Finding joy in life means spending time with the right people and pursuing a career that you love. But even if we make all of our big decisions perfectly, there will come a time when we need a break from our hectic work schedules and even, perhaps, from our families and friends. That’s why it’s so important for us to cultivate fulfilling hobbies, especially ones that make us feel soothed and recharged.
If you’re in search of a hobby, allow us to make a humble proposal: you should consider gemstone collecting. Gemstone collecting is deceptively simple, yet deeply interesting. Owning a collection can be calming and centering, while exploring the fascinating facts related to minerals and gemstones can be intellectually stimulating. Here’s what you should know about collecting gems and minerals.
Understanding mineral and gemstone collecting
For as long as people have walked the Earth, we’ve had a habit of picking up pretty stones. Who wouldn’t grab a gorgeous sapphire or sparkling pyrite if they saw it lying about? So it’s no surprise that, to this day, there are still people collecting gemstones and minerals.
Minerals are non-organic substances that have definite chemical structures that make them identifiable — and, in many cases, gorgeous to look at! Gemstones are minerals that are cut, polished, or otherwise prepared for use in jewelry or decorations. In practice, many people use the term “gemstones” to refer to minerals in general.
Mineral collecting is about cultivating a collection of stunning stones, but it’s also about learning. Understanding the history of a mineral like agate, explains expert Howard Fensterman, can add a lot to your experience as a gem collector!
Getting started as a gem and mineral collector
If you want to start by covering your basics, you’ll find plenty of starter kits for gem collectors available for sale in stores or online. But there’s no wrong way to get started as a collector — if you prefer to acquire your minerals one at a time, and perhaps target larger or finer specimens than are available in multi-gem packs, that’s fine, too!
Doing more with gems and minerals
In a way, mineral and gem collecting is more than just a single hobby. Depending on your interests, you may take your mineral collecting in all sorts of different directions. Some collectors prefer to acquire collections by purchasing minerals, and may even sell and trade minerals from their own collections. Your collection might even turn into a side business.
Others may prefer to go get the gems themselves: gem hunting is a fun activity in its own right, regardless of how into your collection you are! You may travel far and wide or even dive into caves to get the minerals your collection is missing. If you love to travel, hike, scuba dive, or beach-comb, then gem hunting might be the aspect of gem and mineral collecting that appeals to you most.
On the other hand, you may find that you are more like the gem and mineral collectors who takes their passion to their local library or to an online search engine, choosing the study of gems over a hands-on approach.
Of course, none of these approaches are mutually exclusive. You can combine any and all of the above to craft a mineral hobby that suits your interests, budget, and talents.
Whatever you decide, you’ll gain a wonderful hobby that can be relaxing, exciting, challenging, and edifying to whatever degree you prefer. Minerals and gems are more than pretty stones: to dedicated collectors, they’re a way of life!