Rock Hounding

rock hounding for opal
Rock hounds

Rock hounding kept me in the shed cutting and grinding the opal I found

Parents particularly need to get their kids out of the cities and digging around the ground so that they can experience the planet again. I intend to write a book sometime in the future called ‘Rock Collecting for Kids’ for obvious reason. In the meantime, take a look at the book below but keep in mind that there is an updated version of it that will be offered on this site sometime soon . But anyone interested in learning how to cut and polish opal can get it for free with some rough opal to start on. (I’ve mentioned this below as well) Here is the latest edition to this subject

Rock hounding opal for the ordinary bloke

One day I sat down and wrote a book on the subject of opal which pretty much covers most of the things I remember about the opal industry and my experience in rock hounding. We didn’t publish the book because we couldn’t afford to at the time, but it’s been available on CD for over ten years now and many have benefited by my recorded experience.

It’s called The Ordinary Blokes Guide to Opal available at this site. It costs $35 but you can get it for free with a parcel of rough opal if you want to try out your skills. The CD, as the title implies, is written with the ‘ordinary bloke’ or guy or amateur rock hounding person, whatever you call an average Joe in your country. (extra comment. This CD has now been upgraded into an eBook called ‘Opal, an Australian Adventure’ Its available for free to visitors to this site here.) (upgrade to this CD is now an eBook, here)

The need for down-to-earth opal rock hounding instructions

My experience in reading instruction manuals is that the technical people who right them imagine that the readers have a similar education to themselves and will be able to understand all the terms. Often authors like to impress others (as we all do admittedly) with our knowledge, but really, the main reason for writing an instruction manual is so that it will teach something to someone in the easiest way possible. The major quality of a good teacher is to make sure the students understand the words used because words are the bricks in the building of knowledge. Without a proper understanding of the word ‘bricks’, the ‘knowledge’ building does not transform into ‘wisdom’ which is a combination of knowledge and understanding.

‘Opal Bloke’ CD written in laymen’s Language (upgrade to this CD is now an eBook, here)

I’ve made every effort to make sure all terms are explained in this instruction manual. In fact we have created an alphabetical dictionary of terms so that you can find explanations easily and get to know terms such as ‘translucent’ and ‘diffraction’ and lots of other words connected to the way light behaves and how it interacts with the molecular structure of opals surface.

Add your own knowledge to the rock hounding/opal discussion

Anyway, you can make your own judgement as to whether this eBook is well written or not, and just keep in mind that this internet site is not just a site, it’s a place where we encourage interaction and have places to leave comments on all articles. That means that you can make your own comments, offer suggestions and corrections and you can become the teacher, and everyone benefits.

So please don’t be shy about making some comments at the bottom of each of the pages that come up in this extensive site. We would love to hear you own rock hounding for opal experience, particularly if it relates in some way to our specialty of Australian opal.

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2 thoughts on “Rock Hounding

  1. I sure enjoyed reading all three of the rock hounding articles, very interesting and informative.
    Are there still places where persons can come and dig opals on their own time?
    I hope to go emerald and ruby mine digging on my next vacation… I would have to save a LOT of monies to be able to afford a trip to Australia, but if I could “rock hound” opals, I would plan that trip !
    I hunted diamonds in the only public diamond deposit in America in Arkansas in 2007 for a full week, and did not find ANY diamonds. I did, however, find a lot of different crystals and jaspers.
    As a side question, can opals be polished in a tumbler?
    Thanks !

    1. Tami, very sorry for the late reply. I didn’t notice that you had asked this question about tumblers. Sure, opal can be polished in either a tumbler or a vibrator. You can find out about vibrators in lapidary supply sites. They are just a quicker way to polish gemstones because the rubbing of one stone against the other in an abrasive solution is quicker. You can polish opal starting with maybe 220 grit carborundum powder. Then graduate to 320, 600 and then a final polish with cerium oxide. you have to make very sure that the stones and the barrels are very clean after each process. Just one small amount of contaminant will ruin the whole batch. The final polish is very tricky. If you have problems with this, talk to me again. I will look for some specialised comments on that. In the meantime, if anyone else has some suggestions on this, please contribute to this forum.

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