Myths and Misnomers
The dewdrop diamond is "one in ten thousand":
In some exposures of the Warsaw formation, there are no dewdrops
found. In others, you would expect to find, at least one, in a
days work. Overall, if every cracked Keokuk geode
was counted and divided by total cracked dewdrops found,
it would come out to '1 in 10 thousand'. In my opinion, this
is a marketing tool or a generalization that needs more study.
Although... I like saying it... and I see no reason not to continue.
The snowball is "one in five thousand":
Give me a break.
There is gold in the Keokuk geodes:
Yes.. there is gold! Fools gold and lots of it.
You can "smell" a geode:
Only the sweet lady who ran Shefflers rock shop had that talent. She quite enjoyed showing this ability off to me
when I used to dug at the 'old' mine. The smell of a just cracked Keokuk
geode is very distinct. Coming from the decomposed pyrite, it sticks
in my nose for days. If you find you have this talent and it helps you
find geodes, email me, I need a digging partner.
The black calcite geode is a fake:
probably. I've heard they make them down in Texas using techniques perfected by crystal miners in
Arkansas. I made mine using a brown calcite specimen, black spray
paint and glitter. When someone asks if I own a Kahoka black I
say yes. If they ask me to see it, I usually can't find that darn
Some diggers are just lucky, dammit, and its not fair:
Wrong. Notice how much harder they work than you.
They have a big bar... you don't. Their kids are grown and gone,
yours are driving you crazy (where are they by the way?).
The water in an aqua geode is 250 million years old:
No. The geode started out as a nodule. The Warsaw formation
where geodes reside, has been carbon dated at 260 million years
old. The water in a Keokuk geode has never been carbon dated.
So 'old water' or 'new water' is best used. One good... One bad.
The pocket of geodes has "pinched" out:
Oh... how I hate this one. It is usually not true... well,
unless the Geode Kid was there. His 35 foot deep, hand dug
holes, are legendary. But I just don't know if cleaning out
that old excavation will pay off. Get to digging... and let
Buying mine-run Keokuk geodes is a good deal:
No. Whole Keokuk geodes are sold by the pound. The more
expensive a whole geode is... the less it is worth (solids
are no good). Geodes from a mine (geodes dug 'in situ' not
picked up in a creek bottom) run, on average, three hollows
out of ten.
A solid Keokuk geode is worthless:
Yes. No, wait there was this lady in Quartzite
Arizona that painted the big round ones with smiley faces and
globes and such. People were buying them. Also, if you find a
lot, they are good erosion control. I have heard that people
sell them for 50 cents a pound to unsuspecting tourists, but I
am sure that is just a rumor.
Yes. You see them flying over Keokuk around the same time you
crack a red quartz geode.
You can still dive down into the depths of the Des Moines River and dig up a monster geode:
Yes. So... dig out that snorkel mask and practice holding your
breath. The best time to do this activity is when you see that
horse flying over Keokuk.
Keokuk geodes should be cut and polished, not cracked:
No. The rinds are usually not pretty, the secondaries would be cut into,
the snowballs would be ruined, and more importantly... I love fitting the
geode back together. It is so fun to watch folks try to do this. Of course they
are scratching that calcite crystal sticking out... man. There are a few types
of Keokuk geodes that would be good to cut and polish. The 'white/red rind geodes' would be cool to cut. And any geode that comes from an exposure
producing only gemmy quartz, no secondaries, no snowballs, and a nice rind that will
take a polish.
Millerite is in a Keokuk geode:
Yes and no. Back before the Keokuk bible was written, the new quarry in
Hamilton Ill.(Grays quarry) was scraping the useless Warsaw formation shale off
of the Keokuk formation limestone. They dumped this overburden down by the Mississippi
river in big piles that were accessible to anyone who wanted to find a geode. Near the
end of this operation, some of the lower Keokuk formation 'junk' was mixed in with the
Warsaw formation and dumped here also. Well the Keokuk formation 'junk' had a few geodes
containing millerite. So... It can correctly be said that millerite has been found in a
Keokuk geode... just not in a Warsaw formation Keokuk geode. Any Warsaw formation Keokuk
geode purported to contain millerite, is probably full of black goethite or capillary pyrite crystals instead.
Or... you left that open geode to close to the cat.
Citrine is a term we can use for the yellow quartz geodes:
In some cases yes, and most no. If the quartz crystal has absorbed the iron mineral in
its crystal structure it is citrine. If it is a top coating of decomposed pyrite or other
iron mineral, or a coating that lies underneath the clear crystals and is not inside the
crystal, it is yellow quartz. In my opinion the yellow in the Keokuk geodes is REAL, not
like those heat treated amethyst geodes from Brazil. I like saying citrine and I see no
reason not to continue.