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i was at shefflers last year i have this number in my phone from when i called 1 660 754 1134 hope it helps
There are some really nice geodes at Dennis Stevenson's place,but those at Gary Jacob's were even better!There are some pretty big ones at Stevenson's,but unfortunately,most of those over 7 to 9 inches around were solids.At Jacob's they are rarely bigger than a grapefruit,but a much higher percentage were hollows.Both of these places were charging $16.- per 5 gallon bucket in the Fall of 2008 when we were there.At the Evan's place,AKA Nick's geodes,they normally charged $20.- per bucket and most of them were solids.I packed small geodes,some as small as golf balls or even smaller,in the empty spaces between the larger ones in the buckets to maximize the "bang for the bucket".Both Gary Jacobs and Dennis Stevenson are great people to chew the fat with between digging for "petrified potatoes"!Dennis Stevenson actually took a picture of my girlfriend's posterior sticking out from under the creek bank as she was digging.It was all that was visible of her!I didn't tell her until we were in West Virginia on our way home.I wonder if it ever showed up on the web?
Yes, that's my experience exactly. At Jacobs, it was harder work to get the geodes, but many of them were really beautiful inside, though smaller. At Stevenson's, it was easier pickin' but a lot more solids, though we did get a few pretty big ones, like the side of a large grapefruit that had some cool crystals inside.

All this talk about geodes, I wanna go get some again
Has anyone been to this area recently and has anything changed? I am a complete novice and planning a trip with my two daughters, aged 6 and 9. We're planning to go to Jacob's and Stevenson's, and I'd like to try the two free places in Hamilton and Warsaw mentioned here too. Any updates or advice for novices would be appreciated. Thanks so much.
I have been to both Jacobs and Stevens.

Jacobs place is like digging in a large open pit. He has excavated this area for the purpose of geode collecting. You can see the geodes in the walls of the pit (Mr. Jacobs will show you where and how to look, if you need him to). It's pretty hard work, because you're trying to hammer/pick them out of the walls of hard gray clay. I have taken my kids there 3 times, and they have fun playing, but don't expect them to get a lot of geodes out on their own. We have found a lot of very pretty geodes here, though many are quite small (ping pong ball size) There was an outhouse on site. You may have to park your vehicle on one side of the stream and walk across and up the small hill to the pit. It's not a long walk at all, but just something to be aware of and be prepared for.

Mr. Stevens allows geode collecting in his stream. You can drive down pretty much right up to the stream. We went there once, walked along the stream a ways, but really only found solid (really heavy) geodes in the stream. He also had just excavated a fresh spot along the edge of the stream. So we were picking the geodes up right out of the dirt, which was pretty cool. Many of them were solid, but we broght home maybe 1 bucket worth of geodes that seemed like they'd be worth opening. There's a bit of poison ivy along the edges of the stream, but when we were there a couple of years ago, it was quite possible to look without exposing yourself it, again, just something to be aware of.

Good luck and have fun!

Nan M
I was wondering about the "solid" ones. I opened one I got in CO years ago and it was solid blue with white smears in it, my kids call it the universe. So generally are the light ones hollow with crystal centers and the heavy ones solid color with bits of other color in them? We are thinking of going to the Hamilton area this week-end. Thanks Nan
Mike Streeter

Generally speaking, if you have two quartz/chalcedony geodes of about the same size, chances are the lighter one will be more hollow. When we are collecting, we call the very hollow and therefore very light geodes featherweights.

Geode hunting is no longer permitted at Geode Park in Warsaw, Illinois. There are now posted signs to that effect.
Keith A Peregrine
Solid geodes in the Hamiltion area are clear to milky white in color, unlike the ones you found in CO.  Unless you want to slab the solid geodes, it is far better to seek out the hollow ones.  All sorts of surprises may be inside!
Hi all,
I'm looking to head down to try to geode hunt in the area....does anyone have any new info as to a great spot. I called Jacobs and he's still open. What have you all found lately?? I caledl the number for Stevenson but it was a message with no name identifier so I don't know if he's still a source to hunt geodes. Any info would be so appreciated. I was thinking about bringing my 7 and 9 yr old grandkids...will they be able to get any on their own??
Mike Streeter

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Good morning everyone.  2017 is here and does anyone have any updated information about places to hunt in Keokuk?  I was there a few years ago and did ok at Sheffler's Rock Shop and Geode Mine.  Super nice guy and he even gave us a few he had found.  Any other places where my 11 year old son, my wife, and I can get some? Just want to try a few new places this spring.  We plan on going at the end of March.  Thanks everyone!!

Bob Harman
At the Indiana State Museum rock show, just last weekend in Indianapolis, there was a miner/dealer from St Francisville, Missouri who had relatively recently acquired the old St Francisville Geode Mine. He opened it about 18 months ago as Woodie's Geode Mine.   At the show, he had many opened and unopened geodes, small thru very large. These ranged in price from several $$ to several hundred $$ and all sold briskly thruought the show.    If you google the old mine name, there are several web sites including short video clips with Woodie opening a large geode and additional info on their mine, shop, location and what you can do there.  
Hope this helps, BOB
Thanks so much for the information.  Sent him an email and we'll see what happens.

Looking to go geode hunting around Hamilton, Warsaw area. My 9 year old son is starting to get into finding them, he's austictic so it's awsome he's getting into something. Looking to find out some good locations to hunt. Also I've heard using a pipe cutter is the best approach does anyone know if any cheaper priced ones that work well. We are doing this mainly as a hobby and I don't even know how long he will be into it so didn't want to put large amounts of money into a cutter if he doesn't stick with it. Any info would be great.
Bob Harman
As a parent of a youngster with special needs, your best bet, by far, is to go to one of the fee for geode digging mines. There are several of them in the Keokuk tristate area. The sites are family friendly and relatively safe for casual collectors with youngsters. There is Sheffler's geode mine, Jacob's geode mine and a new one, Woodies Fabulous Geode Mine, in St. Francisville, Mo. I have recently dealt with Woodies. All three are suppose to have geode examples in all sizes, quality, and price levels.   They open the geodes that you find or might buy should you not have much luck finding any.    Info on these commercial sites can be found on other threads on this website or on line on their own websites.

A soil pipe cutter is one of the best ways to open the geodes, but it is also the expensive way to do so. Most users of this method are serious collectors. Casual collectors not wanting to spend a lot (at least to start), might just use a hammer and chisel; it is a lot cheaper. And as I noted, the fee for digging sites all have pipe cutters to open any that you might find or buy.     BOB
Hey, thanks for responding, it's a year later and I never got there. I am planning next week, but without the grands. Hoping for Monday. Any new info or where people have been having any luck? Would love a free spot. Thanks!
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