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Many of us may have in our homes some old rocks collection, either from when we were kids or perhaps from a couple of years earlier. Maybe the time has come to get a little more space in your house, but whatever you do, don’t toss your collection away as it might be put to good use. But what can you do with your old rock collection?
You can do a lot of things with your old rocks and minerals collection, like selling it, donating it to college, high school, university, or museum, trading it, or even making some awesome home decorations, jewelry, and games for your kids or even for you.
I am going to present to you three simple but practical ideas for what to do with your old rocks collection. It’s a shame to toss them away, so read on and enjoy.
If you are interested in checking out the best boxes for storage rocks you can find them by clicking here (Amazon link).
Donate It To a University, College, or High-school
Regardless if you have minerals, fossils, semi-precious stones, or crystals, if you have a college or university near you, I bet they might appreciate it. Hand samples are used a lot in geology classes and you can never have enough.
Both students and teachers would be more than grateful for it, perhaps even adding them to their own collections. If they are labeled, showcasing where they came from, that’s even better.
Depending on what type of rocks you have in your collection, you can even donate them to high schools, where more common rock and mineral samples would do the most good.
If you have more specialized samples, a college/uni might get an upgrade. Think about it, you will actually be contributing to the education of new generations to come.
If your own children are interested in geology, but they are too young, you can store your old rock collection until the time is right.
Sell Or Trade Duplicate Rocks And Minerals
A rock collection might be worth something, but If you are looking to get rid of every rock, look for duplicates. Some can be donated if they are duplicates, and they aren’t in top shape, or you can trade them for other stones, and then sell them.
- Find some collectors
Find some collectors or even talk to your friends that may have a similar hobby and do some trading. Selling the collection is the easy part, finding out the real scientifical value of your rocks is another.
Take into consideration the size and quality of your specimens, since they might be unique due to their mineral associations. Such samples can be donated to a research facility, archival facility, or even a museum.
If you’d like to try out your haggling skills, you can sell your old rocks collection at a flea market, swap meet, or garage sale. This might be a great way to get rid of old items and earn some extra money.
- Swap meets
Swap meets are also a good place to start selling, they bring the community together for a couple of days, and as such, are a great occasion to see new or old faces.
- Flea market or garage sale
Selling at a flea market or setting up a garage sale is also a great way to expose your stuff, sell it, improve your haggling skills, and overall socialize and have a good time.
How you display your rocks and minerals will play a great role in selling them. Minerals, for example, look great in well-lit glasses or viewing cabinets.
When it comes to rocks, probably the best way to sell them, if you think they aren’t too precious, is to make decorations out of them or perhaps even jewelry. If you want to get some great ideas on how to use your rocks, read on to the next subject.
BTW: Do you want to know more about rock and mineral identification? The books listed below are the best ones you can find on the internet (Amazon links):
- Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals
- Gemstone & Crystal Properties (Quick Study Home)
- Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Rocks and Minerals (National Geographic Kids)
TIP: I’m here to tell you that there are people who rockhound for a living, and many more people with careers dealing with rocks, minerals, and crystals. Find out more in the article below:
Ultimate Guide: Making Money by Selling Rocks & Minerals
Use Your Old Collection For Decorations Or Jewelry
You can transform your old rock collection into beautiful jewelry, decorations, and pieces of art. You can even sell them more easily this way if you want to.
Creating such objects is a great way to relax, use your imagination, and put your collection to good use, instead of throwing it away. As such, here are some great ideas:
- Create something For Kids
If you have children or grandchildren, you can make some beautiful gifts for them, or even have them exercise their creative abilities by painting some of the specimens of your collection.
You can create for them story stones – rocks that have different images that might be used for creative writing and storytelling.
Story stones are a great activity for children and adults as well. They can offer a fun and relaxing way of enjoying family time together. If you want some ideas for your story stones, check out Artful Parent.
Kids might also take a liking to alphabet rocks, which are easy to make and practical. These stones can help kids practice spelling words You can also use them to create messages and put them on the table for the ones dear to you.
TIP: Small kids love rock collecting! Check out these 13 simple but clever tips on how to get them started with rock collecting here:
Rock Collecting for Kids: 13 Tips How to Get Them Started
- Create some home decoration
You can use your old rocks collection in creating beautiful works of art, and decorations for your home. You might be surprised at how beautiful they may look.
If you paint your rocks, you might achieve some truly beautiful pieces, such as mandala meditation stones. Colorful Crafts explains how to make them, with many tips for beginning artists.
Some painted rocks may be used as rock magnets, using E6000 adhesive (clear glue) is the most important part of making them, since they might fall off.
Rocks can be crochet covered and they make for great home decorations. They look great if you place them near seashells or framed vacation photos.
You can also use your rocks as bookends. Scrap some wood and paint your rocks to create unique bookends that will show off your favorite titles, or you can offer them as a gift for avid readers.
If you want something on your walls, you can create wall art with your old rocks. You need a strong adhesive for this though, and some markers or paint. If you find yourself lacking inspiration, check out Bored Art for some great ideas.
Want a harder challenge? Create a painted paperweight. Painting rocks is a lot of fun, chose some of varying sizes and try to make them look like houses, petals, trees, or other objects to make an eye-catching paperweight.
Some rocks can be used outside your home as garden markers. You will need paint and a clear sealant. White paint is good but you can choose any color as long as it is distinguishable, and thus you can turn your stones into practical and beautiful markers for your garden.
You don’t need to be a painter to create your own rock fishbowl, but you will need more colors. Paint your rocks to look like fish, and place them in a bowl, it’s that simple.
- Create some games to play
Create an awesome game by using your old rocks by painting them like a tic tac toe traveling game. This is especially fun to play with children, you just need to paint the right-sized rocks.
- Create some jewelry
Some rocks are more beautiful than others, and they can be used to make unique jewelry. Polished stones and wires are frequently used, however, painted rocks are also a good option as well. Lisa Yang Jewelry offers details on how to make them.
TIP: You need to drill holes in the rock when creating jewelry. But did you know that there are rocks with natural holes? I mean real holes? Find out more about this phenomenon in the article below:
Holes in Rocks Explained: How Are Formed & What Causes Them
Related Questions About Old Rock Collection
Still did not find the answer to your answers about what to do with your old rock collection? Find frequently asked questions in the section below:
Can I send my old rock collection to a museum?
If you want to dispose of your old rocks collection you can send it to a museum. Many believe that sending such items to a museum means that they will be saved forever.
However, different curators will emphasize what they think is the most important and relevant part of your submitted collection for the public to view, and as such, some of your rocks will be removed as the curators in charge are changed.
You can submit your rocks, fossils, gemstones, or some other portion of your collection, but keep in mind that as time goes by, much of it will be at best kept in storage.
How do you store an old collection of minerals and rocks?
If you don’t want to sell, trade, or donate your old rocks collection you can store it for the time being. If you have children that you may one day want to introduce to the beautiful world of geology, make sure to keep your collection in good shape while stored.
Since breakfronts are expensive, many collectors keep their specimens in cheaper organized drawers, boxes, or even egg cartons.
Minerals are best stored in cardboard boxes called flats, which are stackable and can be labeled. It is always best to store minerals and other such items in some sort of categorical sorting to keep track of similar materials.
The best way to store minerals is to put them in flats, which are cardboard boxes. They can be stackable and are easily labeled. Keep in mind to always store your minerals or other materials in categories, as it will help you in keeping track of them.
How do I submit my old rocks collection to a school?
If you have children that go to educational institutes that may be related to geology, have them ask the teachers if the institute needs such materials.
If they are looking for specific rocks or minerals, send only those. You can always simply go to these institutes and ask them directly or check their websites.
Most of them usually required adequate labels to be put on the materials before donating them. The schools might even display your better specimens.
TIP: Do you know how to recognize if the specific stone is rock, mineral, or crystal? If you are not sure, check out this ultimate guide on the differences between all kinds of stones here:
Rock, Mineral, or Crystal? What’s the Difference?