Mineral collecting involves "moving rock". This is usually done using a hammer (in my case a 2 or 3 pound sledge) and chisels.

Every serious collector at some time ponders the use of explosives. This has never been a trivial issue, but these days it is even more problematic. Depending on what state you are living in, you may need to possess a "blasting license", or have various legal requirements to comply with (or disregard). Obtaining explosives, even if you know how to safely use them, can be difficult at best, and may earn you attention from any number of governmental agencies.

A company calling themselves "Ezebreak" makes a tool called the Micro-Blaster. This device uses cartidges made from smokeless powder, and does not (in most jurisdictions) require a blasting license or anything like that. I know a fellow who owns and uses one of these, and it works quite well once you know and understand its limitations. Along with it, you will need a good battery operated hammer drill like a Bosch or Hilti, as you will need to drill 5/16 diameter holes 9 inches deep in solid rock.

These devices are outrageously expensive, or I would already own one. What this company needs is some competition.
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Tom's Mineralogy Info /