Dedicated to sharing Rockhounding & Mineral Collecting Field Trips, collecting sites and collecting information!


Early 2013

We celebrated reaching 450 members by starting our own

ProBoards Forum.

Now we've topped 500 members, and the Forum is ready!

Lots of topics and categories have been set up,…


Created by Kris W. Rowe Sep 13, 2013 at 7:07pm. Last updated by Kris W. Rowe Sep 13, 2013.



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Spring's here ... It's CFMS Show Time!

Hi, rockhounds!

It's time for the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies 76th Annual Show, in Lodi, CA. The Show runs June 12 - 14th, and will be THE place for the savvy California rockhound this weekend.

If you're attending be sure to come out and enjoy (I hope!) my talk on Saturday the 13th, at 11 am, in the Jackson Hall. I hope to see you all there!

The NEW RFTF! Supporting Member T-shirts are here!

This year, due to popular demand, I'm offering members a choice of artwork on the front, or back. Priced at $24.95, each t-shirt order includes a RFTF! Supporting Member window sticker and luxury USPS Domestic Priority Mail shipping. Each purchase supports the 0ngoing mission of RFTF! ...

Sharing GREAT Field Trips!

Order yours today at The RFTF! Rock Shop T-shirt page.

See you in the field, friends!

Kris, the Admin

Blog Posts

Anniversary trip

Posted by Ann Hinchcliff on June 18, 2015 at 12:55pm 0 Comments

Hi everyone

My husband and I are going on our 14th anniversary to Coloma, Ca.  I love my son but he is staying home!!   We will be traveling up to Nevada City, Ca area also.  We have 2 days.  We plan on visiting Malekoff Diggings ......been there once and didn't even make it all the way down. Was wondering if anyone has any areas we should check out for rocks.   Would appreciate any guidance.  Would love some pretty rocks to…


Mindat: It's a rockhounds best friend!

Posted by Kris W. Rowe on May 7, 2015 at 4:30pm 1 Comment

Prospecting has always been a challenging occupation, especially for casual rockhounds. Thanks to online tools like, prospecting skills have never been easier to learn, and rockhounding success so easy to achieve.

For more than a decade, has been my go-to…


Cool agate carvings

Posted by Eric (Hardcore) on May 1, 2015 at 4:02pm 4 Comments

I was looking for carving ideas and I came across these interesting Chinese agate carvings. They're quite remarkable!…


Clear Creek Plasma Agate

Posted by Royalee Pierce-Cannon on April 18, 2015 at 3:31pm 1 Comment

My son and I went to Clear Creek in San Benito County on the Plasma Agate collecting field trip with Chris Rowe and lots of other people from various mineral clubs on April 16th. Our jaunt was a success and I have some beautiful rough to work with. Had a great time in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to Chris for organizing the trip, much appreciation.


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Running a tumbler for 1 month straight?

Started by Jason Batdorf. Last reply by Jason Batdorf Jun 26. 2 Replies

I am going on vacation for a month and I am going to run my 15 lb tumbler roughing for a month. Anyone ever do this? Did you add 4 times the grit?


Started by Ann Hinchcliff Jun 19. 0 Replies

Hi everyone     My hubbie and I will be staying in Coloma for our 14th anniversary.  We will be exploring all the way up to Nevada City.  We plan on visiting Malekoff Diggings...again.  Last time we…Continue

saw Blades

Started by Craig Bowlby. Last reply by Craig Bowlby Jun 14. 4 Replies

Saw blade quality is an issue that is central to anyone who uses a trim saw to do their slabbing of small stones. (under 3" diameter)  I have found that the quality of blades is as varied as the…Continue

How much grit to rough in tumbler? Adding more help?

Started by Jason Batdorf. Last reply by Will Puryear II Jun 7. 11 Replies

I was wondering if anyone adds more grit to rough than the recommended amount? Roughing always takes forever to get done and trying to make it go faster.

About the disclamer on each Field Trip page ...

On the advice of a sensible attorney friend, I've added a liability disclaimer to each Field Trip announcement. This is to cover my a*s.
The disclaimer does not imply any unusual danger.
Fact is, a sensible individual is far more likely to come to harm in their own neighborhood than out in "the wild." I do my best to assure that my own Field Trips maximize comfort and accessibility, and are "family friendly."
I recommend traveling to any "off road" destination with no less than 2 vehicles. Thankfully, I've yet to experience any of the horror stories I've read of danger and deprivation, due to my penchant for over-planning.

The mountains and desert can be dangerous to the unprepared, but on the average, crossing the street in town is far more deadly.

Kris, the Site Admin

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The RFTF! Amazon Store

Find tools, supplies and accessories that every rockhound needs, and support RFTF!

 Kris's Featured Product:

This padded "bucket seat" has become one of my favorite field trip tools. The swiveling seat snaps right onto most 5 gallon plastic buckets. It's a great product at a great price!

RFTF! Amazon Favorites:

Estwing E30 Leather Grip Pointed Tip Rock Pick

Broll Pro Bucket Cart with Bag


Facebook Lapidary Marketplace

Top rockhounds, miners, lapidary artists and rock shops offering gemstone  for trade AND sale. I like it, since I sell rock!


Now we have our own easy to use bulletin board style forums!


RFTF! member Lew Helfrich moderates one of the best places on the Web to swap lapidary materials @


Easy Specific Gravity Test - Determine the density of your rock finds!

The Rock Tumbling forums - This is one of the greatest resources on the web for meeting other rockhounds and lapidaries, asking and answering lapidary questions, discussing the rockhound life and showing off your cool rocks!

yelp! - Real reviews by real people, really useful. just about any city or locality you can imagine.

BLM Geocommunicator -

Crippled, but still a useful tool for determining section and map coordinates, with some additional info services still available.


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