Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

2.3 Collecting Everyday Objects


2.3: Collecting everyday objects and the minerals that went into them

For pointers on building a collection, see Badge 5 on Collecting.

To help your kids in collecting common minerals, start by approaching your fellow club members to see if they might have supplies of minerals they‘ve collected over the years that they would be willing to donate to the cause (quartz crystals, fluorite, galena, gypsum, hematite, etc.). Also, many common minerals are inexpensive and readily available from show dealers, and sometimes show dealers will offer special bulk discounts if you approach them about your project.

In the retail arena, various nature stores sell common minerals (tumble-polished pieces of quartz, hematite, pyrite crystals, etc.). Toy stores and crafts stores are other spots to try, as well as stores selling teaching supplies and the gift shops of natural history museums.

If you have active mines in your area, they may be willing to donate samples. For instance, the vast borax mine in Boron, California, is happy to lead tours and provide free samples of various borate minerals.

Still other sources (although more expensive) are the various scientific supply houses, such as Ward‘s, Edmund Scientific‘s, etc.

Note: Kids can use this activity to satisfy requirements toward earning their Collecting badge simultaneously (Activity 5.1). And those who put together a public display can use it toward satisfying requirements for earning the Showmanship badge (Activity 6.4).