this is what the rocks look like before tumbling
this is sort of a before & after. After we polish the rocks, the colors and fractures are revealed.
The rocks are so reflective, they were a bit hard to photograph.
typically we only tumble similar rocks in hardness and size together. granite and basalt will beat up softer rocks.
I really like this conglomerate rock, after polishing you can see the quartz in the rock. The quartz is clear like glass, so you can see into the rock in spots.
the rock on the right (the reddish quartz) has a nice white mineral vein that is visble after tumbling :)
As most of you know, we like rocks in this house. It all started with Hallie. Ever since she could walk, she would pick up rocks. she would have boxes of rocks, rocks in my car, and even have a rock in my parents car. Then my brother, who is a chemical engineer and knows his periodic table well started to "collect mineral specimens" (the technical term for rock collecting). Hallie's love for rocks started to spill over onto me, Davi, Sandy and even Sara. Davi is doing well in Earth Science and knew that Basalt is "Extrusive Igneous rock".
As I write this, the rock tumbler is going.
I wanted to share some photos I took of some of the rocks that Hallie has collected over the years and we throw in the tumbler. after about a month or so, we get beautiful, polished mineral specimens. Hallie usually gives them away to her friends, and the rest go in her collection, or in a bowl in our living room. Everyone who comes over to the house runs their hand through the bowl of glassy texture rocks.
some of our last batch need a bit more time in the polish step, but I lost so many rocks to fractures or...I need more rocks to run them with, hard to explain, but if the rock tumbler is too full or too empty, it doesn't work well. we always have rocks that need more time in each step, waiting for the next batch, so I will just add them to the next set :)