Thank you for selecting your Petoskey Stone Polishing Kit -- I hope you love your Petoskey and making it beautiful as much as I do.
Hi - I'm Debbie and I'm one of those crazy people who live and travel full-time in my RV. I've loved exploring Michigan and the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior looking for treasures. I've had so much fun learning about Michigan, the amazing rocks and fossils that can be found there, and how to polish Petoskey's that I wanted to share this with others.
Instructions for Polishing your Petoskey Stone
**IMPORTANT -- each Petoskey stone is unique, like snowflakes, no 2 are alike. They have imperfections, and that is what makes them even more beautiful. You're holding a "One of a Kind" soon to be work of ART!
Your Petoskey isn't very pretty yet. Because they look like plain old limestone, they are hard to find unless they are wet. Go ahead and dip your stone in water or "lick it" like the pro pickers to see what you have!
This is the process I used on YOUR Petoskey Stone so the hardest part has been done for you:) Your Petoskey Stone is ready for the final polishing touches.
- We tumbled for 2 Days with 80 Grit
- Then tumbled for 1 Day with 220 Grit
Watch this video to see how the first 2 steps are performed, and the rest of the steps you need to follow:
1. Wet your 220 grit sandpaper and Petoskey and begin sanding. You may want to use a kitchen sponge -- lay it flat on a surface, place your stone on the sponge and then sand your Petoskey. Keep sanding until smooth and you see the pattern you desire. Rinse the rock very good before next step.
2. Repeat the first step with your 600 grit sandpaper. This is a finer grit and you are removing more surface scratches. You'll get a very soft, dull surface with this step. Rinse your rock good.
3. Repeat the first step with your 1500 grit sandpaper. You should start to see a nice shine on this step and your rock will be very soft. Sand until you see your desired results. Rinse your rock good.
4. Final Step -- Dampen your polish cloth (this is 100% cotton either denim square or tee shirt material). Apply a very small amount of polish (maybe 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon -- don't use entire bag). Polish the Petoskey until you achieve a mirror like finish. Rinse your Petoskey and congratulations!
This is a great WikiHow post on hand polishing your Petoskey Stones
FUN FOR KIDS
What is a Petoskey Stone?
Fossilized pre-historic coral that is roughly 350 million years old. Petoskey stone is a rock and a fossil, often pebble-shaped, that is composed of a fossilized rugose coral, Hexagonaria percarinata. Such stones were formed as a result of glaciation, in which sheets of ice plucked stones from the bedrock, grinding off their rough edges and depositing them in the northwestern (and some in the northeastern) portion of Michigan's lower peninsula. In those same areas of Michigan, complete fossilized coral colony heads can be found in the source rocks for the Petoskey stones.
Petoskey stones are found in the Gravel Point Formation of the Traverse Group. They are fragments of a coral reef that was originally deposited during the Devonian period. When dry, the stone resembles ordinary limestone but when wet or polished using lapidary techniques, the distinctive mottled pattern of the six-sided coral fossils emerges. It is sometimes made into decorative objects. Other forms of fossilized coral are also found in the same location.
In 1965, it was named the state stone of Michigan. (from www.wikipedia.com)
Where Can I Find Petoskey Stones?
Petoskey Stones are found only in the tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, between Traverse City and Alpena. The largest concentration of stones is in Little Traverse Bay, near the city of Petoskey. The stone eventually was named for the city. (from www.grandpashorters.com)
How Many Great Lakes Touch Michigan?
Michigan's iconic shape is carved out by four of the Great Lakes: Superior, Huron, Erie and Michigan. The Great Lakes, including Lake Ontario which doesn't touch Michigan, account for one fifth of the world's supply of surface fresh water. (from www.Michigan.org)
Why Do They Call Michigan "The Mitten State"
Michigan is often called the “mitten state” … not because it's so cold that we need to wear mittens all the time, but because if you look at the map of Michigan you can see the the Lower Peninsula is shaped like a mitten. (from www.mamasmiles.com)
What is a Charlevoix Stone
The Charlevoix stone has a smaller exoskeleton compared to its cousin the Petoskey stone. The Charlevoix stone is a Favosite which have a smaller coral-esq pattern and a lighter or white color set of small rays radiating from the eye forming the characteristic hexagonal shape which are lighter and they don’t always attach to the center dot.
Petoskey and Charlevoix stones are both different species of coral. It’s not uncommon to find both of these unique fossils while exploring area beaches. (from www.visitcharlevoix.com)
I personally love the Charlevoix Stones. They remind me of Angel wings. I keep one to remind me of all the loved people and pets that are no longer with me. I do have these available too -- you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
More Fun Michigan Facts
- Michigan has more miles of freshwater shoreline than any other state in the nation. About 3,000 miles, to be exact. One of the most breathtaking views is along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
- Michigan has the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the United States. The De Zwaan Windmill in Holland, Mich. is not only a historic attraction, it’s also a functioning machine that produces healthy whole wheat flour for the local community and beyond.
- Michigan is home to one of only four ice luge tracks in the nation. The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex offers visitors access to acres of ice, trails and woods for those brave enough to bare the cold temperatures.
- Michigan is home to one of 30 certified International Dark Sky Parks in the world. The Headlands in Mackinaw City was designated an official dark sky park in 2011. Visitors can explore 600 acres of old-growth forest and more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline, all undiluted by light pollution.
- Michigan is the second-most agriculturally diverse state in the nation. With our variety of seasons, rich farming regions and proximity to the Great Lakes, Michigan grows and distributes hundreds of different crops each year. We’re the top producer of tart cherries in the country, among other accolades. (from www.michiganada.org)
- Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula is shaped like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula (often called "the U.P.") is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile (8 km) channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Mackinac Bridge connects the peninsulas. People from the Upper Peninsula are proudly called "Yoopers". They call those living in the Lower Peninsula "Trolls" as they have to cross the 5 mile bridge to get there. (from Wikipedia)
- Michigan is home to the MOST variety of stones in the WORLD! Learn more at www.mynorth.com/2019/07/michigan-rock-hunting-is-the-best-on-earth
And last but not least, another fun Michigan Find -- YOOPERLITES!
Yooperlites are a recent discovery. Erik Rintamaki discovered a rock that glows under an ultraviolet light made of a mineral never seen before in Michigan. Without knowing what they were or why the rocks glowed, he named them “Yooperlites,” so the story goes. Rintamaki says it all started in 2017 when he went out on a beach in Lake Superior with a UV light and discovered tons of these glowing rocks. In daylight they look like a normal, grey plain rock. But at night when you shine a UV Black Light on them, they glow orange like lava. Yooperlies are Syenite rocks that are rich in fluorescent Sodalite. It's fun to learn more about this at www.yooperlites.com. I have a few of these for sale as well -- reach out to email email@example.com for details. We had a blast looking for these. We'd go to the beaches after sunset and was actually surprised to see so many glowing black lights on the beach. It was great fun!
I hope you've enjoyed learning more about Michigan and it's wonderful Rock Hounding opportunities. I'm available for any questions you may have at email firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks again and have fun!