Gems and Minerals

Includes Lapidary, Metal Detection, and Prospecting

Some very popular activities and hobbies for RV’ers these days, and excellent choices for those in a minivan camper conversion, are lapidary work (jewelry making), metal detection, and even panning for gold. Here in Arkansas, we even have the Crater of Diamonds State Park where you can actually look for natural diamonds! Since these kinds of activities are all related to one another, we’re going to lump them together into this one category for now.

There is a lot of crossover in the equipment used for these things. A metal detector for instance, can be used to find precious metals (if the chunks are large enough) besides looking for lost jewelry and coins. Panning and screening equipment might be used in both gold prospecting as well as searching for other stones and gems. And when found, tumbling machines can be used to clean and polish what you find. Once prepared, lapidary skills can help you create a whole new piece of valuable jewelry for yourself or to be sold.

Black Cat Mining carries quality gear for gold prospecting & rock hounding, as well as a selection of metal detectors & treasure hunting tools. They have gold panning equipment, sluice boxes, hand tools & supplies, as well as books and maps covering gold, silver and gem locations, how-to guides and much more. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, let them know and they’ll try to get it for you.

Metal detecting can be a lot of fun, and if you choose the right areas, can also be very profitable. Jewelry, coins and other things can be found that can often be sold for a nice profit. But if you are going to do this, you don’t want to waste your time with cheap equipment that can give false readings. If you are unsure of what kind to buy, you might want to invest in an online member ship to Consumer Reports. They are always a good, reliable source of information for buying almost anything. Also talk to other people who have them or check online discussion groups and forums in that interest, to see what others are using. We’re going to show you some examples below, but remember, Amazon has a lot more in stock than we could ever show you, so if any of this don’t suit you, do a search and see what else they have. You’ll find that they also carry all kinds of accessories, including carrying cases, headphones, digging tools, and much more.

And don’t forget, Amazon also has all kinds of lapidary equipment. I did a quick search just using the word “lapidary”, and found all kinds of things from books to get you started, to doing special work like cutting facets. They also have special cutting and grinding tools, polishing tools, tumbling machines, and much more. Searches using other keywords will undoubtedly bring up different results, so try things like “rock hounds”, “stone polishers” and other related words to expand your search. Here are some examples: