Petoskey Stones | By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan
As Michigan's state stone, I bet you are excited to find one during your Michigan Vacation. Let's start hunting!!
I love a Petoskey Stone necklace, it's a wonderful way to use the stones and remember your trip to Michigan!
These gorgeous stones can be tricky to find so don't be disappointed if you only find a small one! We have a couple leads on where to find Petoksey Stones!!
The Petoskey Chamber has more information about finding the Petoskey Stones.
Did you know Petoskey Stones are colony corals? Over time, the corals were petrified and when the glaciers receded these stones were scraped loose and deposited in this region of Michigan. The stones are made up of mostly of calcite.
Almost a century after the founding of Petoskey, on June 28, 1965, Governor George Romney signed a bill that made the Petoskey Stone Michigan's official State Stone.
The designation of Hexagonaria percarinata was made by Dr. Edwin C. Stumm in 1969. Dr. Stumm made this distinction based on his extensive knowledge of fossils. This specific fossil coral is found only in the rock strata known as the Alpena Limestone.
The Alpena Limestone
is part of the Traverse Group of Devonian age. The
Alpena Limestone is a mixture of limestones and shales.
The outcrops of these rocks are restricted to the Little
Traverse Bay area near Petoskey.
It is said that carrying a Petoskey Stone in your pocket will bring you good luck! We can all use a little of that, can't we!?
Local Michigan artists find and transform Petoskey Stones into striking necklaces, earrings, Michigan Christmas ornaments and so much more! Great Michigan made gifts for yourself and loved ones!
The Spottedwoodchuck, located in Ionia, turns the stones into lovely handmade earrings, sterling silver necklaces and more!
Jaspershore Jewelers, located in Negaunee, MI, transforms the rocks into stunning necklaces, rings, earrings and other wearables.
It's sometimes tricky knowing where to find Petoskey Stones. Here are a few suggestions!
Above is a picture of a Petoskey Stone before polishing.
Avoid the busier, more populated beaches. Everyone and their brother will be walking the beaches looking for these stones so your chances will decrease vastly in these well traveled areas. Find more off the beaten path locations to search.
Hit the beach early in the morning. Many beachcombers, rock hounds and tourists will be combing the beaches by noon, so if you hope to snag a couple gems I recommend you begin your search early.
Search along the water's edge. It is extremely difficult to identify a dry Petoskey Stone as it simply looks gray. Their distinctive hexagonal design stands out best when the rock is wet. In the middle of summer it's fun to don a mask and go under water and search for the gorgeous rocks!
Bring a spray bottle of water. If you are venturing away from the water's edge, it's a good idea to bring water so you can sprinkle the rocks while searching. See the photo above and you will know why!! You just might find a big fossil that way!!
I was surprised to learn that Petoskey Stones can be hand polished. It simply requires a few materials, a little time, and some effort.
The materials required for polishing Petoskey Stones are sandpaper (220 grit, 400 grit, and 600 grit), a soft cloth, polishing powder or heavy duty rubbing compound, and a file.
STEP 1. If your Petoskey Stone is not already a nice rounded shape, you may wish to use a file to further smooth the stone or better shape it.
STEP 2. Dampen your rounded Petoskey Stone, and sand it with the coarse 220 grit sandpaper. Hold the dampened stone firmly in one hand and rub the area of the stone to be polished on the sandpaper with a steady, rotating motion.
Upon completion, rinse the stone and let it dry. Examine for scratch marks which should be removed with more rubbing. This first sanding is very important and should be done with care.
Repeat the sanding process with the 400 grit sand paper. Then, do it again with the 600 grit sand paper.
STEP 3. Once you finish sanding the stone, look it over very closely. If you see any scratches, sand it again with the 400 grit and then the 600 grit until the stone is smooth and blemish-free. Make sure it's perfect before polishing!
STEP 4. To polish the stone, sprinkle a very small amount of polishing powder or compound on a lightly dampened corduroy or velvet square. Rub the stone in short circular stroke.
And there you have it!! We hope this guide gave you some tips on where to find Petoskey Stones. Your very own polished Petoskey Stone!
Have you heard of Yooperlite rocks? These freakin' cool rocks glow in the dark with a black light!!
Check out all the fun things to do in Petoskey Michigan!
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Where are Petoskey Stones Found? Not rated yet
Do we just wander the beaches in Petoskey? I would like to find some and wondered if you have some tips. Answer Hi Or, Sometimes you can …
How to polish Petoskey Stones? Not rated yet
I was wondering how to polish Petoskey Stones? My sons found 3 and want to take them to school but I wanted to polish them first. Thanks! Answer …
Are Petoskey stones rare? Not rated yet
Are Petoskey stones worth something? Are they hard to find? We would like to make some into necklaces and wondered how to find them. THANKS! Answer …
Where is the best place to find Petoskey stones? Not rated yet
We will be in Petoskey Michigan on vacation and we want to try and find some stones. Any ideas would be helpful! Answer Hi Dan! I recommend …