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Tested Rocks for Tumbling


If we can't get it to shine, we won't sell it!

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:

EASY     INTERMEDIATE     ADVANCED
Learn more about these categories

Tested Tumbling Rough

EASY:

Rough that can easily be tumbled to produce nice tumbled stones. These materials have a hardness of about 7 and take a bright polish. We also offer rough that is sized especially for small tumblers, such as Thumler's MP1 and AR1, available below.




INTERMEDIATE:

Rough that needs media or time adjustments. The roughs in this category are generally larger / blocky pieces with not much variety in particle size. These materials might also vary in hardness.




ADVANCED:

Rough that requires special care because it is fragile or bruises easily. Each material in this category has a recipe that is tailored to accommodate its potential issues.



Small-Sized Rough for Small Tumblers

EASY:

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.




Bulk mixed rough
SuperMix
$39.99 for
5 Pounds

$64.99 for
10 Pounds

$99.99 For
20 Pounds
You have to try this...

In our opinion, this is one of the great bargains on our website: you can get a colorful bag of mixed tumbling rough for a bulk price. 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.
Apache Tears rough
Apache Tears
$19.99 for
Two Pounds
Apache Tears are composed of obsidian, which is a volcanic glass. Since this material is relatively soft and easily bruised or chipped, we do not recommend it for the beginner. You will need plenty of ceramic media and a bit of knowledge to get good results. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
banded amethyst rough
Banded Amethyst
$19.99 for
Two Pounds
We are selling two-pound bags of banded amethyst, specially sized for rock tumbling. Each 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. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Brecciated Red Jasper Tumbler Rough
Brecciated Jasper
$19.99 For
Two Pounds
This is a bright red brecciated jasper. It is easy to polish, so this is a good material for the beginner to try. These pieces range from approximately 1/2" (12 mm) to 2" (51 mm) in size. Photographed wet to show full color. More information, photos.
Brown Jasper Tumbler Rough
Brown Jasper
$19.99 For
Two Pounds
This is a slightly yellowish brown jasper. It rounds nicely, polishes easily, and we recommend it for beginners who are using a small rotary tumbler. These pieces range from approximately 1/2" (12 mm) to 2" (51 mm) in size. Photographed wet to show full color. More information, photos.
Crazy Lace Agate Tumbler Rough
Crazy Lace Agate
$19.99 For
Two Pounds
Crazy Lace Agate has been a favorite tumbling rough since the 1960s. The material we are selling is mostly gray and white agate with an intricate lace pattern. Photographed wet to show full color. More information, photos.
Dalmatian Stone rough
Dalmatian Stone
$29.99 for
Four Pounds
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 its 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.
Dragon Blood rough
Dragon Blood
$19.99 for
Two Pounds
"Dragon Blood" is the name of a metamorphic rock that is partially composed of green epidote and red piemontite. With a Mohs hardness of 6+ to 7, it is a durable and tenacious material that can be used to make tumbled stones, cabochons, and other lapidary objects. It is easy for the beginner to tumble and takes a nice shiny polish. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Tiger's eye rough
GOLD Tiger's-Eye
$19.99 for
2 Pounds
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.
Gray Banded Agate rough
Gray Banded Agate
$19.99 for
Two Pounds
This tumbling rough consists of nodules and partial nodules of gray banded agate. The pieces range in size from about 1/2" to 1 1/2" in diameter. This agate has attractive banding in shades of gray, brown, cream, white, black, and reddish colors. If you are patient during the coarse grit step, making sure to grind away the weathering rind and any bruises, this material will produce wonderful tumbled stones with a brilliant polish! More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Kambaba rough
Temporarily
Sold Out
Kambaba 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. Kambaba does not have the proper pattern of growth lines almost universally seen in stromatolite fossils. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Leopard Skin rough
Leopard Skin
$19.99 for
Two Pounds
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.
Magnesite rough
Magnesite
$19.99 for
Two Pounds
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.
Mookaite Tumbler Rough
Temporarily
Sold Out
Mookaite is a colorful chalcedony that is named after Mooka Creek in Western Australia. This material has a Mohs hardness of about 7, is easy to tumble, and takes a bright polish. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Picture Stone Tumbler Rough
Picture Stone
$29.99 For
Five Pounds
This is a brown, cream, and tan material from Namibia. It has wonderful patterns that are reminiscent of desert landscapes. Most of the pieces range between 1 to 2 inches (at their widest dimension), so this tumbling rough could also be used to create some very nice-looking cabochons. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
Red Jasper rough
Red Jasper
$19.99 for
Two Pounds
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.
Tiger's eye rough
RED Tiger's-Eye
$19.99 for
2 Pounds
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.
Rose Quartz rough
Rose Quartz
$29.99 for
Five Pounds
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 rough
Snowflake Obsidian
$19.99 for
Two Pounds
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 cushion 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 tumbling rough
Sodalite
$19.99 for
Two Pounds
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.
Unakite tumbling rough
Unakite
$26.99 for
Three Pounds
Unakite is an igneous rock composed of green epidote and pink orthoclase. It was named after the Unaka mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee (although it is found in other parts of the world as well). More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.
White Quartz tumbling rough
White Quartz
$19.99 for
Two Pounds
This is a good material to try if you do not have any experience with tumbling quartz. Since it is snow-white, its color will camouflage any small bruises and scratches that may occur in a rotary tumbler. More information, photos, tumbling suggestions.