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Mike Rhea

I'm a professional Geologist with a passion for rocks, minerals, and everything related to Geology. I enjoy collecting and tumbling rocks with my daughter and traveling the world with my wife seeing geologic wonders. I have traveled all over the U.S. and the world exploring nature and checking out cool geology wherever I can find it. This site is devoted to sharing my love of geology with you - I hope you enjoy it!

Dopping a Stone with Wax (And Removal) – Full Guide & Video

Dopping a stone with wax is a valuable skill for any lapidary artist to learn. It will result in your cabochons being better overall finished products while saving your fingers from needless wear and tear. While the general idea of dopping your cabochon with wax is simple, it can feel daunting at first. I’ll share …

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Lapidary Equipment: Everything You Need to Make Cabochons

Making cabochons out of rocks is a great way to show off their inherent beauty and take your enjoyment of them to an entirely new level. Whether you’re making the cabochons for jewelry or as stand-alone pieces, a well-polished cab of a unique-looking rock is a striking piece of artwork. I recently started making cabochons …

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Rockhounding Near You: 2500+ Locations With Guides and Maps

Collecting rocks and minerals is an extremely popular hobby and a fantastic way to explore the outdoors. Invariably, one of the first questions that aspiring rockhounds ask is where to find cool specimens to add to their growing collection. It seems like such a basic question, but it isn’t always easily answered. The search for …

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Hawaii Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

If you’re in Hawaii, you are undoubtedly aware of the amazing geology surrounding you. These volcanic islands are world-famous for their magnificent lava flows and black sand beaches, so it may come as a disappointing surprise to learn that Hawaii is among the worst states in the country for rockhounding. The Hawaiian Islands are still …

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Alaska Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

Alaska can be a great state for rockhounding, and with its relatively unique challenges come equally rewarding results. With so much public land available for prospecting and exploration you can most likely find some great, unspoiled sites on which to do some rockhounding. The obvious challenges with rockhounding in Alaska are the weather and inaccessible …

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Maine Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

If you’re lucky enough to be in Maine with the intention of doing some rockhounding, I’m jealous! Maine is, without a doubt, the best state in New England for rock and mineral collectors thanks to the widespread, high-quality pegmatites that make up a large portion of the surface geology. The gemstone production in Maine is …

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New Hampshire Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

If you’re hoping to do some rockhounding in New Hampshire, one of the first questions you’ve probably asked yourself is where to look. You’ll be delighted to learn that there are plenty of places to search for interesting rocks and minerals in New Hampshire and quite a nice variety of specimens to be found. The …

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Vermont Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

Vermont is a very unique, if often overlooked, state when it comes to rockhounding. It isn’t particularly well known for gemstones but there are some high-quality varieties of metamorphic rocks like marble and serpentine that make for great additions to any collection and are highly sought-after for their lapidary qualities. These metamorphic rocks also contain …

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Rhode Island Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

If you’re looking to do some rockhounding in Rhode Island, you should first temper your expectations. Unfortunately, Rhode Island is amongst the worst states in the country for rockhounding due to the lack of notable locations and the relatively small variety of interesting material that can be found But don’t lose hope! There are still …

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Pennsylvania Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

Pennsylvania ranks among the best states in the country for rockhounding, both for the wide variety of rocks and minerals that can be found here and for the sheer number of prospective rockhounding locations. Most of the best gemstone collecting sites are in the southeastern part of the state where there are countless quarries and …

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