Rockhound Glossary

Slag, Image Credit: Lori Carter

(See more about this image below)


This glossary contains words and phrases that are used by people who call themselves “rockhounds”. Some definitions are regular English definitions, but some are particular to rockhounds. There are also some words and phrases that have been completely made up by rockhounds.

Each word or phrase is followed by a brief, non-technical definition plus two sentences using the word or phrase in a way that a rockhound might. 

You can scroll through the glossary on this page, or you can click the "pop-out" icon in the upper right corner of the glossary to open it in a separate tab where a pdf version of the glossary can be printed and downloaded too. Note that links in the glossary will work only when the pdf has been downloaded and viewed with an Adobe or compatible reader.

Do you have a term to add? Click here to submit your favorite rockhound term!

AFMS Rockhound Glossary.pdf

About the image at the top of this page


When ore is heated until it melts, impurities float to the top and are removed. The impurities cool and become a by-product called slag. Because silica is so common, a lot of slag is like glass and can have pretty colors like green and blue.

Image Credit: Lori Carter