You’ve decided that you want to go rockhounding, but you’re unsure how to tell whether or not a rock is worth it. The first stage in the process of making correct observations when you look for rocks is to be able to differentiate rocks from other building materials such as slag or brick. What characteristics of rock indicate that it has monetary value?
The worth of a rock may be determined based on the following factors: Location, Color, Hardness, Weight, Streak, and History. Pursuing expensive rocks may be a fun pastime that sometimes can result in little supplemental income.
However, there is always the possibility that you will make a quite lucrative find. Rockhounding, also known as amateur geology, is increasingly gaining popularity among individuals looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the modern world and discover the great outdoors.
In contrast to the majority of pastimes, rockhounding is not only affordable but also requires just a limited number of tools. You can get started on your hunt for valuable objects if you have a bucket, a hammer, safety goggles, and a magnifying lens.
Table of Contents
5 Most Valuable Rocks:
Rubies, known for their stunning red color, may fetch prices of up to one million dollars per carat. Given this information, they are the seventh most costly rock in the world.
The worth of each of these rubies is determined not by their quantity but rather by the quality of each stone. Those that are the largest, blood-red, possess clean cuts, and have a shiny shine will be the most valued.
Chromium, present as the ruby is being formed, is responsible for the brilliant red color characteristic of rubies. Rubies are graded in a manner comparable to that of diamonds, considering their quality and color.
A flawless ruby may fetch a price of one million dollars per carat if sold on the open market. These pricey rubies can become even more exorbitant if placed with other valuable jewels in an elaborate mounting. A huge Burmese ruby, for instance, fetched thirty million dollars when it was auctioned not too long ago.
2. Red Diamonds:
Most people would anticipate that diamonds would be included on this list, but they are taken aback by the fact that the red kind of diamonds is among the top five. Because they are the rarest variety of diamonds, red diamonds are among the most costly in the world.
This is because of their high demand. Only a few handfuls are extracted yearly at the Argyle Mine in Australia. The mine holds an auction for the magnificent and rare diamonds every couple of years.
The price for one carat of one of these extremely rare rocks ranges between two and two and a half million dollars. However, because of their one-of-a-kind purplish-red tint, purchasers won’t need to be concerned about onlookers mistaking them for rubies or garnets.
This mineral does not occur frequently; most people have never even heard of it. This is due, in part, to the fact that the mineral has only ever been discovered in one of two locations: Northern Buma and Sri Lanka.
The development of serendibite is a complicated process that requires the utilization of extremely minute quantities of molecules derived from other minerals. These molecules are bonded together during the formation of serendibite and include oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, magnesium, and aluminum.
There are just three examples of such faceted minerals that are still known to exist today. They are all around a half-carat in size, and their values range from one point eight million to two million dollars each.
4. Blue Garnet:
In reality, garnets may be found in a wide variety of colorations. Blue is the rarest and most valuable hue of the gemstones, although they may also be found in green, orange, brown, purple, pink, yellow, and red. Green is the most common color.
Following the discovery of the first blue rock in Madagascar in the 1990s, stunning garnets have since been discovered in other countries like the United States, Russia, and Turkey. The blue garnet may currently be extracted from the ground in all three of these nations.
At the moment, one carat of this expensive gemstone may be purchased for one million and a half dollars. The element vanadium was present during the process of their creation, which is why they have such a vivid coloration. In certain instances, vanadium produces a more violet tone; hence, the ideal quantity is required to generate the brilliant blue garnet responsible for the rock’s high cost.
Jadeite is one more type of mineral that some people may not be familiar with. On the other hand, it is discovered within another rare natural gemstone that most people are familiar with, namely jade. Currently, jadeite is the mineral or rock that fetches the highest price anywhere in the world.
This pricey stone has a carat price equivalent to three million dollars per carat. This rock’s high cost can be attributed to the fact that jadeite is both a beautiful and rare gemstone. Because stones come in so many different colors, each stone is one of a kind, even though they all have a strong resemblance to jadeite.
The precious mineral that was formerly fashioned into jewelry and the heads of axes back in ancient times. In fact, in the late 1990s, a piece of jadeite jewelry fetched a price of about nine and a half million dollars when it was sold.
When Sifting Through Rocks in Search of Valuable Ones, What Do the Different Colors Mean?
The hue of a rock can be used as a guide to determine whether or not it contains rich minerals, although it is not a decisive factor on its own. Pyrite is commonly referred to as fool’s gold because some early prospectors mistakenly believed the mineral to be gold.
Pyrite is a mineral that may be found in the same rock formations as gold, even though it is not nearly as valuable as a precious metal.
A finding of pyrite may indicate that there is gold in the surrounding area, and some massive pyrite rocks contain gold that can be recovered. Therefore, it is a good idea to pick up a rock if you notice that it has a golden metallic sheen, even if it turns out to be pyrite.
The value of bright, colorful rocks tends to be significantly higher than that of drab, dark stones. Stones with dazzling colors and high monetary value include gold and emeralds, for instance.
However, an unpolished diamond is still quite valuable even though it does not have the same allure as the final product. The hue of the rock can help determine whether or not it is worthwhile to maintain, but the color itself is insufficient to ensure that the rock will bring in a significant amount of money.
Due to the greater scarcity of red beryl, the monetary value of this gemstone is far higher than that of blue beryl; nevertheless, the value of a specimen with several flaws will be significantly lower.
Small outcrops or intrusions of other elements can be found embedded in the surface of the majority of rocks. Garnets and opals are examples of semiprecious stones that increase in value depending on the number of inclusions they contain.
The price of a flawless blue garnet may reach as high as $7000 per carat, yet an imperfect blue garnet with inclusions might fetch as little as $500 per carat on the market. When establishing value, color purity is key, but clarity is also very important.
The purity of see-through crystals, such as quartz, may significantly impact. Quartz that is milky or foggy in appearance is not nearly as precious as quartz that is transparent and lustrous.
How Does the Weight of a Rock Factor Into the Value of the Rock?
The weight of the rock is another factor that may be considered when evaluating its worth. You do not have to carry a scale with you with three beams, but you should be able to judge how heavy an object is just by picking it up. In general, the mass of precious metals is larger than the bulk of rocks of a lower value.
The weight is not the only factor determining a rock’s value, but it is helpful to consider when evaluating it with other samples. For example, a huge lump of pyrite (about the size of a baseball) will not seem as weighty as a large piece of gold. Pyrite is a brittle material with a significantly lower density than gold, a more malleable substance.
Precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum possess greater density and are exceedingly expensive, despite having a lower rating on the Mohs scale.
Since lead has a high density, a low Mohs rating, and is not as expensive as precious metals, you cannot use the same reasoning to evaluate it in the same way as precious metals.
On the other hand, even novice geologists should be able to differentiate between lead and valuable metal. Even though it’s not a rock, lead can occasionally be discovered in dry stream banks together with other artifacts.
How Does the Degree of a Rock’s Hardness Influence Its Market Value?
The difficulty of breaking rock is another indication that it may have some value. Diamonds are the hardest substance found on Earth, and one carat of a diamond may fetch up to $15,000 in market value.
Harder rocks and gemstones are a sign that they may be valuable, although hardness itself is not a determining factor; similar to the color of the rock; it is not a factor in determining value.
Granite is significantly more durable than gold, although gold has a much higher market value than granite. Precious metals such as gold and silver are more malleable than most materials you’ll encounter when rockhounding. This malleability can help you distinguish precious metals like gold and silver from similar rocks.
In 1822, Friedrich Mohs devised a scale to determine how hard rock was to scratch. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, each type of stone receives a value between one and ten that corresponds to its level of abrasiveness. The softest substance is one (talc), while the toughest substance in ten (a diamond).
A sclerometer is the instrument of choice for a geologist when conducting final hardness tests on rocks in a laboratory setting. The instrument measures the depth of the scratch left by the diamond on the rock to arrive at an accurate price.
The Mohs scale is a helpful alternative to bringing a sclerometer on a rock hunting trip because most of you won’t be able to carry one with you. The scale ranks rocks according to how hard they are.
If you take a penny, a steel file, some sandpaper, and a tiny piece of glass with you on your journey, you will be able to test rocks using the Mohs scale, which will allow you to determine the worth of the rocks you find.
How Can the Value of a Rock Be Determined Using a Streak Test?
The streak test is another approach that may be utilized to determine the worth of rock. When determining which minerals are present in the rock, the piece of ceramic or porcelain white is the instrument that works best.
To experiment, you must scrape the rock against the porcelain and examine the color streak. You may use a mineral identification chart to check the streak’s color to the minerals’ various hues. Some stones, like pyrite, contain streaks that are a different hue from the outside of the stone.
Pyrite has a black color streak, even though it seems to be a dull golden tint. A gold stripe will be produced when a piece of pure gold is rubbed across the porcelain. This test may distinguish pyrite and pure gold from one another, which is a good method.
The mineral known as apatite can have a surface color that is either dark green or red, but when it is examined closely, a white stripe will appear. The test is only reliable for determining the hardness of rocks when the rocks are softer than porcelain. The hardness of porcelain is 7, and anything with a higher hardness level than porcelain will not leave a streak when scratched.
Rocks are often made up of more than two different minerals, and the color of the rock’s surface can sometimes conceal what is under the surface.
It will be much easier to identify the rocks if you have a chart with photographs of the stones in their natural, unpolished condition. The streak test will verify the elemental makeup of each mineral.
The streak test can be used on most of the rocks you come across, even though it could appear restrictive. Most rocks have a hardness lower than 7, and it is much simpler to recognize the tougher rocks and minerals than the softer ones.
What Role Does the Past Play in Determining the Value of a Rock?
Although a rock’s look, the amount of it that exists, and its size determine its worth, the historical importance of the stone can also affect the price it fetches. If you look in a stream bed or quarry, you will probably not locate any rocks with an interesting history.
Rocks that are valuable due to their history are more likely to turn up at an auction, thrift store, pawn shop, or yard sale than at any other retail establishment. The value of a quartz crystal found 120 years ago will be significantly higher than that of a quartz crystal found just last year.
The age at which the rock was discovered and the status of the person who first owned it can contribute to the price of a relatively inexpensive stone.
Be looking for inexpensive rocks when shopping at garage sales or flea markets. Even though rocks are not a typical item seen at garage sales, some folks do offer them for sale alongside their more affordable jewelry.
Are There Any Meteorites or Gemstones to Be Found?
Meteorites and gemstones are the kinds of expensive objects that are most frequently unearthed from the ground. On the other hand, meteorites may be discovered virtually everywhere, in contrast to the low likelihood of coming upon a diamond in an unexpected location. In either scenario, though, you can’t do without your eyes.
Even though they appear relatively ordinary and common, meteorites have a value comparable to diamonds. They often have a black hue much darker than the color of other rocks and contain flow lines and dimples. Rarely the human eye can make out on the surface of some meteorites tiny colorful globules of iron and nickel. These globules are extremely difficult to notice.
When it comes to precious stones, it should go without saying that you won’t stumble upon a diamond just anywhere. However, if you put in a little effort and go on a quest, you may find more popular stones like jade, quartz, opal, and garnet.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is it possible to make money off of rocks?
If you could locate a local rock shop that would be interested in doing business with you, this would be an excellent avenue for selling your collection. This is a relatively typical method for selling rocks in the world of part-time rock hunters. You may easily search for a rock store in your area and begin a connection with them.
What sort of rock has sparkling crystals?
Minerals such as mica are responsible for the luster of some rocks. They are frequently discovered in metamorphic rocks such as schist and igneous rocks such as granite. They shine because light reflects on their smooth surfaces, where the mineral splits along their cleavage plane. This is what gives them their iridescence.
Do geodes have a monetary value?
Both the inside and exterior of geodes contribute to their high market value. Crystals of sapphire, celestine, limestone, or other rare minerals that are completely formed and immaculate are found inside the geodes that are considered the most precious.
How is it possible to know if a rock contains gold?
You are scouring the surface of the glass in search of a scratch. The “gold” is not real if it scratches the glass because gold does not scratch glass. Glass, which has a hardness of around 5.5, will only be scratched by harder minerals, such as pyrite and quartz. If the glass doesn’t scratch, it’s a good indication that there is probably gold in the rock you have.
How can one determine whether or not a rock contains a crystal within it?
Take the rock in your hands and determine how heavy it is. There is a good chance that the rock in question is a geode if it is noticeably lighter in weight than the rocks that surround it. Crystals can only grow within geodes because they include a cavity or space on the interior. You may also test to see if the rock is hollow by shaking it while holding it up to your ear.
How do you price rocks?
The quality of the sample, the apparent rarity of the rock or crystal, how well it has been documented and cataloged, and its past selling history are the primary factors that affect the value of rocks and minerals. There is no predetermined price for any of the specimens. Ultimately, their worth is defined by the amount another person is prepared to pay.
Wrapping it Up:
Although most people know that diamonds are expensive, they are often unaware of various other intriguing facts regarding expensive jewels. We hope the article on some of the most precious rocks on the globe and the science behind why they are valuable was interesting and enjoyable for you to read.