Top 6 Valuable Rocks You Can Find In Your Backyard

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There are so many valuable rocks you can find in your backyard. You don’t always have to purchase them at the local dealership. 

Some of the common valuable rocks in your backyard include tourmaline, topaz, quartz, obsidian, and so many others. We will discuss this extensively in this article.

Let’s get started!

Valuable Rocks You Can Find In Your Backyard

  • Quartz
  • Opal
  • Topaz
  • Peridot 
  • Obsidian 

1. Quartz

This is the most abundant rock on earth, it has many gemstone variants, including agate, amethyst, carnelian, and citrine, and most times, you can easily find this rock in your backyard. 

Pure quartz is colorless. It is the impurities in it that give off vibrant hues. The gemstone itself is inexpensive and is widely used for making different types of jewelry and making different types of sculptures

Quartz of high quality is excellent on the hands when touched, and they have a clear glass appearance, almost transparent. Because these gemstones are easy to find, they are cheaper than any other precious stones.

You can easily find them and change them into something of value, like jewelry and sculptures, which you can quickly sell and make good money in return. It’s the most abundant and equally one of the most utilized.

See Also: Steps to Building a Stone Flower Bed Border

2. Opal 

This is an exceptionally radiant precious stone that originated from silica. Some opals are far more expensive than diamonds. Opals are available in different colors, which are very useful. Some of the colors are

  • Brown
  • Ack
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Purple

Opals are used for many purposes, but one of their uses is in carving sculptures. Opals are also easy to find because they’re lustrous. The stone is abundant in southwestern states like Nevada and California.

Opals are of different types. The most expensive opals are always colorful and can reflect every color in the light spectrum. This ability depends on how you hold them against the light source. 

The brighter the light reflection, the more valuable the opal is. This is why it is easily used for making jewelry and sculptures. When utilized very well, you can make lots of money from it. 

3. Topaz 

This is one of the most valuable rocks you can easily find in your backyard. It is one of the hardest minerals in the world. It is equally challenging and available in different colors. Gems are also affordable and occur in large crystals. 

When mined naturally, topaz had light-hued crystals. Moreover, it equally has a colorless variant that is used chiefly as a diamond simulant.

When it is processed, topaz is used for making different jewels, including earrings, bracelets, and other kinds of pendants.

The quality of a topaz mainly depends on the color. The most valuable topaz is the pink topaz, which is used to make expensive and high-end jewelry. Sometimes due to its similarities with citrine, people mistake the two, but citrine is cheaper. 

4. Peridot 

This is one of the most valuable stones you can find in your backyard, and this gem is abundant in nature and precious. It has a pale, yellow-green appearance.

This precious gem is famous mainly among collectors because it produces reflections different from the light source. This equally makes it the most sought-after type of gemstone. 

Peridot differs from most other gemstones. It occurs in additional flakes and tiny pieces. As a result, you’re most likely to encounter large crystals of it, but it rarely happens. 

There are few places in the world where this precious stone occurs in abundance. In a place like the United States, the stone is abundance in an area like

  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Hawaii
  • Wyoming

The small size of this peridot makes it challenging to find this gemstone in the soil. So when searching for this stone, you should wear a loupe so that you can notice its distinctive feature, which is a green sparkle

The quality of a peridot crystal is measured by its intensity—the greener the stone, the higher its value. Yellow peridot is the easiest to find. The color intensity signifies its quality, but when the color is brown, it indicates low quality. 

5. Obsidian

This is one of the most valuable stones you can find in your backyard. Obsidian is a glassy type of stone that is primarily black, although most of the time, you can find green and brown colored types. 

This precious stone is formed when molten rocks cool rapidly after a volcanic eruption to form firm large, soft-textured crystals of valuable rocks.

Obsidian was used in the past as a cutting tool mostly because it was tough and had very sharp edges. In today’s world, doctors and surgeons use it for operations because the rock is sharper than steel, and they help surgeons create precise incisions. 

Obsidian has a unique and glassy appearance which makes it easy to find and identify amid many other rocks. Obsidian is found in many places in the world. There are places where it is more prevalent.

  • Arizona
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • California

This type of gemstone is unique because its value depends on the age of the crystal. Moreover, due to this factor, it is not easy to find old pieces, as the rock is fragile. Sometimes you can find one that has existed for a few million years and make good money. 

6. Garnet 

This is one of the most valuable stones you can find in your backyard. You don’t need expert knowledge to extract it from your backyard. 

Different precious stones are used for various purposes. This stone is primarily used for making jewelry and for decorative purposes. 

This stone is of different types; the most common are almandine, pyrope, and rhodolite. Of all these types, almandine is the easiest to find and is mainly used to make jewelry. 

The other types of this rock are rare to find, but when found, they can be very useful and profitable for making different types of beauty accessories

The hardness of garnet crystal depends on its type. Garnet is generally known as a hard rock gem. It is equally hard enough to be used and considered an abrasive substance.

Due to their hardness, garnet crystals have many industrial uses, which include cutting steel and other hard metals. Appearance alone is not enough feature to Gauge the quality of garnet crystals.

However, this is so because the gemstones have several impurities that give them a darker appearance. Most high-quality crystals of garnet are translucent and bright in color. 

These features and characteristics make garnet one of the most valuable rocks you can find in your backyard. When sold to industries that use it as an abrasive substance, you can make lots of money from it. 

However, always remember that gemstones are essential in different ways. They’re found everywhere. 

You can find a lot of them in your backyard, find out what each is mainly used for and use it to your advantage. You can easily sell them and make a good profit. 

How To Identify Valuable Rocks In Your Backyard 

In this section of this article, we will look into different ways and what to look out for when you want to identify valuable rocks in your backyard. 

However, if you notice a rock with an unusual appearance, it’s advisable not to overlook it. Chances are it could be valuable or contain gemstones.

There are many factors to look out for when you want to identify valuable rocks. Some of them are their color, feeling its hardness, and checking the surface markings

Inspection Of Colors 

Color inspection is a defining factor in identifying valuable rocks in your backyard. But using colors alone is not enough, many gems look like each other, for example, iron pyrite looks like gold, but the value is far less than gold. 

Color is primarily valuable for identifying monochromatic materials. 

The importance of colors is that it helps narrow down samples to a few mineral choices, which can increase your chances of choosing the right one, but it doesn’t give an accurate answer. Inspection by colors is a good start. 

Steak Test Inspection

This is a better test inspection than the use of colors. When you crush rock, the powder that comes out of that rock is usually of a different color from the rock itself. 

This is why before crushing a rock you think has to value, you need to conduct the steak test. 

To conduct the steak test, you will need a piece of unglazed porcelain, then you swipe the sample across the time and assess the streak it leaves. 

To understand better, for instance, Jade leaves a green streak while chalcopyrite leaves a black one. 

The only problem with the streak test is that it is ineffective whenever the mineral is more challenging than porcelain. 

Hardness Test 

This is one of the most reliable tests regarding valuable rock identification. The hardness test uses a scale that ranges from 1 to 10. The scale was designed by a mineralogist who is known as Friedrich Moh. 

In identifying valuable rocks, you must understand that more complex minerals are more valuable than softer ones. If you can scratch the minerals with your fingernails, their hardness is 2.5 Moh or less.

Furthermore, minerals with a hardness of 5.6 Mohs require glass to be scratched, while those higher than 6.5 and below can leave a streak on unglazed porcelain. 

Diamonds, the hardest substance, have a hardness of 10 Mohs and can only get scratched by other diamonds. 

Some Equipment You Need To Find Valuable Rocks 

There are so many tools you need to find valuable rocks in your backyard. Below is a list of a few most important ones. 

1. Bucket 

The use of a bucket in finding valuable rocks in your backyard is undeniable. It helps you carry the rocks and in ferrying away extra soil. 

One of the most important types of a bucket to use is the metallic bucket because of the arduous nature of mining. A bucket is an indispensable tool that is needed for mining. 

2. Pickaxe

Many tools are required to find valuable stones in your backyard, and a pickaxe is one of them. 

A pickaxe helps you remove dirt from the rocks when extracting the gemstones. A pickaxe is a T-shaped tool with one end being sharper than the other.

3. Shovel 

This is one of the essential tools to find valuable rocks in your backyard. A shovel is also called a spade. It is used for one purpose, which is to remove dirt from the earth’s surface. 

You can equally use the shovel or spade to remove extra soil when digging into the surface of the site where you intend to find the valuable stones. 

4. Tweezers 

There are times valuable rocks might disintegrate into specs, so many that you can’t pick them into your bare hands. 

This mostly happens during volcanic eruptions or after a heavy downpour. When this happens, this is where tweezers come into play. 

With this equipment, you can easily pick up the specks you couldn’t pick with your bare hands. 

5. Classifier 

When extracting valuable rocks from your backyard, you will sometimes pick up some particles that need to be isolated from each other. 

Classifiers are tools used to remove tiny particles used to isolate precious gems like gold. You can equally use it to remove some debris when extracting valuable rocks in your backyard. 

Conclusion: Valuable Rocks in Your Backyard

Having come to the end of this article, it is safe to say that we have discussed extensively the valuable rocks in your backyard and how to identify these valuable rocks in your backyard. 

We went ahead to discuss some of the equipment needed for identification. We believe you have benefited from this article. Go green!

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