The 11 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Looking for Gems

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The 11 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Looking for Gems

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Hunting for gems can be an exciting adventure, but it’s easy to make mistakes if you’re not careful. Some folks dive right in without knowing what they’re getting into and end up facing challenges they didn’t expect.

One big error is not doing enough homework on the types of gems and where to find them. Another mistake is not paying attention to safety rules or respecting the places where gems are hidden.

Things You Should Avoid When Looking for Gems

Before you start searching for hidden treasures, there are some important things to keep in mind. You’ll need to know the dos and don’ts to keep yourself safe and make the most out of your adventure.

Lack of Research

man sitting on a rocky beach with a laptop

Not knowing enough about different gems can lead to mistakes. It’s like going on a treasure hunt without a map.

Learning about where gems are found and what makes them interesting is really important. This knowledge can help you discover cool gems you didn’t even know existed.

If you dive in without doing your homework, you could miss out on some awesome finds. Knowing about gems means you’re prepared to recognize them when you see them.

Ignoring Local Laws and Regulations

black footprint painted on a rock

Not checking the rules for gem hunting in an area can get you into trouble. You might end up paying a big fine or facing worse problems.

Every place has its own set of laws about where and how you can look for gems. If you ignore these laws, you’re risking a lot more than just missing out on gems.

It’s really important to understand what’s allowed before you start your gem hunt. That way, you stay out of trouble and still have fun looking for gems.

Neglecting Safety

man bandaging up a leg

Forgetting to wear the right safety gear can cause serious accidents. This is especially true if you’re searching for gems in places that are hard to get to or dangerous.

Wearing helmets, gloves, and boots isn’t just for looks; they protect you from getting hurt. Without them, you could end up with cuts, bruises, or worse.

It’s also important to bring along first aid kits and know how to use them. That way, if something does go wrong, you can take care of yourself until help arrives.

Insufficient Planning

hiker standing on a mountain holding a map

Jumping into a gem hunting trip without a solid plan can lead to problems. You might find yourself lost, or worse, in a risky situation without enough supplies.

Knowing where you’re going and what you’ll need is crucial. Without a map and the right gear, your search for gems could end up being more of a hassle than an adventure.

It’s also smart to think about where you’ll stay during your trip. If you don’t have a place to rest and refuel, you won’t have the energy to find those gems.

Underestimating the Environment

large gray rocks on a mountain slope

Thinking the weather, land, and animals won’t affect your gem search is a big mistake. You might get caught in a storm, or find the ground too tough to dig through.

If you don’t know what the outdoors are like where you’re going, you could run into trouble. Wild animals or getting lost can turn your adventure into a scary situation.

Wearing the right clothes and shoes makes a big difference, too. They can protect you from getting too hot, too cold, or scratched up by bushes and rocks.

Lack of Proper Tools

shovel and pick

Using the wrong tools for hunting gems can really slow you down. You might even break a valuable gem or hurt the area you’re exploring.

Imagine trying to dig through hard rock with a spoon. It doesn’t work well, and you’ll end up tired and frustrated.

Bringing the right gear, like a sturdy shovel and a strong pick, makes a big difference. It helps you find gems faster and keeps the natural spot in good shape.

Ignoring Local Expertise

two women pointing up in a forest

Skipping talks with local experts or folks who know the area is a big mistake. They have special knowledge about where to find gems that you can’t get from books or online.

Local people might share secrets about the best spots that only locals know. This can lead to finding gems in places you’d never think to look on your own.

By not listening to local advice, you might miss out on learning cool tips and tricks. Plus, making friends with locals can make your gem hunting adventure even more fun.

Not Keeping Records

man sitting in a beach and writing in a notebook

Forgetting to write down where you found gems or other cool details is a missed chance. You won’t remember all the good spots or what you learned about different gems.

Keeping a journal of your gem hunting trips can help a lot. You can look back and see which places were awesome and which weren’t worth the trip.

Without notes, it’s hard to share your adventures and tips with others. Writing things down means you can help friends find gems and avoid mistakes you made.

Focusing Only on Value

gemmy yellow-green anglesite crystal
Anglesite provided by Fossilera

Thinking only about how much money gems can make you miss out on the fun part. Gem hunting is about adventure and learning new things, not just cash.

If all you see in a gem is its price tag, you won’t enjoy the stories and secrets it holds. Remember, every gem has a tale, from how it was formed to how you found it.

Chasing after the most expensive gems can make you forget why you started hunting in the first place. It’s about the thrill of discovery and the joy of the hunt, not just the payoff.

Overlooking Preservation

several rough quartz crystals

If you don’t take care of your gems the right way, they can get ruined. This means they might not look as shiny or be worth as much later on.

Cleaning and storing your gems properly is super important. It keeps them looking great so you can enjoy them for a long time.

Ignoring how to keep your gems safe can be a big mistake. Learning the best ways to look after them means they’ll stay beautiful for years to come.

Misjudging Accessibility

hikers on a snowy slope

Thinking you can go anywhere to look for gems is a mistake. Some places are off-limits or too hard to get to without the right gear or permission.

Just because you see a spot that looks perfect for gems doesn’t mean it’s okay to go there. You might need special permission, or it could be dangerous.

Ignoring signs or fences and going into places you shouldn’t can cause big problems. It’s always better to check if you’re allowed to be there and if it’s safe.

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

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