We test every tumbling rough that we sell and share the recipe we used to produce nice tumbled stones - using the same grit, polish and ceramic media sold on this website. Each rough is assigned to one of the three categories below based upon its properties and the amount of care that is required:
These are small-sized roughs that are intended for use in small rock tumblers with a 2-pound or 3-pound capacity barrel, such as the Thumler's MP-1, Thumler's A-R1, and Lortone 3A. They are "ready-to-tumble" and have a Mohs hardness of about 7. They work well without adding media, using the instructions shown on the page where the rough is sold.
In our opinion, this is one of the great bargains on our website: you can get a 20-pound bag of mixed tumbling rough for $99.99. In that bag you will find several materials that have been favorite tumbling roughs for the past fifty years - in pieces that range from 1/2" up to about 2 1/2". Some of the roughs that we typically see in these bags include: banded amethyst, gold tiger's eye, red jasper, picture jasper, green aventurine, rose quartz, sodalite, unakite, white quartz and more. Every bag is different, and every bag has lots of diverse color. More information, larger photo.
We are selling three-pound bags of banded amethyst, specially sized for rock tumbling. Each three-pound bag contains mostly pieces that are between one inch and two inches in size. This material consists of beautiful purple amethyst, white milky quartz, and a small amount of gray smoky quartz. It is mined in Namibia, a country on the west coast of southern Africa. Banded Amethyst accepts a bright polish and makes beautiful tumbled stones. Mostly in 3/4 to 2 inch pieces. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
We were surprised to get these! Beautiful stream-tumbled agate nodules from the country of Botswana. We like these nodules because most of them contain concentric-banded agate in contrasting colors. When polished you will find thin translucent bands in brown, cream, reddish brown, pink, white, gray and other colors. Mostly in 1 to 2 inch nodules and partial nodules. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Dalmatian Stone is a white to beige-colored igneous rock with dark black spots. It is mined in Mexico and has been imported into the United States for many years. It gets is name from the famous breed of dogs with a similar appearance. It shapes nicely in a rock tumbler and accepts a soft glowing polish. Pieces are mostly 3/4 to 1 3/4 inches in size. Some people call this material "Dalmatian Jasper" but that name is a misnomer. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Kambamba Jasper is a green tumbling rough marked with black circles and swirls that is mined in Madagascar. It produces tumbled stones with spectacular "eyes" and "orbs". Mostly in 1 to 2 inch pieces. Some people believe that it is a fossilized stromatolite (structures built by sediment-trapping algae), but experienced paleontologists do not accept that theory for its formation. Kambamba does not have the proper pattern of growth lines almost universally seen in stromatolite fossils. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Leopard Skin is a marketing name for an igneous rock with markings that make it look like the coat of a leopard. It has lots of spots! Some people call it "leopard skin jasper" or "leopard jasper" but those names are incorrect. It is not a jasper. It shapes nicely in a rock tumbler and polishes to a soft glow - not a bright vitreous polish like you see in jasper. Leopard skin shapes quickly in a tumbler because it is a little softer than most other tumbling roughs (the minerals in the rock range between 5 and 7 on the Mohs hardness scale). We are selling this leopard skin in pieces that range between about 1/2 and 1 1/2 inches across. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
We think that this is the perfect magnesite for rock tumbling. It is very fine-grained and is slightly silicified. The silicification makes it harder than pure magnesite, and the fine grain size enables it to be tumbled without cleavage being a problem. With a Mohs hardness of 5+ this material shapes quickly, yet is hard enough to accept a soft glowing polish. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
This red jasper from South Africa is one of our long-time favorite tumbling roughs. Why? Here are four reasons: 1) it accepts an awesome polish; 2) it has a spectacular red color; 3) it shapes nicely; and, 4) it is tough enough that bruising rarely occurs in the tumbler. That makes this rough easy and enjoyable to tumble. Mostly 1 to 2 inches in size. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
"Rock Crystal" is a popular name for a colorless quartz that is clear enough that you can see through it. These pieces are nice and chunky - mostly about 1 to 2 1/2 inches across. See our instructions on using ceramic cylinder media so you can tumbling this beautiful quartz without brusing the surface. It's easy if you follow instructions. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
We are offering some beautiful rose quartz with a strong pink color. This material is from South Africa and is being sold in five-pound bags. It is a perfect size for making large tumbled stones. You might also slice these pieces into small slabs for cabbing or tumbling with a trim saw or small slab saw. Most of the material in these bags is in large chunky pieces that range in size between 2 and 2 1/2 inches along their maximum dimension. A few pieces might be a bit over or under those sizes. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Snowflake Obsidian is a jet black volcanic glass with small patches of white recrystallized material that give the appearance of "snowflakes". It produces beautiful tumbled stones if you cushing them during tumbling with ceramic cylinder media. It is softer than the normal agate or jasper that you might have tumbled before so tumbling time will be slightly reduced - except for the polishing step. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Sodalite is a rare blue mineral found mainly in igneous rocks. Some rocks containing abundant sodalite can be polished to a beautiful luster and are durable enough for a variety of uses. When polished they often display attractive white patterns produced by other minerals dispersed through the rock. Mostly in 1 to 2 inch pieces. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Tiger's Eye receives its name because of the way light interacts with the material. When moved in the light, the stone exhibits a line of light that moves across the surface of the stone. These tiger's eye roughs have become very popular with our customers. They are sized mostly between 1 and 2 inches. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.