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Welcome to Rock Tumbling Recipes!

Rock Tumbling Recipes is an email newsletter published a few times per year by In it we share information to help you enjoy tumbled stones and rock tumbling.

Save Time and Money with a Vibratory Tumbler

Vibratory tumblers save time and money
Vibratory Tumblers Can Save You Time and Money: Many people use rotary rock tumblers and have never considered a vibratory tumbler. Often it is because they prefer round tumbled stones and a vibrating tumbler does not round the stones like a rotary tumbler does. However, if you run your stones in a rotary tumbler for the coarse grit and then use a vibratory tumbler for medium grit, fine grit and polish the finished product will still be brightly polished rounded stones. Also doing the last three steps of the tumbling process in a vibratory tumbler will finish the stones in about 7-10 days instead of the 21 days needed in rotary tumbling. This is a significant time and electricity savings. Vibratory tumblers also use about 1/3 to 1/4 less grit than a rotary tumbler.

Dig for Rocks and Minerals on Your Next Trip

Fee mining and digging locations
100+ Fee Mining Sites Across The United States, Canada and Australia: Have you ever wanted to find your own diamonds? There is only one place in the world where you can be a diamond miner and keep what you find. It's called Crater of Diamonds State Park located in Arkansas just south of Murfreesboro. Dotted across the United States are places where you can go and mine your own gold, gems, fossils and minerals. They are called "fee mining sites" or "pay to dig sites". You pay a fee to the property owner or business and head out to look for treasures.

Knowledge and Experience Are Key for Successful Tumbling

Rock tumbling books
The three books above have some of the best information on rock tumbling, working with finished tumbled stones or raw material, and the properties of many materials that can be tumbled. Modern Rock Tumbling by Steve Hart is one of the most complete books about rock tumbling we have found. He breaks down the process into bite size chunks that are easy to understand. If you are looking to get into the lapidary arts then Gemstone Tumbling, Cutting, Drilling and Cabochon Making by Jim Magnuson and Val Carver is the book you need. This book covers many aspects of lapidary arts from simple tumbling to cutting, drilling and shaping your stones. Last but not least is Gemstones of the World by Walter Schumann. This book gives you great information for many of the precious and semiprecious stones known. There are also 1900 spectacular color photographs of material in rough and polished states in the book.

Some of Your Tumbled Stones Might Be Fluorescent

Fluorescent tumbled stones
Some rocks and minerals produce a fluorescent glow when they are illuminated by an ultraviolet lamp. Perhaps you have seen a fluorescent mineral demonstration in a science class or in a museum display? These demonstrations are usually done in a darkened room to best observe the subtle glow produced by the specimens. The fluorescence phenomenon is named after the mineral "fluorite" which almost always produces beautiful glow under ultraviolet illumination.

A few of the tumbled stones that we sell will fluoresce under ultraviolet illumination. Some specimens of moonstone produce a pink to reddish glow under a short wave UV lamp. Some specimens of ocean jasper produce subtle fluorescent colors under both short and long wave UV illumination. Most specimens of tumbled fluorite produce a blue-violet glow under both short and long wave UV. The white feldspar in dalmatian stone often produces a wonderful pink glow under a short wave UV lamp. The UV lamps used to study rocks and minerals are not the same as the "black lights" that you can purchase at novelty stores such as Spencer Gifts. Those "black lights" emit a lot of visible light which drowns out the subtle fluorescent light produce by most rocks and minerals. In addition, most of the "black lights" do not produce the proper wavelengths needed for rock and mineral studies. You can learn more about fluorescent minerals in an article that we wrote for the website. The article has lots of photos of fluorescent rocks and minerals, and even fluorescent geodes. also sells books about fluorescent minerals, inexpensive fluorescent lamps, specimens of fluorescent minerals, and UV blocking glasses here. If you have access to a fluorescent lamp, it is really important to wear a pair of safety glasses that block UV radiation -- eye injury can result from too much exposure to UV radiation.

Happy Tumbling!

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