For instance, there was the rock I actually identified all by myself! It's a garnet lodged in a piece of mica schist, much like this one:
It alone cost what I intended to spend, and it was worth every single penny. I used to dislike garnets intensely - I'd never seen a good one, just those dull dark red ones you get in cheap jewelry. Now that I've seen garnets in all sorts of shades and in their natural state, I like them quite a lot, and I'm pleased they're my birthstone. They're interesting. They show up in all sorts of things, from metamorphic to igneous rocks, and some of them have a fire that can outshine a ruby. And that brings us to my next purchase, a spessartine garnet somewhat like this one:
See the fire in there? Gorgeous!
Now, I had no idea what the hell a spessartine garnet was until just now, but About.com has the answer:
So, huzzah! An uncommon garnet. Everybody needs an uncommon garnet (or many) in their collection, right?Spessartine is an uncommon garnet, mostly found in granites and pegmatites. It ranges in color from red-brown to yellow-brown. Its orange occurrence is a gemstone known as mandarin garnet.
And, finally, I got a Red Plume Manzanita geode, which is from Mexico, and is one of the most unusual geodes I've ever seen. It's interior is rectangular rather than circular, and looks very much like opal. I'd show you a picture, but finding a similar one online would take too much time, and my camera sucketh at ye olde closeups. You'll just have to take my word that it's teh awesome.
When we went to Waverly Beach Park, of course, I had to sift through the shingle for some pebbles. And I found a tumbled piece of what I do believe is mica schist, all smooth and sparkly, along with a bit of green jasper and some pretty stones beyond my paltry indentification skillz, and a piece of glass so rounded by the waves that it can easily be mistaken for a bit of quartz. Fun times.
You know what this means, kids. Summer rock hounding season is on in earnest.