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How to Identify Minerals: A Helpful Guide (With Pictures)

Identifying minerals can be a challenging process, especially if you’ve never done it before. When I was learning how to identify minerals in college it took me a while to understand the process and remember all the characteristics I needed to know, so I feel your pain! Over the years I have learned that identifying …

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Schist: Identification, Characteristics, and More

Schist is one of the most common metamorphic rocks in the world. It comes in many varieties and can contain attractive gemstone inclusions, and therefore it’s a very popular rock with collectors. As common as schist is, there are a lot of misunderstandings about what it is. Because one schist specimen can look so different …

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Shale: Identification, Characteristics, and More

Shale is a rock that almost everyone is at least fairly familiar with. It is the most common sedimentary rock on Earth and it has a distinct appearance that often makes it easily recognizable. You often see it used for decorative purposes, and it has enormous economic value in the mining, construction, and oil and …

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Metamorphic Rocks: Pictures, Descriptions & Identification

Metamorphic rocks are some of the most varied and complex rocks found in nature. Because they can be formed from any other type of rock, there is almost no limit to their variety. Being able to properly identify a metamorphic rock can tell you a lot about its geologic history. There are many different types …

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Igneous Rocks: Pictures, Descriptions & Identification

Igneous rocks are some of the most interesting rocks found in nature, mostly because of the spectacular way in which they are formed. All igneous rocks are created from the cooling of magma or lava, but there are almost limitless varieties based on the minerals present in the source magma and the temperature and pressure …

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Sedimentary Rocks: Identification, Pictures & Descriptions

Sedimentary rocks are some of the most interesting and widespread rocks found in nature. When most people think of sedimentary rocks images of colorful sandstone layers in picturesque canyons come to mind, but there is a lot more to them than that. There are many different types of sedimentary rocks, and if you know what …

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How to Identify Your Rocks: Full Guide With Helpful Tools

One of the most common frustrations we have as rock collectors is identifying the cool rocks we find. It’s fun to discover a cool-looking rock and add it to your collection, but it can often be difficult to know exactly what it is you’ve found. I have found that there aren’t a lot of great …

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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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