Start a rock collection. If you need some help or advice on how to get started, see our suggestions below:
Once you have a rock specimen, you need to identify it. There are hundreds of different rock types that can be identified, but all rocks can be grouped into one of three basic types of rocks, Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic. Begin by determining the type of rock.
Now that you have identified your rock type, label it. Write down on an index card the rock’s common name if you know it, the type of rock it is, where it was found and the date it was collected. By labeling your rocks, you can now organize them into groups which can then be stored together or displayed.
Cataloging is an extension of the labeling process. A catalog is a written archive of your rock collection. Each rock specimen has its own label which identifies it. Your catalog keeps a record of all your rocks. As your rock collection grows, your catalog will also include information on where your rocks are stored. An example of cataloging can be found at your local library. You can search for books by using the library’s card catalog or computer catalog. Because everything is very well organized, you can find what you are looking for quickly.
The last step to organizing your collection is to decide how you will display and store your rocks. By displaying your rocks both you and others can appreciate their natural beauty. When displaying your rocks be sure to keep the rock specimen and label together. If you keep your rocks in small cardboard, plastic, or wooden containers they will be easier to display as well as store. Using a protective container is an especially good idea for fragile samples. Acid free tissue papers can be used to protect especially fragile specimens.
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