Find Geodes in Iowa

Where to Find Geodes in Iowa (Rockhounding in Iowa)

We all loved kindle joy as kids merely because of the exciting gifts we found inside them. Geodes are the natural Kinder joy eggs in the form of rock. It is a secondary formation within sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Usually, Geodes in Iowa are hollow rocks with layers of minerals and crystal deposits inside. People and museums from all over the world love to have multiple Geodes in their rock section due to the beautiful crystal formation found inside the rock. 

What is the state rock of Iowa?

Geodes are usually found in many different regions of the USA. However, due to the presence of unique Geode formations in abundance, Geodes are officially designated as the ‘State rock of Iowa’. Iowa was crowned as the home to Geodes in 1967 to promote tourism, and it worked. Ever since its title, rock hunters from all over the world started pouring in Iowa to find some of the largest Iowa state rocks.

There are many types of Geodes found in the state of Iowa. However, the most prized are the ones found in the area around Keokuk, Iowa. These Geodes are also known as Keokuk Geodes and are sought by many people and museums around the world.

Where to find Geodes in the USA?

Geodes are found in abundance in many different regions of the USA. However, the most famous sites that guarantee a successful rock hunt are the tri-state area of southeast Iowa, western Illinois, and northeast Missouri. You will come across many people asking where to collect geodes in Illinois. It is mainly because Illinois is famous for producing the second rarest type of Geodes. The most famous type of Geodes is the Keokuk Iowa geodes. 

The Geodes of the USA are famous worldwide because nowhere else in the world, Geode bearing Warsaw limestone formation is found lying on the ground. How to locate Geode? You need to look in the surrounding areas. For example, in Geode hunting, Iowa, you need to look for Warsaw formations exposed to the ground. Hence, the state of Iowa is the best place to find Geodes.

Mysterious State Rock of Iowa:

Mysterious State Rock of Iowa
Mysterious State Rock of Iowa

Geologists are still not certain how these beautiful and mysterious geological wonders form. People are interested in Geodes because they are mysterious rocks. Every Geode is different from the other in one way or another. For instance, if you found a hollow Geode with some quartz lining inside, chances are that your next Geode may be solid and full of precious minerals and crystals inside. 

What is more exciting about cutting Geodes is that the crystals found inside are not limited to only quartz. As a matter of fact, at least 25 different minerals have been found in Iowa geodes. So when cracking a Geode, who knows, maybe you will uncover a treasure inside.

Kentucky Geode Hunting:

Kentucky is another place famous for its abundant Geode rocks. You can easily find agates, freshwater pearls, and fossils besides the famous Geode rocks. Geodes can be found abundantly in Kentucky’s south-central region. If you tried that place and are still wondering where geodes are found? You can try the Fort Payne sites and Warsaw-Salem in the Kentucky region. Rock hunters from all over the world travel to Kentucky, USA, to find some of the most valuable crystals.

How to open Geode to reveal the crystals?

The word “Geode” is of Greek origin and means ‘earth-like. These rock formations were named after the hard outer shell of the rocks. Geodes are not so pretty from the outside. However, once you carefully break the rock, only then you get access to the beautiful deposits of quartz and other precious gems inside the hollow covering. The only problem is that it takes effort to find Geodes, and then it takes even more care and effort to extract the precious minerals from the Geodes.

There is no guarantee of what you might find inside a Geodes rock. Fortunately, Geodes are lined with quartz, sphalerite, dolomite, calcite, and even millerite crystals. Therefore, your rock hunt can be very fruitful if you get your hands on such a Geode. With the right tools and some patience, you will be able to uncover the crystals inside your Geodes rock in no time. Things you need to break open a Geodes include:

  • Shovel
  • Safety Goggles
  • Paper for Wrapping Specimens
  • Crack Hammer and Chisel
  • Insect Repellent
  • Water
  • Pick Axe
  • Bucket
  • Wheeler-Rex 590 Soil Pipe Cutter 

Before learning to open a Geode, you should be aware of where to find rocks with crystals inside. The answer is simple, look for Warsaw formations, and that will surely lead you to a Geode rock. Now that you found your Geode, let’s get started:

  • Wash the rock by putting it in a bucket of water to wash away any soil sticking to it. 
  • Moreover, washing will also help you confirm that you have a real Geode in your hand by visual inspection.
  • Hold the Geode in the clams of Wheeler-Rex 590 Soil Pipe Cutter in such a way that it doesn’t slip.
  • Lightly hammer it in the middle by placing the chisel on the desired spot.
  • Make sure that you don’t apply too much force, or else you will damage the crystal formation inside the Geode.
  • Clamp the cutter on the crack that you just created and carefully try to open the rock.
  • Once the rock is cracked open, wash it again with clean water, and you will notice a shiny mineral deposit inside.
  • To separate the different minerals, you need to take the rock to a professional who will use various chemicals to extract your desired treasure.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where to find Geodes in Iowa?

The best place to find Geodes in Iowa is Geode State Park in Henry County.

Where can you find geodes in northwest Iowa?

Northwestern Iowa is the home to the largest Geodes in the world. You can try your luck in Lee, Van Buren, and Henry Counties.

How to find geodes in Iowa?

Geode State Park is a known location to contain large Geodes. When hunting for Geodes, try to locate a Warsaw formation close to the ground.

How to hunt geodes in Keokuk, Iowa?

Try to locate a Warsaw formation close to the ground. Once you have found your spot, dig using a shovel till you locate a Geode buried close to the surface.

Where to collect geodes in Illinois?

Illinois is the home to Warsaw formations exposed to the surface of the earth. You can try your luck in the Nauvoo, Hamilton, and Warsaw regions of Illinois.


Geodes are the most desired rocks by both hunters and museums all around the world. The size of these rocks can vary from 5cm to even 25cm. The larger the rock, the more mineral deposits you can find inside it. Moreover, Iowa is famous for the Keokuk Geodes that contain more than 25 types of minerals. 

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