You Might be a Rockhound
Mel Albright, Richard Busch, Dan Imel,
Bob Keller, Betty Commean, and Jack Rowland
Lithosphere (April 1996);
Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society, Inc.; Fallbrook, CA
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a rockhound? The
following article is the result of a collaboration by several gem
and mineral bulletin editors around the country. In a period of
just a few days, communicating solely via electronic mail on the
Internet, these editors answered the question of how to tell if
you're a rockhound.
Mel Albright, editor of
Osage Hills Gems (Osage Hills Gem and
Mineral Society, Bartlesville, Oklahoma) says, "You might be
a rockhound if ..."
- You think road cuts are built as tourist attractions.
- You describe your vacations by the rocks you brought
- The rockpile in your garage is over your head.
- Your screen saver on your personal computer features
pictures of rocks.
- You find rocks when you empty your pockets at night.
- You went to a rock festival -- and you hate music.
- You gave rocks, tumblers, or rock tools as Christmas
- When friends say they're going to Tucson, you assume
it'll be in February.
- You can find Quartzsite on a map in less than 5 seconds.
Richard Busch, editor of
Lithosphere (Fallbrook Gem and Mineral
Society, Fallbrook, California) says, "You might be a rockhound
- When someone mentions "Franklin" you think of New
Jersey rather than Ben.
- You can pronounce "molybdenite" correctly on the first
- The polished slab on your bola tie is six inches in
- You examine individual rocks in driveway gravel.
- You shouted "Obsidian!" to a theater full of movie-goers
while watching The Shawshank Redemption.
- Your children have names like Rocky, Jewel, and Beryl.
- The bookshelves in your home hold more rocks than
books; and the books that are there are about rocks.
- On a trip to Europe, you're the only member of the
group who spends their time looking at cathedral walls through
a pocket magnifier.
Dan Imel, editor of The
RockCollector (Rochester Lapidary Society,
Rochester, New York) says, "You might be a rockhound if ..."
- Your company asks you not to bring any more rocks to
the office until they have time to reinforce the floor.
- Your wife knows you are down in the basement sorting
rocks but can't quite find you, nor does she remember that
pretty wall down there.
- Your local rock shops send you get well cards when you
don't stop by in more than a week.
- The local jewelry stores and libraries give out your name
for information on rock clubs.
- The baggage handlers at the airport know you by name
and refuse to help with your luggage.
- The local university's geology department asks permission
to hold a field trip -- in your back yard.
- The city sends you a letter informing you a landfill permit
is required to put any more rocks in your back yard.
- You get excited when you find a hardware store with
16-pound sledge hammers and 5-foot-long pry bars.
Bob Keller, editor of
Bob's Rock Shop (World Wide Web site)
says, "You might be a rockhound if ..."
- They won't give you time off from work to attend the
Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, but you go anyway.
- You begin fussing because the light strips you installed
on your bookshelves aren't full spectrum.
- You've spent more than ten dollars for a rock.
- You've spent more than ten dollars for a book about
- You still think pet rocks are a pretty neat idea.
- You have amethyst in your aquarium.
- You associate the word "hard" with a value on the Mohs
scale instead of "work."
- You know the location of every rock shop within a
100-mile radius of your home.
- You're retired and still thinking of adding another room
to your house.
- You're planning on using a pick and shovel while you're
- Your spelling checker on your computer has a word list
that includes the words "polymorph" and "pseudomorph."
- You know where Tsumeb is.
- You think Franklin, New Jersey might be a cool place to
go on a vacation.
- You put a Web page about rocks on the Internet.
- Your car hasn't seen the inside of your garage for ten
- You associate the word "saw" with diamonds instead of
- You begin wondering what a complete set of the
Mineralogical Record is worth.
- You decide not to get married because you'd rather keep
- You make a backpack for your dog.
- You have mineralogical database software on your
Betty Commean, editor of
The Slate (Northwest Illinois Rock Club,
Freeport, Illinois) says, "You might be a rockhound if ..."
- You think you KNOW how to pronounce "chalcedony."
- You are thinking about giving out specimens for
- You planted flowers in your rock garden.
- You purchase things like drywall compound just to have
another nice bucket to carry rocks in.
- The club you belong to uses rocks for centerpieces for
the annual Christmas dinner.
- The first thing you pack for your vacation is a chisel and
- You spend hours and hours in the ugliest room in your
- You give directions like, "turn right at the green
- You bought the ugliest boots available because they were
- You know what "findings" are for.
- You watch the scenery in movies instead of the actors.
Jack Rowland, editor of
The Garnet Gazette (Mid-Hudson Valley
Gem and Mineral Society, Poughkeepsie, New York), says,
"You might be a rockhound if ..."
- Local science teachers plan field trips to your back yard.
- You have a two car garage and your 4WD pickup has to
sit in the driveway.
The preceding article was published in the April 1996
issue of Lithosphere, the official bulletin of the
Fallbrook [California] Gem and Mineral Society, Inc; Richard Busch
The material is in the public domain, and may be republished freely.
Last updated: 18 September 2002