Looking for gifts for rockhounds? We’ve done the work of assembling a list of over 50 ideas for potential gifts with links to Amazon to make it easy for you to snag for your aspiring, amateur or even expert level rock hunter/collector.
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Gifts For Rockhounds Who Haven’t Gotten Started
If you are already interested in rock hunting or collecting, you’ll know that the primary thing a wannabe rockhounding needs is not a rock tumbler, saw, or any other tool.
Instead, it is knowledge. One of the toughest things about getting started in rock hunting is knowing where to go.
While the internet is chock full of information, after a short period of searching you’ll discover that rockhounds and rock hunting has not quite moved into the digital age.
Much of the information rockhounders rely upon is communicated face-to-face at clubs, meetups, organized day trips, or even conventions.
There’s good reason for this.
Many rockhounding trips take you out away from urban areas where mobile data and a wi-fi signal are reliable.
Thus it is crucial to the enjoyment and success of your trip that you have the information you need about where to go off of your phone or laptop.
Idea #1 for a Wannabe Rockhounder: General Maps
When looking at maps, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from, both in content and coverage. Consider:
- Map of your locality (city). These types of maps will give you the chance to look for green spaces, waterways, quarries, land managed by the local government, and other places that you might be able to hunt for rocks. I like these in addition to a greater state map because they are more zoomed in and you get a lot more detail.
- State Maps. With the state map, you can look for and plot out trips at a higher level. Use these maps to identify waterways, forest land, national parks, camping, mountain features. Plot your trip to the rockhounding site, which could involve off the beaten path roads to other cool rock hunting spots.
- Hiking Maps Backcountry maps. If your rockhound says that he/she wants to go to a specific area (like the Kalamiopsis Wilderness in the Rogue-River-Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon), the backcountry map will show you in great detail all the trails, trailheads, creeks, main roads, side roads, even camp sites. Look for hiking and backpacking maps.
The people who seem to do the best in rockhounding are the ones who seem to have been everywhere, and know all about the place that they live.
When you talk to them about a creek, they’ve been there, or they at least know what it is near to.
This foundational knowledge is critical to success in rockhounding.
After all, if you meet someone who is willing to share their secret super awesome place to fund thunder eggs, and you have no idea where or what this place is near to, you’ll struggle to remember the details or ever find it.
Idea #2 for a Wannabe Rockhounder: Rock/Gem/Mineral Collecting Books and Maps
When you lurk on rockhounding forums and scroll through hobby blogs, inevitably you’ll notice that there each of these folks recommends the same guide for that specific area.
It is uncanny.
Turns out, some maps/books/guides are actually the best resource for hunting a specific specimen.
For example, when you are looking at rockhounding in Washington, you’ll see a lot of people recommending Gem Trails of Washington.
If you don’t know of the specific best one for your city/state, then you really can’t go wrong at first with one of the general Rockhounding Guides for your state.
These guides will have a lot of general information about identifying specific types of rocks, gems, minerals, etc, though more experienced level collectors might not find that information to be robust enough.
Idea #3 for a Wannabe Rockhounder: Basic Outdoor Gear
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of products out there for people who love the outdoors.
While you can spend all the money you have, we think the most practical way to get a great gift that your friend or loved one will actually use is first, take a lot at what they have, then think about what they want to do.
If the person you are buying likes the idea of going out into the woods to some of the more remote rock collecting spots:
- Hiking Poles can be a real asset to help make the hike easier, prevent trips/falls, and help you balance in the event you are returning to the car carrying a heavy bag of treasures.
- Simple Hiking Compass to help prevent getting lost or turned around in the woods.
- A Multitool is a really good thing to have in your hiking pack along with your compass. They are generally small and lightweight, and can be used in ways out in the woods that you can’t even imagine until you need it.
- Small Daypack for the essentials (compass, multitool, water, wallet/purse, car keys, warm layer).
- A First Aid Kit is one of those things that you hope to never need, but will be very glad to have when you need it.
Spy on what they seem to have versus what they don’t, and fill in the holes accordingly.
Idea #4 for a Wannabe Rockhounder: Rockhounding Tools.
You can spend quite a bit of money on rockhounding tools, but since this person we are shopping for probably hasn’t even gotten started, it won’t make sense yet to spend a ton just yet.
That being said, there is something about having a geology rock pick hammer to make you feel like you are really doing it.
You can buy a geology set with tons of pieces or a few. Here are some of our suggestions:
- This 15 piece Amateur Geology set has a rock pick hammer, 3 chisels, a small shovel, protective glasses, gloves, and even some small brushes, and comes with a small bag to keep everything together.
- This is a high quality outdoor rock pick hammer. We like this hammer because the quality is quite a bit better than what you will see in the kits.
- If your rockhound is going to be digging, smashing, or whacking, a good set of gloves (flexible, not too bulky, protective) will save the day.
- If swinging the rock hammer is part of the trip, then eye protection against flying shards of rock (which can be as sharp as broken glass) is a must. You can wear a face shield (like you might wear while running the weed eater) or glasses (like you might see a woodworker wearing), but I actually like the goggle style protective eyewear, because they cover more of my eye area and also prevent me from touching my eye area with my hands without making an effort. The last thing you want to do is be swabbing at your eyes with the dust of copper or arsenic on your fingers.
- Dust Mask, as there can be a lot of minerals mixed in with the dust that you are churning up that are pretty bad for you to breathe.
- Knee Pads, since you will be spending a lot of time in your knees and some of the rock pieces can he jagged and sharp.
Gifts for Rockhounds Who Have Gotten Started (But Not To Expert Level)
Now that your amateur geologist has been getting out there in the world to hunt for all kinds of beautiful natural treasures (including fossils and petrified wood), a whole new world of gift giving opens up.
Idea #1 for Amateur Rockhounder: More In Depth Foundational Knowledge
As said before, what an expert has over the rest of the crowd is knowledge. As your rockhounder gains more hours and more trips spent in the hunt for precious items, it is time to help him build up his foundational knowledge on the topic.
Therefore, we suggest the following:
- The National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals
- The Smithsonian Handbook to Rocks and Minerals
- Collecting Rocks, Gems and Minerals: Identification, Values and Lapidary Uses
You can also look for general science books about geology, to help inform his understanding of how agates, crystals, and fossils are formed.
Idea #2 for Amateur Rockhounder: More Sophisticated Rock Collecting Hobby Gear
Above, in the wannabe section, we didn’t dive too deeply into rockhounding specific gear.
Much of what was recommended could be repurposed in other activities in the event that a true passion for rockhounding was never developed.
But if you are seeing signs that your loved one is all-in on her rock collecting hobby, here are some ideas for gifts that she’ll be really excited about:
- Portable Gold Panning Kit (not just for gold)
- Sand Dipper (pole with a scooping basket so you can grab rocks off the sand without having to constantly bend down)
- Rock Tumbler Kit (which comes with the tumbler, polishing grit, and learning guide) (See also: How To Dispose Of Tumbler Water)
- Folding Tactical Shovel (if you want to hike and then dig under ancient stumps, for example)
- UV Pen Light Flashlight for detecting rocks and minerals, or the 4 Watt Handhold Shortwave/Longwave UV Lamp with Mineral Samples kit
- Headlamp (I like the rechargeable versions of these so I don’t have to buy and then recycle batteries)
- Stonework Chisels for finding, digging, and cleaning up rocks.
- Jewelers Magnifier to get a good look at what he’s found.
- GPS (to supplement maps)
Idea #3 for Amateur Rockhounder: Jewelry Making Supplies
My house is full of rocks. They clutter the shelves, they fill boxes, there are JARS of them everywhere. One of the next steps in rock collecting is finding something to DO with the rocks. Making jewelry is one of those ways.
If you aren’t sure whether your rockhounder (male or female) would be into learning the craft of making making jewelry with the stones/gems found, start with some simple tools and equipment like:
- Wire-Wrapped Jewelry Techniques: Tools and Inspiration for Creating Your Own Fashionable Jewelry (book)
Or you can go with a general Jewelry Making Supplies Kit which contains many of the tools and materials listed above.
Gifts for Rockhounder and Rock Collectors (Experienced and Expert)
Alright, we’ve got a hobbysist here, someone who has been collecting rocks for years, someone who drives miles to collect rocks, someone who takes trips to hunt for minerals, someone who talks with other hobbyists.
Idea #1 for the Experienced/Expert Level: More or Better of What They Already Have
An updated or ungraded version of any of the items listed to this point in the article would make a great gift, or an upgrade on any of the tools or equipment that they already would work as well. Spy on them as they work, go on a trip with them and see what they have. Look at the quality or the wear of their kit, then replace/upgrade as needed.
Idea #2 for the Experienced/Expert Level: Supplies That They Regularly Purchase For Themselves
Rock collecting doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. But it can be. For example, someone who regularly collects rocks and then tumbler or polishes them is going to be using a lot of grit. While there is probably unlimited supplies, here are some ideas for a rockhounder who uses a rock tumbler as an example:
- Rock Tumbling Grit Refill kit (with 4 different polishing grits)
Idea #3 for the Experienced/Expert Level: A Microscope
One of the things they might really enjoy is a simple digital microscope. This would give them an opportunity to get a closer look at the specimens they bring home, as well as help with identification and valuation.
We like the AmScope SE306-BZ Binocular Stereo Microscope for examining rocks, minerals, fossils, and other specimens, because it balances the need to be functional without breaking the bank.
Idea #4 for the Experienced/Expert Level: More or Better of What They Already Have
Idea #4 for the Experienced/Expert Level: A Saw
There are a ton of options for the kind of saw to buy, depending honestly on what you plan to cut.
If your rockhounder focuses on small stones and gems, a jeweler’s saw like this one might fit the bill. It comes with tons of functionality. you can cut, grind, carve, and polish.
If she focuses on larger finds like geodes, a high quality lapidary saw capable of handling the larger pieces like this one would fit the bill.
Idea #5 for the Experienced/Expert Level: Experiences
Another general idea for a passionate rock collector is to look into buying them a trip to hunt rocks on private lands, or led by a an expert level guide. If you need ideas, call the closest rock hunting/gem club to your area and ask. They will usually have some good ideas.
In the same vein, you could also gift membership to said clubs, which would give him access to tons more information and communication with others who are passionate about the hobby.
Further, you could look for conventions (local, national, or even international) to travel and mingle with rabid fans of rock hunting.
Idea #6 for Experienced/Expert Level: Displays
I would expect that most very passionate rock collectors will have, well, a lot of rocks. It can be tough to manage them, account for all of them, and display them. Beautiful specimens can end up in the shop, in boxes in the garage, or cluttering all of the tabletops.
Help him get organized with some simple displays like:
- A simple wooden wall mounted display rack
- Risers Set (to sit on a tabletop or shelf)
- Clear floating shelves
- Display Table Top Tempered Glass case
Rockhounding Themed Gifts
Another option is to purchase items that aren’t technical rockhounding materials but fit within the theme of collecting rocks, such as quirky shirts, mugs, stickers. We’ve included links to a few to give you some ideas.
Rockhounding Gifts for Kids and Young People
There are some cool tools, ideas and kits out there that are both fun and education. Here are some of our suggestions:
- Mini LED Lighted Pocket Microscope with built in UV and LED flashlights
- National Geographic Break Open Geode Kit (with 10 Geodes)
- National Geographic Gemstone Dig Kit
- Grow a Crystal Geode Kit
- Rock and Mineral Collection Kit (with Geodes, Shark Teeth Fossils, Arrowheads, and Gemstones)