It seems adolescent and dumb, but rock collecting is something that makes an impression. I imagine there are only a handful of people who have taken their love interest rockhounding when they’re first getting to know someone. For that reason, this is a unique date idea and something that will strike a chord with someone you’re newly dating. If you’re looking to put someone on the relationship track, this is the one. If you’ve been together for a long time, this can be a rewarding new hobby you and your significant other get to experience together.
If you’ve never been exposed to rockhounding before, I’d recommend starting with something extraordinary as an introduction. For my birthday last year, my fiance took me to the Oceanview Mine in San Diego.
This is a set up for success for several reasons:
- You share a sifting station (I have no idea what it’s actually called)
- There’s an air of competition
- You are sifting through rocks and dirt with your hands and getting dirty
- You have hours of being with someone
- You are learning something new, and sharing a unique experience with someone
- You hit rewards in the form of sweet ass gemstones
- You can make your finds into jewelry afterwards
The Oceanview Mine
The Oceanview Mine is one of the few places in the world that produces Kunzite, a variation of Spodumene with traces of Manganese that produces a lilac/pink color at certain angles. When made into jewelry, it’s considered evening wear as too much sunlight will dull the hue in the gem. We found a few neat specimens of Kunzite, but the bit haul for us was the big chunks of exotic tourmalines we were able to bring home. We found beautifully colored pink tourmalines, aqua-marines, schorl, lepidolite, and much more. The staff did an excellent job at helping us identify the pieces we’d find and seemed genuinely excited when we’d find something cool.
I really need to make another trip back to the mine.
The takeaway from rockhounding for me is that you get to bring home physical items that remind you of the day you shared with your significant other. We ended up taking one of the pink tourmalines and the aqua-marine to a jeweler who had the gem shaped to make into a pendant. How can you not do this?!
If you had a good time here, there are a ton of other opportunities for rockhounding all over Southern California.