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How do you start a rock and mineral collection?

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Quick Answer

Begin a rock and mineral collection by purchasing a field guide, gathering the proper safety gear and selecting the necessary tools. Label each sample with a location, type of mineral and date.

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How do you start a rock and mineral collection?
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Full Answer

The field guide is essential for identifying each specimen. Better guides have color photos of rocks and minerals making it easier for collectors to identify rocks and minerals they collect.

Safety equipment for this type of collecting includes eye protection and a first aid kit. Gloves help to protect the fingers when collecting samples. A map reduces the chances of getting lost. Since many people collect in remote areas, taking a friend along increases safety for the collector.

Some of the tools required for collecting rocks and minerals include a mason's hammer, a crack hammer and a sledgehammer. A carbide-tipped chisel set helps to break samples for easier identification. The tools and samples get heavy for a long hike, so a sturdy backpack that evenly distributes the weight reduces the strain of carrying them. Use a pen and notebook to record the location, date and description of each sample.

Before entering private property, ask the owner's permission. Ask if there are any hazards of which to be aware. If collecting on public lands, know the policy of the agency that controls the property before gathering any samples.

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