Beachcombing for pretty pebbles is great fun (especially heart shaped pebbles) and can be very addictive! Here are a couple of little tips to remember when you have collected a nice selection of beach stones in your bucket or bag:
Some of the stones you collect will be sedimentary (very porous and soft on the MOHs scale). When you get your pebbles home, the first thing you will most likely do is wash them to clean off all the sand, sea salt and other unwanted deposits.
Once all the stones are cleaned you will need to dry them. When you dry your collection, you must make sure of two things when you lay the stones out on a towel or drying surface:
1 That the towel is completely clean. If the towel is not clean, you can actually stain the stone with residue from the towel, because as the stone dries out, the water contained inside sinks to the bottom of the stone, and eventually emerges at the bottom. If there is anything on the surface of the towel, this can transfer to the stone, and be difficult or impossible to remove.
2 That you move your stones over to a new location on the towel at least once whilst drying. As I mentioned in point one, as the beach pebbles dry, the water sinks to the bottom of the stone, and it needs to escape. Even if you have a perfectly clean towel, sometimes, from experience the “pool of water” that collects underneath the stone; is enough to permanently mark it.
The reason for this is impurities that are contained within the stone are being drawn out of the bottom and then maintaining contact with the bottom of the pebble.
Look out for more tips in the amazing pebbles blog.