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Neighborhood Rocks                                     Search this Site

Names for Common Rocks

Photo:  Common rocks from our neighborhood. Click on a rock to learn more about it.

On this page we show you the most common rocks that we find in the yards, gardens, streets, and parking lots near our home.  (Many of these rocks can be bought by-the-bag at hardware and discount stores.)

Once you know a rock's name, you can learn more by clicking on its picture or name. 

  

To get started, look at the color of the rock.  Is it:

bulletWhite or light gray
bulletDark gray or black
bulletRed or pink or rusty looking
bulletBrown, tan, or yellowish
   

White or light gray

White Marble
bulletMostly bright white
bulletMade of medium-sized crystals that glitter in sunlight.
bulletYou can scratch it with a nail or knife.
  
Dolostone
bulletMostly light gray
bulletMade mostly of small-sized crystals that may or may not glitter in sunlight.
bulletYou can scratch it with a nail or knife.
    
White Chert
bulletMostly white, sometimes chalky looking or smooth
bulletBroken edges may be scalloped or sharp.
bulletNail doesn't scratch it (but may leave a dark line).
     
Quartzite pebbles
bulletWhite (also yellowish or light brown)
bulletCan see large sand grains -- sometimes crumbly.
bulletNail doesn't scratch it (but may leave a dark line).
    

     No match here?   See more kinds of white and light gray rocks.  

                                                TOP of this page
  
  

Dark gray or black

Slate
bulletDark gray, looks silky in the sun.
bulletBreaks into mostly flat pieces.
   
Scoria (type of Basalt)
bulletBlack or reddish.
bulletLots of rounded bubble holes.
bulletDoesn't float in water.
   
   Coal
bulletBlack
bulletEither smooth and shiny, or dull and crumbly
bulletDraws a black line if you scrape it on the sidewalk.
    

     No match here?   See more kinds of black and dark gray rocks.

                                                TOP of this page
  
  

Red or pink or rusty looking

Scoria (a type of Basalt)
bulletReddish or black
bulletLots of bubble holes
bulletDoesn't float in water.
  
Pink Quartzite
bulletPink
bulletIf you look closely, you may see some pieces are made of sand-sized grains.
  
Quartz rock
bulletMost pieces stained rusty red or yellowish, or coated with rusty-red powder.
bulletIf you look closely, you'll see small, pointy crystals and thinly layered rock.

     No match here?   See more kinds of red, pink, and rusty-looking rocks.

                                                TOP of this page
  
  

Brown, tan, or yellowish

Brown Chert
bulletMostly brown, but mixed with cream and darker colors.
bulletSome sides look really smooth, but freshly broken edges may be sharp!
bulletNail doesn't scratch it (but may leave a dark line).
  
Quartzite pebbles
bulletBrownish, yellowish, or white
bulletCan see large sand grains in some pieces -- sometimes crumbly.
bulletNail doesn't scratch it (but may leave a dark line).
  
Brown Quartzite pebbles
bulletBrownish, tan, white, or reddish
bulletOutside very rounded and smooth
bulletBroken edges look glassy and may be sharp.
bulletNail doesn't scratch it (but may leave a dark line).

     No match here?   See more kinds of brown, tan, and yellowish rocks.

                                                TOP of this page
  
  

If you didn't find your rock yet, 
try one of these pages:

More kinds of gravel
If you have a rock with fresh-looking sides, you can go here to find its name.  (This page shows every kind of gravel found near our home.)
  
Rounded pebbles
If you have a rounded pebble from a beach or river gravel, you may have to go to this page to find its name.

 


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Copyright 2001 Eric D. Gyllenhaal                                              Search this Site
Webmaster@SaltTheSandbox.org

Neighborhood Rocks is part of the Salt the Sandbox Web. 
For more information visit the Salt the Sandbox home page.

This page was created on March 12, 2001, and it was last updated on July 27, 2002.