Daves took Dr. Pough's advice. He not only made field trips to collect specimens but completed university courses in mineralogy, which in turn led him into the study of geology, petrography and geomorphology. He has, in addition to his rock collection, a complete mineralogical library and is a student of crystallography and the microscopic study of minerals. He has completed 33 volumes of mineral indexes. Daves' scholarly approach to the hobby doesn't alter the fact that he feels the same wonder and exultation in discovery shared by most rockhounds. Being more articulate than the average, he is able to voice the sensation of discovery: "It makes of every man a Columbus, to open a vein in rock, find an undiscovered pocket of gems, break open a geode and find the beauty within. What in the world could be more exciting than knowing that you are the first, after God, to see it?"
That could be the most compelling reason of all for the popularity of this hobby. In fact, the number of rock-hounds who are scratching at the earth's surface is increasing so rapidly that some have wondered if it is possible that the supply could be exhausted in the near future. Not likely, but in the meantime, a lot of happy people are working at it.