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"New to Collecting" Page 1

If you are reading this page you must already have been infected by some kind of  ROCK VIRUS,

once infected it is very difficult to remove

and if you are lucky it will drive you on a life long voyage of discovery and a love of all forms of minerals.

You then realise that whist there are a large number of individuals who are interested

 both at an amateur and professional level it is not that easy for the  newcomer.

Most books,  look quite technical and it would appear that a lot needs to be learned before you can start.

This is the  wrong assumption, to start collecting all you need is the desire and an inquisitive nature.

 Budding collectors can be put off by a number of mythical obstacles.

The most commonly quoted is the  'existing collectors' and  'professional'.

They can appear to be 'elitist' and not interested in individuals who have very little experience or  knowledge.

This is  far from the truth, the majority of those already in mineralogy either amateurs or professionals

 are generally very keen to support and nurture those with a budding interest in minerals.

That's enough of obstacles,

   So for the newcomer how do you get started,

 the most obvious way is to join a club this will be easy for some and more difficult for others

and in some cases impossible as the  easy as the  number has declined over the past few years. But don't be put off its worth the effort 

Please go to the "clubs & societies" webpage for details phone numbers, locations and details of meetings. 

But don't worry whose who cannot join a club or society,

 individual collecting and expanding your knowledge can be very rewarding,

 I personal spent 10 years collecting as an individual before I even discovered a local club.

The younger generation find minerals interesting, this interest is initially the result of a school projects or visits to museums,

finds on the beach when on holiday, books that  have photo's, news articles and displays in shop windows. 

Many books you read will tell the reader to focus a collection on a particular branch of minerals,

I  disagree,  someone who starts a collection should allow their interest to develop through experience and individual preference,

feed the desire for knowledge, collect what you like the look of, that's what makes this form of collecting so different. 

But it not just like any other form of collecting,

take Stamps for example a British 50p stamp many come in a few sizes, colours and shapes it is primarily a desk based exercise.

But when you consider minerals the range is  vast with many millions of varieties 

 currently around 4300 species but the form and variety is enormous

 take 'quartz' it is  found in a large number of colours, sizes, shades, crystal forms, transparency, groupings etc. and each one begs the  question


 ' How was I formed' ?  'Am I valuable'?

'why am I like this, but the same as all the rest chemically'?

'what do I contain'?          'and how rare am I'?          and many more  




It a hobby that can involve a wide range of activities from collecting in the field,

 the physical enjoyment of the natural environment,

provides good exercise and the thrill of the search and

discovery through to research, history and the scientific aspects of study.

   So how do you feed the habit ? 

well there basically a small number of methods for the newcomer, these include, books, videos, the internet, trips to look at museum collections and the acquisition of specimens by 

  1. Collecting from mineral exposures, this is where you must be very careful

  2. Swapping with other collectors

  3. Gifts from other collectors

  4. and of course "the golden pick method", fine for those with a big bank balance (so it is a bit like stamp collecting ! )

most collectors will use a mix of these methods.

Next Page - Collecting in the field   



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