The origin of American Geode is truly based on a bespoke network of friends, hobbies, adventures, and rockhounding.
American Geode has 2 parts to it: How did we discover the source of the incredible geodes that we sell, trade, and donate to museums and galleries, and how did the team meet?
To start, let's tell "The story of the Geodes"...
Charles was visiting Southern Indiana in 2009 for a fraternity brother remembrance. A group of us had assembled in Heltonville, Indiana to pay our last respects which culminated into a huge 8ft bonfire celebration. Our good friend Sean happened to be hosting the gathering on his farm which is only located by handwritten directions or word of mouth. GPS won't find this rural Indiana place! The celebration of life lasted throughout the evening and started to wind down when the sun started to rise. We were literally so far out in a remote clearing surrounded by woods that no one could hurt themselves unless they happen to run straight into a towering 100 year old tree. Luckily, with the sun rising, that perilous detrimental error had duly passed. Now here is where the magic happened.
Before I went to sleep, or maybe it was after an early rise for coffee and rustic breakfast, I decided to clear my head with a stroll down a very steep hill nicknamed "ball breaker's" hill due to its treacherous slope. I wanted to walk along the nearby tranquil river. I quickly made it down the treacherous descent toward the lapping sounds of the winding river and tripped over something...something big...a giant watermelon sized Geode! I looked around in the moment and noticed the river banks had greatly eroded. I started focusing on geode halves that were the size of melons, bowling balls, and even volley balls. I decided to use my excavation skills to retrieve a few and stack them neatly. There simply wasn't the means to transport them back up "ball breaker" hill, nor did I have the energy after the celebration all-nighter, so I left them there as a marker upon my return.
Almost a year later in 2010, Indiana would suffer its worst drought in nearly a century. I returned to the same spot, this time well prepared with a heavy duty Red Flyer Wagon, reinforced knap-sacks, and nylon backpacks. Sure enough the geodes I had stacked marking the location were still there. And since the drought had reduced the river water to a mere trickle, I discovered the riverbed was actually covered in Geodes. I immediately began digging and loading up Geodes in multiple trips while ascending that hill towing 200-300 lbs of geodes. These are some of the same geodes you see in our real cracking geodes videos. They are definitely from a very remote and desolate region of Indiana. So you may ask, "How do you find Geodes?" ...Our answer is, "Some say the Geodes found us!"
Watch our video of the "Lost Geodes" in Heltonville, Indiana
How did the co-founders of American Geode, Joe and Charles meet?
Joe and I are in the same industry, and he was visiting the Manhattan offices where I work daily. While walking by my desk, Joe glanced over and remarked that I had an extremely special specimen of quartz on my desk. He was literally the first person to inquire where this fascinating mineral was originally from. I replied, "Well you may find this kind of crazy...but last weekend I took a train, and then a cab, to an abandoned construction site at the base of an old tungsten mine. I was excavating gems and minerals from the site while it was abandoned. So what did you do last weekend?" Joe replied, "Well my lady-friend and I went to a hiking trail in the mountains. We climbed down to a railroad tunnel that was the site of rock blasting for a bridge over 50yrs ago." Upon hearing that, I suggested we grab a hot coffee and continue the conversation.
Joe and I have been rockhounding and mining in places well-known to locals in NY, NJ, CT, NC, and PA, ever since. Additionally, we have been very fortunate to meet good friends and gain access to private rockhounding locations. Our "Herkimers" page describes some of our success mining for beautiful Herkimer Diamonds upstate NY. The "Peridot & Gems" page describes trips to Quartzsite, Arizona and our special relationship with the Apache peridot mine. The "Fossils" page displays uncommon crinoid fossil finds originating from Indiana during the Paleozoic Era. The world famous "Adventure Blog" is where we recount some of our rockhound adventures and friendly finds.
We strive to be kind and friendly people. If you happen to have questions about a gem, stone, fossil, or artifact that you have stumbled upon, please "Contact Us" via our site and we will try to help identify it with you.
Rockhounding is definitely a sense of adventure combined with the science of exploration. Do you have what it takes to be a rockhound?
If you like the website, and would like us to help promote your related business, trade, organization, gem and mineral club, or gem and mineral show, please send us an email inquiry. We are continuously building a friendly social rockhound community reaching people far and near.
If you actually are looking to connect with fellow rockhound friends, we have previously hosted Meet-Up Events in NYC and we attend Gala dinners, too. Follow us on Twitter for the latest adventures.
Now Get out and Rockhound!