How To Display a Rock and Mineral Collection

So, you have your beautiful bounty of rocks, minerals, and gemstones, which is fantastic. Now you want to display them but don’t know where to start. No worries, we have the answers for displaying small rock collections, large rock collections, and rock collections for outdoors or gardens.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size fits all answer here. The best way to store or display your collection depends on the types of specimens you have and where you want to set them up. Setting up displays at a mineral and rock show will be much different than setting something up in your home or office. Let’s look at a few questions to help you sort it out.


  1. How Big or heavy are the stones?
  2. Will you need to move and transport your collection easily?
  3. Are the specimens in your collection valuable or fragile?
  4. Do you want to display them in your office?
  5. Do you want to place them in your garden?


8 Ways To Display Your Collection

Let’s go through this list to determine which idea is best for displaying your specimens and minerals.


rock box display


Rock Boxes

Rock collection boxes are an excellent option to keep your precious gems and stones neatly organized and safe. Rock boxes come in a variety of sizes and styles and they’re easy to transport.  Whether your displaying them outside, at your local rock swap, or in a special place in your home the rock box has you covered.

Interestingly enough, if you can’t find a rock box that suits your needs or style, you could look into bamboo tea organizer boxes. They may be designed to hold tea, but it’s a beautiful way to display smaller stones in your collection.


organizing tray for rocks


Organizing Trays

Rockhounds use various trays to display their stones, including divider trays. You can find organizing trays at almost any hardware store or hobby shop selling accessories for organization and storage.

Here’s a more unique idea, typesetter letter trays make excellent storage and display options. While these trays were used in the past to hold the different letters of the alphabet for printers, today, they make ideal storage space for rocks and minerals. Typesetter letter trays are typically shallow, but they offer a classy way to show off your best rock and mineral specimens.


crystal display cabinet


Museum-Quality Display Cases

If you have a valuable or fragile collection, a museum-quality case might be your best option. These cases are best for specimens you want to protect and keep people from touching them. They have a few different advantages, including the following:


  • Cases prevent customers or viewers from breaking fragile specimens.
  • They help prevent or limit potential theft.
  • Minimizes exposure to moisture, air, dust, and sunlight.
  • It’s an easy way to catalog and organize your inventory.


hanging display for specimens


Hanging Frames and Display Cases

Suppose you’re looking for a beautiful way to store and display your collection. In that case, you may want to consider using a shadow box frame or hanging wall display case. These frames and cases come in a variety of sizes and configurations. They also work well for small and large collections.

However, if you have heavy or oversized specimens in your collection, they might be too heavy for your walls. In that case, keep reading to find something right for your larger stones.


rock collection on shelves


Decorative Shelving

Shelves are excellent for displaying and showcasing your crystal or rock collection. However, this option is best for people who don’t require something portable. Bookshelves work reasonably well, but without closing doors.  The one drawback is the monthly dusting and cleaning you’ll have to do.

If you’re considering using floating shelves, you’ll want to ensure they can hold the weight of your collection and that they’re anchored securely into the studs of the wall.


curio cabinet for crystals


Curio Cabinets

Freestanding curio cabinets are perfect for any collectibles. These cabinets typically come in a more traditional design, but the doors on them are excellent for keeping your collection safe from dust and people touching them.

Storing a rock or mineral collection depends on personal preference and financial situation. One of the most ideal ways to display your specimens is by using a well-lit glass viewing cabinet or breakfront. However, such an option is tough on the bank account since they’re costly.


display rocks in a flat



Flats are stackable boxes that can be labeled and are easy to transport to and from shows. It’s an excellent way to store and keep your collection safe, but they won’t be on display. Flats generally contain small rectangular or cardboard boxes for each mineral or stone.

If you’re a collector who is looking for a simple and cost-effective way to display small specimens then flats are the preferred choice.


rock collection on night stand


Set Them Out On A Stand

I know many people who love to display their collections around the house. You could make a beautiful arrangement on a bookshelf or end table.  How about using a decorative plate, placing a candle in the middle, and using your stones to add a flare?


rock display jar


Jars or Vases

Using jars with lids is a beautiful way to store and display your rocks or stones. Simply choose the rocks or tumbled stones you would like to see, fill your jar, and close the lid.  If you want to enhance the look of the stones then add water to the jar.  This will make the colors look more vivid.  Having a top will keep the specimens free of dust, moisture, and debris.

A word of advice about keeping your specimens clean. Only use non-abrasive cloths to wipe your gemstones or rocks with. There is a list of stones that should not be submerged in water, so please educate yourself before letting them take a dip. That said, a damp, non-abrasive cloth will work well to clean said stones.

Jerred Morris
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