All about falling rocks

Rock Tumbling is all about turning rough and often dirty and unsightly samples of semi-precious stone into highly polished and presentable gemstones. The process is long and laborious (almost, more to the point that it requires a periodic examination and change of materials as the process progresses), but above all, it requires patience, and lots of it!

The reason for this is that a given “batch” of rocks can take weeks, if not months, to turn into perfect, sparkling gems. The duration of the fall depends on both the hardness of the stones (MOH scale) and the required finish, which is solely up to the enthusiast.

Uses for finished rock ranges are from home decorations to fine jewelry, but people have been known to place rocks in their fish tanks to give that extra sparkle to the fish environment! They look great in the fireplace just spread out over the grill plate, or they look equally impressive placed in a clear glass vase or bowl and mounted on a window sill or, again, on the fireplace. Another use that is often overlooked is in its healing properties; however my favorite place for the finished rocks has to be in the hands of my kids. They love them.

To flip rocks you need a rock tumbler machine, these are available from simple toy complexity level to industrial size machines, grit (80, 220, 400) and polished (usually cerium oxide), this is for the stage final. The 80 grit does most of the shaping of the rocks, trimming all the sharp edges and rounding them off; the others (220 to 400) reduce the size of the scratches in the rock until they are manageable to remove with the polisher. Most importantly, you need some rocks! These can be bought online or on the high street at a rock and mineral store, or if you live in the right area then you can find your own, which makes the hobby even more interesting.

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