How Does A Rocks History Affect Its Value
Although a rocks appearance, abundance, and size are factors that determine its value, the historical significance of the stone can also affect its price. When youre searching in a creek bed or quarry, you probably wont find rocks with an interesting backstory.
Rocks that are valuable because of their history are more likely to show up at an auction, pawn shop, jewelry store, or yard sale. A quartz crystal discovered 120 years ago will be worth much more than one that was found last year.
The age of the rocks discovery and the reputation of the original owner can increase the price of an inexpensive stone. A piece of polished obsidian owned by George S. Patton would cost far more than a similar rock you found last weekend at the quarry.
If you shop at yard sales or flea markets, be on the lookout for cheap rocks. Rocks are not a common yard sale item, but people occasionally sell rocks along with their inexpensive jewelry. You might get lucky and find a granite paperweight owned by Elvis.
TIP: There are three main types of rocks , and the time for their formation differs dramatically from a few days to millions of years. Find out more in the article below:How Long Do Rocks Form? Answers For ALL Types of Rocks
How To Find Rocks In Your Backyard
Now that you have a basic understanding of rocks, minerals, and gemstones, its time to learn how to find them in your backyard.
The best way to find rocks is to spend some time outside and explore your surroundings.
The easiest thing to do is to look for rocks that have been exposed to the surface, as these are the easiest to find.
You can also look for rocks in drainage areas, such as creeks and rivers if you happen to have one on your property. Rocks that have been carried away by water are usually round and smooth, which makes them easy to identify.
Another place to look for rocks is in fields and meadows. Rocks that have been broken down by wind and weather are usually found in these areas.
However, finding valuable surface rocks is not very likely. To have the best chance at finding rare or interesting rocks, youre going to need to dig.
If youre planning to do any projects that require excavating, trenching, or digging youll definitely want to be on the lookout for cool rocks.
You never know what you might find buried beneath the surface of your backyard.
Hunting For Gemstones In Your Backyard Is Easy
Some gemstones such as quartz can be found almost anywhere in the world, but they can be easy to miss in their natural state. That means many people go around walking with gemstones at their feet without even knowing they are there.
For certain kinds of more uncommon gemstones, you may need to travel to a different location to find them. But if you are willing to take a chance, you can start digging and potentially find rare gemstones right in your own backyard.
TIP: Are you looking for tip on what to buy for your loved passionate rock seekers? Find out the best and not so common tips on gifts for rockhounds in the article below:
HowtoFindRocks.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This website also participates in Google Adsense. It is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.
Hello, I am John.As a little boy, I was fascinated by stones and liked to take them home. This interest of mine has lasted until today, so I decided to create this website. You will find everything about rocks, minerals, and crystals here. I hope my articles will be useful to you.
Read Also: What To Do With Concrete Slab Patio
How Is A Diamond Formed
Carbon, a naturally occurring chemical element, is used in the formation of diamonds. How much time is required to create a diamond? To the best of the scientific community’s knowledge, diamonds have been buried underground for around 3.3 billion years, making them nearly as old as the Earth itself.
Diamonds were formed hundreds of kilometres below the Earth’s surface when carbon was subjected to extremely high temperatures and pressure.
Carbon was subjected to pressures almost 50,000 times higher than those of Earth’s atmosphere, and as a result, carbon atoms linked together securely to form diamond crystals. Due to the extreme conditions under which they are created, diamonds rank among the most complicated minerals on Earth.
Rock Hunting: What Rocks Are Worth Money
Instead of gem shops, many-a-times, people experience luck at finding gemstones right in their backyard. Many people do not recognize these stones or do not bother to look for one, and hence, these valuable rocks in your backyard go unnoticed.
The type of rock obtained depends on the geography of the region. California, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah are famous for procuring profitable stones in the garden. Let us look at ten rocks that are worth your money.
Also Check: How To Make A Patio Out Of Pavers
How Does A Rocks Hardness Determine If Its Valuable
A rocks hardness is another sign that it can be valuable. Diamonds are harder than any material on Earth, and they can sell for up to $15,000 a carat.
Harder rocks and gemstones are an indication that they may be valuable, but like the rocks color, hardness is not a determining factor.
Granite is much harder than gold, but its far less valuable than gold. Precious metals like gold and silver are softer than most of the items youll find rockhounding and their more malleable nature can help you set them apart from similar rocks.
In 1822, Friedrich Mohs developed a scale to measure a rocks hardness. The Mohs hardness scale assigns a number between one and ten to each stone to represent its hardness. Ten is the hardest , and one is the softest.
To get an idea of a rocks hardness on the Mohs scale, you can examine the following chart.
|Rock, Mineral, Metal|
Mohs hardness scales for valuable rocks
A Mohs scale is a helpful tool for experienced rockhounds, but its an ordinal scale that doesnt represent a rocks absolute hardness.
Since the scale isnt proportional, the diamond and the corundum appear to be close in hardness. However, a diamond is four times harder than a corundum.
In a laboratory, a geologist uses a sclerometer to test rocks for absolute hardness. The device measures the width of a diamonds scratch on the rock to determine the correct value.
The kit does not contain a diamond file, but the only material that can scratch a diamond is another diamond.
Turquoise Is A Popular Jewelry Gemstone Found In Backyards
Turquoise is recognized by its vibrant blue-green color with webs of gleaming copper running through.
Natural turquoise will often be seen as a vein in the rock, almost like a river climbing through it. A natural turquoise will have webbing on it.
The best way to identify the turquoise is by running your nail over the rock until it hits the webbing. After that, you will need to consider the hardness of the material.
Where Can You Find Turquoise in Your Backyard?
Turquoise is the state gemstone of New Mexico, but it can be found within many American states. Here are some of the other states turquoise can also be found in:
Turquoise can also be found in many other countries around the world, including Mexico, Egypt, Iran, and China.
How to Tell the Quality of Turquoise
Lander Blue turquoise is considered the highest-quality and rarest form of turquoise. Another turquoise that is considered high quality is any turquoise with an even and intense blue coloring.
Since it has been extensively mined, turquoise has only increased in rarity and is quickly becoming more valuable.
TIP: Turquoise is an extremely valuable gemstone and it is one of the oldest gemstones known to humanity. Find out more about turquoise value in the article below:3 Key Factors of Turquoise Value: Is It Worth Any Money?
Recommended Reading: What Type Of Sand For Patio Pavers
Gems That You Can Find In Your Backyard
Diamond is the first gem that comes to our mind when we think of gems, but sadly it is not possible to find these precious jewels in your backyard. But dont worry, there are many other varieties of these stones which you can find in your backyard. Here is a list of some stones which you can find in your backyard
Popular Locations To Find Crystals
Crystals are formed when liquids cool and certain molecules start to harden or crystallize. States like North Carolina or Arkansas are popular locations to find crystals, so if you live in those regions or somewhere similar, your chances of discovering crystal rocks are higher.
In general, any place or location that had their soil dug up or built up are also great options, which is why your backyard could be the perfect scene to dig for crystals.
Be mindful if you search outside of your land and go to public lands as searching for rock geodes might not be permitted
Recommended Reading: Do It Yourself Patio Enclosure Kits
Rubies $1 Million Per Carat
Beautiful red rubies can go for up to a million dollars per carat. That makes them the fifth most expensive rock in the world. Although these red gems are plentiful, its the quality of each one that gives them their value. Those which are most valuable will be large in size, blood red in color, have clean cuts, and a lustrous sheen. The vibrant red color in rubies comes from chromium which is present during their formation process. Rubies are classified similar to diamonds, according to their grade, quality, and color. A ruby without any flaws can be priced as high as a million dollars a carat. When these expensive rubies are accompanied by other precious gems in an enhanced setting, the price can climb even higher. For example, a large Burmese ruby was recently sold for thirty million dollars.
Bring Along The Right Shovels For Crystal Digging
The first tool you should have is a shovel. The type of soil in your backyard and how much area you want to cover will determine the type of shovel you should use. A simple hand shovel, or trowel, with either a rounded cutting edge or a pointed cutting edge, would break up the topsoil.
Whether you are working with soft or hard topsoil, using a round digger shovel is a perfect choice. The rounded tip easily breaks into the soil with minimal effort. A round digger shovel could have a long handle to use while standing or use a round hand shovel- either one will still break into the dirt with the same effect.
Also Check: How To Cover Patio Doors For Privacy
Determine If Your Specimen Is An Artifact A Fossil A Rock Or A Mineral
Let’s start with the basics. The first thing to do is to determine if your specimen is an artifact, a fossil, a rock, or a mineral. The Campbell Geology Museum does not offer identification of potential meteorites. Please see the section below for information on meteorite identification
Artifacts are objects made by modern or prehistoric humans . The Bob Campbell Geology Museum does not identify artifacts. Please click here to learn more about artifact identification resources in South Carolina.
Fossils are any evidence of past life including body parts such as bones, feathers, scales and leaves, or other preserved traces of behavior such as footprints, burrows and excrement. An example of a fossil is Mammuthus columbi , which also happens to be the state fossil of South Carolina. Also be sure to check out our webpage on the Paleontological Resources of South Carolina.
Rocks are naturally occurring combinations of two or more minerals. There are three broad categories of rocksigneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. An example is Winnsboro Blue Granite an igneous rock composed of the minerals quartz, feldspar and mica that is also the state stone of South Carolina. You can see some examples of rocks common in the Clemson area here.
Opal Is A Precious Backyard Find
Opal is a precious gemstone best known for its oval shape and smooth appearance. These sparkling stones are opalescentshowing a rainbow iridescenceand may be considered one of the rarest crystals in their purest form. Opals are formed from a combination of silicon dioxide and water.
Where Can You Find Opal in Your Backyard?
Most of the worlds opals are found in Australia, but they can also be found in the United States. Here are some of the states that opal can be found:
Depending on where you are looking for opals, they are one of the easier gemstones to notice when youre rockhounding in your backyard. They have a bright opalescent look that makes them unique and easier to notice. However, that doesnt make it necessarily easy to find them if you arent in the correct area.
How to Tell the Quality of an Opal?
The highest quality opals are rainbow opals that are capable of reflecting every color within the spectrum, depending on how theyre held to the light.
The flash of colors within the opal should be intense and highly vibrant. Most opals have a cloudy white appearance with shimmering rainbow undertones. The brighter these tones, the better the opal.
TIP: Cutting and polishing opals correctly brings beauty and exceptional color flash. Check out the step-by-step guide on how to cut and polish opals in the article below:How to Cut & Polish Opals: Follow These 9 Simple Steps
Read Also: How To Build A 10×10 Gazebo
Malachite Is A Semiprecious Gemstone You Can Find In Your Backyard
Malachite is a dark green semiprecious stone that is opaque in color, with rings and spots that form random and beautiful patterns over the surface. It is formed within limestone and is often used to make beads or carvings.
Where Can You Find Malachite in Your Backyard?
Malachite is an extremely common stone and can be found almost anywhere in the world. Here are the places where malachite can be found within the United States:
How to Tell the Quality of Malachite?
Malachite is a cheap stone that is often bought and sold in bulk. The quality of malachite is generally determined by the vibrancy of its color and how striking its spots and markings are. Since malachite pieces are usually one-of-a-kind, beauty is in the eye of the beholder with this stone.
What Kind Of Rocks Can You Find In Your Backyard
The types of rocks located in your backyard depend on the geology of your area. In general, you can discover igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks in backyards across the country.
- Igneous rocks have formed from solidified lava or magma. They contain quartz, amethyst, garnet, agate, tourmaline, obsidian, and topaz.
- Sedimentary rocks are a combination of other stones compressed over time. These rocks contain opal, turquoise, and quartz.
- Metamorphic rocks are pre-existing rocks changed by heat or pressure and contain jade, agate, tourmaline, and turquoise.
Recommended Reading: How To Keep Birds Away From Patio Furniture
Tourmaline Is A Rare Backyard Gemstone
Tourmaline is a gemstone that is usually found in black color but can be found in almost any color, too.
These gemstones can also be multi-colored, and they may differ in color depending on the angle you look at them in the light. These semiprecious stones are popular in jewelry like bracelets and necklaces.
Where Can You Find Tourmaline in Your Backyard?
Tourmalines are most commonly found in California and Maine. Tourmalines easily mimic the appearance of many other types of gemstones, so a tourmaline has to be identified by a gemologist to be verified as a tourmaline.
The easiest way to identify a genuine tourmaline if you think youve found one in your backyard is by holding it up under artificial light. If the stone doesnt change colors as you move it, that may be an indication that the stone is genuine tourmaline. However, youll still need to confirm this with a professional to be sure.
How to Tell the Quality of Tourmaline
The rarest tourmaline you can find is neon blue or green with copper tones, so the brighter the color of tourmaline, the higher the quality. The larger stones are more expensive, as is true with most gemstones.
The price of tourmaline can vary greatly, with some types being inexpensive and others costing thousands of dollars. High-quality tourmaline is usually only found in Brazil, however.
What Gemstones Can You Find In Your Backyard And How To Identify Them
Many people are surprised to learn that it is possible to find a variety of gemstones right in their own backyard.
While it is unlikely that you will find a diamond or emerald, there is a good chance you will come across some semi-precious stones.
The best way to identify these stones is to use a gem ID chart.
This chart will list the various characteristics of each type of stone, such as color, hardness, and specific gravity.
With this information in hand, you can take a closer look at the stones you find and make a determination as to what they are.
While you may not strike it rich, finding gemstones in your backyard can be a fun and rewarding hobby.
Read Also: How To Build A Raised Concrete Patio
Tips For Finding More Valuable Gemstones In Your Backyard
Although it is not as common as finding a rock or stone, it is possible to find a gemstone while digging in your backyard.
The best way to find a gemstone is to look for clues that indicate the presence of precious minerals.
For example, look for areas where there has been recent volcanic activity or deposition of glacial till.
These conditions are often associated with the formation of gemstones. You can also search for gemstones in areas where there has been mining activity in the past.
Read More :Who Cuts Gemstones?
Finally, keep an eye out for outcrops of metamorphic rocks, as these are often rich in valuable minerals.
If you take the time to do some research and look for clues, you may be able to find a valuable gemstone in your own backyard.