Rock collecting can be an inexpensive past time or prepare you for a long term career as a jeweler. You can buy your stones or pick them up where you find them. You may find yourself travelling the globe to find something new or unusual or pick threw cabinets in rock stores. Whatever you do, you may find your love of a rock decorating your life with memories of places, pieces of history, chemical information, investments in semi-precious and precious stones, and carved bits of culture.
Start by Collecting a Rock Everywhere You Go
The easiest way to start collecting rocks is to pick one of the more common stones for the area you're in off of the ground and take it home. Try to find a different color or combination of colors. Chances are you will pick up a stone with different chemical composition. One lady I met actually wrote the name of the place on the stone with paint and decorated it.
Now that You've Started, Decide How to Store Them
A good rock collection needs some way to display them. Figure out where you're going to put your rock collection. If you choose all stones that are less than an inch, a standard tool box cabinet with lots of drawers and compartments will help you keep them neat. Alternatively, you can build a shelf, or place them in cement outdoors in stepping stones.
Relate Cultural Information to Your Rock
In many places of the world, semi-precious stones are carved by local artisans and made into animals, symbols, or designs that reflect the local culture. I picked up a coal horse from the Kentucky horse farms, an onyx egg from Mexico, and a seal made of British Columbia Jade. When I bought them at the rock store, I received a tag that told me the name of the rock, it's chemical composition and traits that were associated with it since throughout history, stones were thought to help in healing.
Wear Your Rock Collection
Many semi-precious and precious stones are cut with facets by jewelers and set into jewelry. Learn about which facet style works best with each stone. Find a place to store your jewelry since it will amount to many dollars in expense. Not all semi-precious stone jewelry is expensive, most of it cost more if set in gold. Often polished round stones set on an elastic band are attractive and cost very little.
Furthering Your Rock Collection Knowledge
Many atlases and area maps show the locations of where rocks are found locally. Roadside guides to geology will often teach you what stones are found where and what they look like including marbling, composites, sandstones etc.  Buy a field guide to rock collecting .
Useful Amazon Lists for Rock Collection