Kidz Rocks Articles

Kidz Rocks Mining Adventures

Kidz Rocks Mining Adventures 0

Kidz Rocks is not only a rock and mineral reseller but we are active miners here in the Southern California region. It is a family business with my 11 year old grandson holding the honorary title of Vice President of Mining! On some of our mining trips we call him by his nickname "Whiney Miner" if he starts complaining about that day's mining haul.

All kidding aside, over the last 10 years we have researched and located numerous deposits of very nice rock and mineral specimens that are for sale on our Kidz Rocks store. For all Kidz Rocks customers these self mined products allow us to dramatically lower the prices of the other products we purchase from other miners and resellers. For the healing practitioner these healing crystal specimens are pristine fresh out of mother earth and never touched by machines or dozens of people on their way to you.

We mine Gypsum and Dolomite from Palos Verde Peninsula; Grossular Garnet, White Calcite and Pyrrhotite from the Greenhorn Mountains; Green Opal and Red Agate from Mojave; Copper Ore from Acton; Biotite Mica, Muscovite Mica and Black Tourmaline from the San Jacinto Mountains; Fossils from the famous Topanga Formation; White Quartz and Green Fluorite from the San Gabriel Mountains; Hornblende and Pyroxenite from Sand Canyon; and Spiderweb Howlite from Agua Dulce.

Safety and Equipment

I cannot emphasize first and foremost to always be safe when out hiking and especially when hunting rocks. Even the small things you would never think of like having a small zip lock bag in your backpack with dish soap in case you or your children accidentally touch a stinging nettle plant. Wow, did I find out the hard way about that one! My finger was burning for 2 days but if I had some dish soap to put on it as soon as I touched the plant it would have immediately prevented the burn on my finger. Stinging nettle has an acid oil on it that dish soap immediately removes.

Here is a video covering all of the equipment and safety procedures I follow every time I go out hiking and mining. Whether you are just going for a hike to a well known and well visited place or venturing into the rugged mountains, this video contains good tips and great advise for everyone.

The Greenhorn Mountains of Southern California
Beginning as early as 1916 it was discovered that the west slope of the Greenhorn Mountains of Kern County, CA contained scheelite deposits which is a tungsten ore. The mining in the region ended in the 1950's. Along with these scheelite deposits you can find grossular garnet, epidote, calcite, quartz. pyrrhotite, pyrite and chalcopyrite. Over the last 3 years and after countless hours of exploration we have located deposits of very nice grossular garnet, white calcite and blue calcite which are available for sale on our store.
Mining Red Agate & Green Opal in Mojave, CA
The Mojave Desert of California is a vast region with countless types of mineral deposits. Near the town of Mojave there is a well known mountain called Gem Hill that contains red agate, green opal and purple agate among other minerals. On our most recent mining trip we discovered the highest quality material we have even seen come out of that location. It is top grade red agate and deep green opal swirl together in stripes and patterns that is absolutely gorgeous.
Collecting Pyroxenite in Sand Canyon
Sand Canyon area of Southern California is a mineral rich region containing mica, feldspar, hornblende, pyroxenite, tourmaline, garnet and a host of other minerals. Kidz Rocks discovered a deposit of pyroxenite that contains high concentrations of magnetite. One of the rare few mineral specimens that a magnet will stick to it which always fascinates young children who are collecting and learning about geology. Magnetite is also a powerful metaphysical healing mineral.
Collecting Hornblende in Sand Canyon

Hornblende is unique in the mineral kingdom because its crystal formation occurs in two different directions. In other words, the crystals on the same specimen grow in two directions. With its unique crystal shape, rich greenish black color and unique luster hornblende is always is nice addition to your prized mineral collection.

Kidz Rocks has located a very high quality deposit of hornblende in Sand Canyon that we mine for all of you to enjoy.

Mining Copper Ore at the Palm Mine near Acton in the Mojave Desert, CA

In the mid-1800's significant gold and copper deposits were discovered in the Soledad Canyon area of Los Angeles County. It became known as the "Soledad Mining District" and the mining town of Ravenna, CA was born. Ravenna was short lived when the mining did not prove profitable and it is long gone today but the town of Acton is a stones throw from where Ravenna once stood.

There were countless small mining operations throughout the area with a few mines that became very large and profitable. One of the early copper ore deposits discovered was in an area called Barrel Springs and the Palm Mine was one of the larger mining operations. Kidz Rocks has explored dozens of the old mines in the region and the Palm Mine produces the nicest copper ore specimens of all of them.

Copper ore is a metamorphic rock containing the range of copper minerals from cuprite to malachite, chrysocolla and azurite. The Barrel Springs region and Palm Mine are high malachite concentration deposits which make for very pretty display specimens.

Mining Howlite in Agua Dulce, CA

During the middle of the nineteenth century California experienced a vast influx of new residents, many of whom were driven by the desire to strike it rich by discovering a vast fortune in gold mineral deposits or the "black gold" of oil. Another "gold," considered by some as "white gold" and perhaps not as well known as the first two, existed in the form of a mineral by the name of borax. Borax, boric acid, and other compounds of boron were utilized a century ago for everything ranging from medicinal purposes, food preservation, glass blowing, cleaning and even personal grooming.

The mine shown in this video was started in 1905 and produced 20,000 tons of borax a year. The original owners of the mine sold teh operation to another mining company in 1911 for $3 million which is $72 million in todays dollars! Hence the term "White Gold" The borax deposit ran out and the mine closed in 1921.

Random Mining Adventures Photos
See the rattle snake in the trail I was walking on one day? It is easy to not even see one until its too late. Watching for snakes while hiking is NOT the answer. BUY They are very affordable, comfortable and are the ONLY way to make sure you never get bit by a rattle snake. Even hiking in well known and visited areas you can get bit and if you don't die it will cost you upwards of $10,000 in medical treatments.
The beautiful views mining in the winter while it is snowing! Just another day at the office .. Lol
Mining green fluorite from solid granite using a small gas powered jack hammer in the San Gabriel Mountains. Really hard work but facet grade fluorite is so pretty!
The view while having lunch mining copper ore on Parker Mountain in Action, CA.
Why Rock Collecting Is Good For Kids

Why Rock Collecting Is Good For Kids 0

Why Collecting Is Good For Kids

Your child's rock collection may just look like a pile of stones to you. But it's doing more than gathering dust. "When a child collects things, it teaches the child important skills that they use throughout their life, including how to organize and interact with others," says Desmond Kelly, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at All Kinds of Minds in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The institute, affiliated with the University of North Carolina, is dedicated to studying how people learn.

Here's a look at what kids who collect gather along the way:

Personal Responsibility:
When it comes to a child's prized collection, you're likely to see some impressive "care and feeding." Kids often become interested in collecting around age 5, with many becoming completely intrigued with a particular collectible — be it rocks or stickers — between ages 6 and 8. It's pretty common for kids to spend hours arranging their collection and reading about the items, as well as talking about them with friends and family.

Organization Skills:
That heap of stuffed animal puppies or kittens sitting atop your child's bed got there because somewhere along the way he decided: Okay, I'm putting all the dogs and cats on the bed. That stuffed iguana that Grandma gave him? It might end up on a desk all by itself because, well, it doesn't quite fit in with the other animals. So not only is the child organizing, they are categorizing.

Mathematical Smarts:
Whether your child is collecting baseball cards or rocks, it's a pretty good bet that they know the exact number in their collection. They spend a lot of time grouping them into various categories: years and teams or sizes and shapes. This requires counting, tabulating, and sorting.

Reading Skills:
A child with a passion for collecting rocks will also want to know when and how a rock got created, and whether Amethyst is in the same group of rocks as quartz. And that means trips to the library and an active interest in studying and learning.

Social skills:
While your child is negotiating a baseball card trade or informing a classmate about the new addition to his rock collection, they are inspired to interact with other children. A collection can be a great way to boost self-esteem, as well as serve as a smooth entry into friendships. If your child is new to a school or neighborhood, discussing their rock collection can be a great ice-breaker. Meeting kids who share a similar interest could mean he's also found new buddies.

Budgeting skills:
"Collectibles are a great way for kids to learn how to manage money," says Janet Bodnar, executive editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and author of Dollars & Sense for Kids. "If children are expected to pay for some or all of their collectibles out of their allowance, they have to make decisions about how much they're going to spend — they're learning how to budget their money."

Great Fun for the Whole Family:
Collecting is also all about fun and play. It's a good idea to let your child figure out on his own how he's going to "play" the collecting game — of course, parents should still make a point to show they care. Casually asking about his organizing scheme with a question such as, "I see you've divided up all your rocks into different groups". How did you decide which rocks go in which group?" By describing his reasoning, he reinforces the learning he's done all by himself.

Children who collect rocks will want to go out hiking and looking for rocks which is, of course, not only a health activity for the child but is fun for mom and dad too, planning your next hike, helping to find that next pretty rock and the fun of discovering a really cool rock together. There are local rock and mineral clubs all over the country that have regular events to go rock hounding, there are pay to dig mines where you can plan a trip and find valuable specimens and many families have fun together tumbling and polishing rocks and making jewelry and other decorative things from rocks and minerals.
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