How to Identify and Open a Geode

Geodes are rock formations that are found in sedimentary and volcanic rocks that are formed by chemical precipitation. Known for their crystal interior, geodes have become extremely popular for people to display in their homes. At Fine Wood Displays we even make display cabinets dedicated to displaying geodes and other minerals. Since geodes closely resemble other similar rocks, we thought we would dedicate a blog to identifying geodes. Let’s dig in! 

Where to find Geodes worthy of Displaying

A lot of people just go online or stop by their local rock store to find a geode, but you can also go rock hunting if you’re in a dessert area. Common geode collecting sites include California, Nevada, Arizona, Iowa, and Utah. But are certainly not limited to these areas. Go to sites that are known to harvest geodes and use a reliable map.

Look at the Shape

Once you’re on site, look for round oval rocks that have lumpy surfaces. Geodes will look like plain old rocks on the outside, but as you know will have beautiful crystals on the inside, making them wonderful items to display in a display case. Geodes are very organic shaped rocks, so avoid pointy or narrow rocks.

Tap it on the ground

Before you break it open, one last way to identify a geode is to tap it on the ground. Since geodes are hollow with crystals, it should sound and feel hollow when you tap it on the ground. Just make sure not to break it open quite yet!

Break it open!

The easiest and quickest way to identify a geode is to break it open. There are a few ways you can do this. First, you’ll want to wear some safety goggles to protect your eyes. Some people use diamond saws however, if you don’t have one or aren’t familiar with it, we recommend using a rock hammer or a sledgehammer. For this method, place the geode in a sock (to eliminate flying pieces) and strike the center of the geode. For other methods, read here


Now that your geode is open, it’s time to brush it off and display it! There are a few different ways to clean geodes. We recommend first washing them in water with some dish soap or laundry detergent. Next you can soak them in a tub, bucket or sink of water with ¼ cup of bleach for 1-2 days. The bleach will help remove the heavy and corrosive grit. Finally, remove your geodes and give them a quick rinse with warm tap water. Grab an electric toothbrush and brush away any remaining dirt or debris. Be careful to cover small crevices and crystals. Let air dry and voila! For more tips on how to display your geode, read our blog.


Shop online through our selection of geode display cabinets to pick the perfect venue for your collection. 

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