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Cracking Geodes Open (Without Destroying Them!)

Appears like I'm always getting calls from folks asking "How can I crack a geode open without breaking it into small pieces?" Well, there are a number of ways, good quality and a few not so good. Here, I will outline four of the very most common ways. [By the way, it's wise to make use of safety goggles if you start banging away at a rock.]

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1) Diamond Saw - Should you be fortunate enough to have a large diamond saw, or know someone that owns one, you are able to saw the geodes in 2. This works best if you find a vice to hold the specimen. You can cut the geode open and end up with two halves having a smooth face on every. (But not all of us have a diamond saw....)

2) Another method of opening geodes that works well, (the technique I use usually) is to crack the geode open with an traditional cast-iron plumbing pipe cutter. This is a tool that plumbers used to use within doing plumbing in homes when they worked with the surefire plumbing pipes. (Homes built just before about 35 years ago.) I've one of these tools that I use to break geodes open and many of the time I can break all of them with two matching halves. This really does a good job.

Maybe you have seen show dealers that were breaking geodes open with one of these tools. The tool has a chain in the business end with links like a bicycle chain, as well as in this chain there are round carbide rollers with sharp edges on them.

To break the geode open, you just wrap the chain, with the carbide rollers, around the geode, and fasten it into a notch in the tool and press recorded on the handle. This constricts the chain around the geode evenly all around and squeezes to where it breaks the geode open into two halves. I received my cast iron plumbing pipe cutter from the retired plumber here locally. If you're likely to break a lot of geodes you may want to get one.

3) Hammer and chisel. Most folks don't have a diamond saw or plumbing pipe cutter, and just wish to break a few geodes open. Well, that you can do a pretty good job with a hammer and cold chisel. I did it numerous times and delay pills work well. Take your hammer, cold chisel and geodes outside high is a concrete walk, driveway, steps, etc., in other words a hard surface. I would not test the fit a wooden surface. And also you almost need three hands to do this. Put the geode around the concrete and hold it on the sides with one hand, then hold the cold chisel on the top of the geode and strike it LIGHTLY with your hammer. Create break it open now.... Rotate the geode about a half inch, put the chisel in line with where you just hit it and strike the chisel again ... LIGHTLY. Do this all around the largest area of the geode. When you have hit the chisel in a line all the way around the geode, it should be ready to open. When the geode has not broken open at this point, start round the circumference again, punching the geode using the cold chisel in a straight line. Strike the chisel just a little harder this time. This is a little slow, but if you do it right and do not enter too large a rush, you ought to be in a position to break the geode open into two halves that you can fit together again to where you can't tell where it had been broken.

4) Hammer - Of course you can strike the geode repeatedly with the hammer until it breaks open, but, it most likely will end up in several pieces. A bad method!

Last updated 771 days ago by americangeode4