How to Cut a Geode Using Different Methods
A geode is a rock that is usually plain on the outside, but contains sparkling crystals in the inside.
The term geode came from the Greek word Geoides, which means “earthlike” for the reason that geodes are round like the earth. Formed in the bubbles of sedimentary and volcanic rock, they also came from the hollow areas of soil like animal burrows or tree roots.
Over time, minerals penetrate the hollow and form different crystals. Geodes come in different colors, which depend on the kind of crystal that is inside them.
Most of the geodes are found in deserts. Each of them is unique, and can have anything from agate, chalcedony, dolomite minerals, or even pure quartz crystals. You wouldn’t know exactly what’s in the inside until you open it.
Luckily, there are different ways to cut a geode.
Things You Will Need
Prior to performing the steps in crack opening a geode, you should prepare the required tools and equipment first.
- Safety goggles
- Shard-proof gloves
- Lapidary diamond saw
- Carpenter's vise
- Pipe cutter
Things to Remember:
- While opening geodes, make sure to always wear proper safety gear like goggles and shard-proof gloves.
- Make sure that you know how to run these tools properly before you use them.
- Do not cut the rocks dry, as the dust can be dangerous to your lungs.
Ways to Cut a Geode
- Using the geode itself: Yes, it is possible to open a geode by striking it using another geode, but it should be a larger one. This will only work if you are able to control the striking stone using your hand. This is most likely effective in small-sized geodes.
- Using the sledgehammer: This is the least expensive method that you can use. And since it is the cheapest, you may not get spectacular results. There is a big chance that the geode will break into more than two pieces and it might damage the nice crystals inside. Simply put the geode on a hardwood board, and then hit the rock in the center until it opens. Quick and easy, isn’t it?
Here is a video showing how to cut a geode using a sledgehammer:
- Using the sock and sledgehammer: This method is preferably for kids who want to cut open a geode. The sock is used to reduce the risk of being injured. You might not get the best result, though. Put the geode in a sock. On the ground, hit the rock lightly using the hammer. It may take two strikes before it opens.
- Using the lapidary diamond saw: This is actually the easiest way. Should you be lucky enough to have a lapidary diamond saw, you can use it to cut the geode into two. Please bear in mind that the oil might ruin the crystals inside the geode. Place geode in the carpenter’s vise. Use the lapidary diamond saw until it is cut all the way around.
Here is a video showing how to cut a geode using a lapidary diamond saw:
- Using the iron pipe cutter: This one is a good method as it can help you split the geode into two equal parts. Wrap the pipe cutter’s chain around your geode. Make sure to fasten it to the correct notch on the tool. Pull down the handle. This way, the geode will be cut in a natural form.
- Using the chisel: You will need a lot of patience for this method, as it is a little slow and may take a few minutes to split open, depending on how solid and firm the geode is. Hold the chisel at the top center of geode, then hit it using the sledgehammer. Tap lightly to prevent the rock from shattering. Slightly rotate the rock, then hit it again in order to form a line around the stone’s circumference. Do it again, as necessary, until the geode splits open.
Whatever method you use, always remember to follow the safety measures in cutting the geodes. Those rocks may have nice and valuable crystals inside, but don’t get yourself hurt.
If you know someone who is an expert in cutting geodes or knows better how to operate those tools, never hesitate to ask for help. Better be safe than sorry.