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Rock collecting can be a fascinating hobby for children and adults alike. While rocks are common, inexpensive, and readily available, there is a huge variety. Collected rocks can be displayed in a variety of ways, from rock gardens to neat display cases, making rock collecting a versatile hobby.
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When collecting rocks, you will soon discover that rocks can be classified into one of three types. Sedimentary rocks are formed when sediments such as sand or silt are pressed together under their own weight or the weight of water and eventually become solid. Igneous rock is a type of rock formed by volcanic activity. A third type of rock collection is metamorphic rocks, which, like sedimentary rocks, have been altered by intense heat and pressure.
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Another type of rock collection is the collection of minerals, gems and crystals. Pure minerals are not technically the same thing as rocks, but they fit well in a rock collection. Minerals include things like pyrite, also known as fool’s gold, and quartzite, which looks almost like a diamond.
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For some people, rock collecting involves saving a beautiful piece of rock from a different place they visit and using it as a souvenir. If these rocks are large, they can be used to outline a driveway or start a rock garden. If they are small, they can be displayed on a windowsill. If desired, label them with a fine point marker. Include the date and location where the rocks were found.
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Souvenir type rock collecting does not require much scientific investigation, but identifying rocks and minerals does. Different types of rocks are sometimes easy to distinguish. For example, sedimentary rocks often look like grains stuck together. Sandstones are a common example. They also sometimes have visible planar layers. Metamorphic rocks, on the other hand, sometimes have layers, but these layers have been bent and are no longer flat on the rock.
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When collecting rocks, igneous rocks make some of the most exciting discoveries. Obsidian is an igneous rock that looks like a broken piece of black glass. It is shiny and hard and was used in the past by Native Americans to make arrowheads. Pumice is another interesting type of igneous rock that is porous, making it very light and floatable. This rock was used to clean and polish calluses on people’s feet.
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When collecting rocks it is important to remember that there are different types of rocks in different parts of the world. For example, in the Midwestern United States, there are many sedimentary rocks, but metamorphic and igneous rocks are less common. On the other hand, in the Appalachian Mountains, you can find metamorphic rocks such as gneiss and schist. Still, no matter where you live, you’re sure to find rock collecting an irresistible hobby