What is flint in the first place? It is not good to assume that everyone knows about flint. Flint is a biochemical and chemical sedimentary rock which is quite hard. Geologists refer to it as chert. It is a monocrystalline quart that breaks with a conchoidal fracture. It forms nodules which are found randomly within the rock in distinct layers rather than in a concentrated spot.
Some of the rock units are formed through the massive accumulation of siliceous skeletal matter. Once they are fully formed, the rocks crystalize to form bedded flint. Now that you have some great ideas of what flint is, do you want to know where to find flint? Before that, let us know more about flint.
How and where is flint used?
Flint as a gemstone
Flint is durable and however much it ages with time, you can still enhance its appearance by a polish. It also appears in a variety of attractive colors. The rock can be cut into beads and cabochons for utilization as a gemstone.
In areas where flint is available in abundance, it can be used for construction. Its durable nature makes it ideal because it can resist weathering.
A source of fire
When struck against steel, flint produces sparks. This property makes it perfect for starting fires. Skilled people, especially the prolific campers can use a piece of it, steel and a small stick to start a fire while out there in the wild.
Where to Find Flint: Some useful tips for locating flint
i. Get to be conversant with the areas where flint occurs
For you to find flit very easily, you should know where it occurs. This is the first step that will make the whole task simpler. Here is a list of the areas where you can find flint because it occurs naturally.
Make an effort to learn more about the area you live in. You could be lucky to find out that you can find flint just nearby. This will save you from the task of having to go looking for it far away. The reason why they are dominant along water bodies is that they are hard and quite resistant to erosion.
As the other rocks get washed away by the water, the Cherts end up as deposits along the shores of the water bodies.
ii. Learn the easiest way to spot flint
After knowing where to look for flint, it is only right to know what you should be looking for. There are some traits of flint rock that will clearly distinguish it from other rocks. Here are some of the most outstanding:
Test for the hardness
The hard nature of flint rock is one that you can easily notice. To test the extent of the hardness, simply use the rock to scratch a glass bottle. If you successfully manage to create a scratch on the glass bottle, that is an indicator that you found flint. As you do this, be cautious to avoid getting your hands hurt. Wearing protective gloves is ideal for this situation.
The flint nodules appear in the form of fragments which take distinct shapes. They can either appear like broken glass, or they can be round and smooth especially if you found it embedded in limestone or chalk. You may also need to look for flint that has already been modified into an object with another shape.
The fact that you can easily control how flint splits is the reason why most people prefer to use it to make weapons and tools. To know whether the flint you have has previously been used as a tool, you will realize that it has edges that are chipped or pointed.
Look out for a glossy texture of the rock surface
The surface of flint is smooth and glossy. To reveal more of the surface texture and determine if what you have at hand is flint, rub the rock you have at hand with sand. If its surface appears to have a glassy feel, you will have already found yourself the flint rock. If your rock is broken, the luster is likely to appear dull and somehow waxy to touch.
The appearance of flint is rather darker than that of other types of chalk and chert. The most dominant colors of flint are dark gray and black. This will help you differentiate it from other types of chert whose main colors are maroon, white or yellow. At times you may find flint with a surrounding layer of film or white patina especially if it had been buried in chalk.
A strike with hard steel
This one would apply more to the people who love spending time out there in the wilderness. If you want to know whether you got your flint, simply strike it with hard steel. If you notice some sparks after trying the strike several times, there is a high probability that the rock you have is flint.
The Science behind the sparks is that once you strike flint with hard steel, small pieces of iron are exposed to the air. The oxidation of the iron due to sudden exposure to air brings about the sparks. Before you strike the flint rock, make sure that it is dry. Dampness will inhibit the production of sparks. If your rock’s edge is not sharp, you will have to take some time to create one.
From the article, I hope that you have learned where to find flint. With that knowledge, you will not even use so much effort or spend too much time trying to figure out where you will find flint.
If you want to make some beads for your ornaments, you could want to build a house with the flint shimmer, or probably you are a camper who wants to light a fire on a chilly evening; those tips will help you find flint within a few minutes.
Leave your comments regarding this article and let us know how easily you find flint and what facts make the search easy for you. If you need clarification on some facts listed in the article, feel free to make an inquiry, and I will give an answer as soon as I can.