Petoskey stones are quite popular in Michigan and can be found in several areas across the state.
They are the remains and derived fossils of the rugose corals that occupied the tropical sea of the state millions of years ago.
If you live in or around Michigan, take a day off to explore Lake Michigan and find these beautiful stones.
Here are some tips and things to keep in mind when collecting Petoskey stones on the shores of Lake Michigan.
1. Find a Rocky Patch When Beginning Your Search
Petoskey stones are not easy to find on the lake’s shore as they blend with other kinds of stones, thereby making it difficult to differentiate between different types.
Some parts of the shore are full of stones, whereas others may not have as many rocky deposits.
Recent weather changes may also affect the placement of stones and rocks on the shore. Explore the Little Traverse Bay area to find more of these stones; pick a patch full of stones to begin your search.
Since Petoskey stones are not spread all across the shore, you may have to keep searching for a while. However, once you find a stone, it gets easier to find others as well.
2. Learn How to Differentiate Between the Stones
You can easily pick Petoskey stones by identifying some of their distinct characteristics; like their exoskeleton structure and six-sided corallites.
Simple rocks and stones do not have any texture or pattern on their surfaces, which is one way to narrow down your search.
Being one of the rarest stones known worldwide, Petoskey stones are fossil coral remains that can be identified by their centered dark eye and thin radiating lines.
Petoskey stones are often confused with Charlevoix stones due to their similar appearance and color.
However, Charlevoix stones display intricate or narrow honeycomb-like patterns, which are a bit different than the wide grids of Petoskey stones.
3. Keep Local Rules and Regulations in Mind
If you manage to find a bunch of Petoskey stones on the lake’s shore, you can observe them, admire their beauty, and take pictures.
This is because they do also have historical value.
However, you are not allowed to take them off-shore with you.
You can hunt Petoskey stones on the lake, but you are expected to return them to maintain nature’s order and ecosystem.
When picking Petoskey stones, you must adhere to some local and federal rules and regulations.
The Michigan DNR states that every person can take only up to 25lbs of any kind of stones every year.
4. Pick the Right Time and Be Fully Prepared
Look for these stones right after a storm or during rain as strong winds and wave actions shuffle the position of all rocks and stones, making it easier to spot them.
The spring season is also a good time to hunt Petoskey stones due to winter ice.
They come in a range of grey shades and the lines resemble light or sun rays.
With pretty hexagonal patterns on their surface, these beautiful stones can be added to jewelry or simply added to your stone collection.
You can also buy these stones in online stores. Some of them can even be bought in enclosed cases or as jewelry pendants or rings.