected specimens. This is getting started on the wrong foot. Early self-collected pieces should be viewed for identification and learning experiences, not to see if they might have any value.  Collecting primarily with monetary value in mind should come only down the line.

When field collecting ASK for identification rather than saying "I think I found gold or silver or a meteorite or diamonds" etc etc etc.   Giving a beginner's (incorrect) opinion and becoming defensive about it without accepting others more experienced correct identification might wear out your welcome in short order. Be gracious about the other's input as they are giving freely of their time and expertise. Besides, when it comes to actually finding the valuable metals and diamonds or meteorites, it just "ain't gonna happen".

For new field collectors, I also suggest BUYING a few specimens in whatever price range you can afford. Buying a specimen or two that you can repeatedly look at down the road or take to show and tell at your club meetings helps you continue with your enthusiasm for the hobby.

In your field collecting, concentrate on QUALITY rather than quantity. Clean and label each collected example as it is collected.  Groups of unlabeled examples become accumulations rather than collections. Down the road there is loss of interest.
 Anecdotal evidence suggests that, for adults, finding a few examples of some quality (not necessarily world class, but just "nice" examples) keeps the rock collecting enthusiasm alive. Collecting continues with the nucleus of a building rock collection. Unfortunately, if nothing of any real interest is found to look at a month later or show off to other club members, evidence is there that rock collecting interest will wane. Then, a year or two down the road some  adults moves on to something else and their rock collecting days are over.

Hope this helps, BOB
I have to agree with bob on this. Plus buy or go to your library and read books on rock & mineral IDs. If you can get to a mine or collecting site and live near a road side gem store where you can buy buckets of material to go through and learn what the rocks are. They will help yo ID what you have found. Don't expect to find valuable gems but there is a small chance you can find a nice piece to Facet or cabbed. But remember most of these rocks are not from that aria. If you  live near a real gem mine Like Diamond Crater in AR, one of the Sapphires mines in MT, Sunstone and Thunder Egg mines in OR you do have a chance to  find real Gems worth some money. There are many places with real mines that you can collect at for a few. I hope this helps you out all so.

KOR Carl in WI
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