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what is a geode and where to find them

What Is a Geode?

Geodes, also popularly known as “potato stones” in Somerset, England, are hollow, roughly spherical rocks that have a beautiful lining of minerals inside them. The hollow sparkly inner walls of these rocks are crystallized and formed with time. Geodes are mostly a couple inches in size, ranging to several feet, and are often bought for their beauty and for healing purposes.  

How Are Geodes Formed?

A geode is formed as a hollow bubble inside burning hot lava. These bubbles can occur within the lava as travels across tree roots or animal burrows, creating the approximately spherical shape of the geode. When moisture is added to the bubble, it penetrates the outer layer of what has now become rock. The mineral water stays inside the sphere, and the dissolved minerals from the water that seeped through the cracks remain inside for thousands or even millions of years. Over that time, the minerals slowly transform into crystal walls.

Where Can I Find a Geode?

Geodes can be found all over the world, including Mexico, Brazil and the United States. They form most of the time inside of crystal caves, vugs and streambeds. In the western United States, including Nevada, geodes can be found in dry valleys and deserts made from volcanic ash or limestone. 

How Can I Open a Geode?

Geodes can be dangerous to open; professionals use a lapidary saw to cut them perfectly. If you’d like to do it yourself, one of the safest ways to break a geode open is to put it inside a sock and bash the sock against a hard surface such as concrete. The sock will catch any rock fragments that may try to fly out. If you want to cut a geode open, wear shard-proof goggles to protect your eyes from the flying fragments. Dip the rock in water to help minimize powder when you cut or open it. Put the geode on a strong, flat surface. Place a chisel on top of the rock and press down with a hammer gently to make a light crack in the surface of the rock. Break it open easily and view the magic!

Briscia Vasquez is a violist born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada who started playing when she was 11. Briscia was self taught until her freshman year of high school. Briscia has performed in various orchestras such as the Honor Orchestra for four years, Las Vegas Youth Philharmonic, the Honors Performance Series in Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Futura, the Las Vegas Young Artists Orchestra and also a community service orchestra in her high school club, “Spirit of Music.” She also was in the top 3 nominees in the Nevada Chamber Symphony competition. Nearly one year after she graduated highschool, crystals caught her eye and sparked her into a new realm of ideas and thought forms.  She looks forward with new ideas and opportunities to learn about all subjects of her interests, including crystals, music, and metaphysics. 
October 13, 2019 — Briscia Vasquez

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