Jewelry 101: From Drab Stone to Druzy Drama


If you like mixing earthy, organic style with a dramatic flair, there’s nothing quite like cut geodes and druse. But gorgeous as these stones are, they start out as rough, lumpy, rusty rocks.

Like many other stones, geodes are either the cooled results of a volcanic explosion or mashed-together minerals and sediment. But while regular rocks are solid, others contain gas bubbles or rounded cavities. Once the outer surface hardens, water vapor and minerals like silicates and carbonates (ingredients often found in glass and ceramics) leak through and are trapped in the pockets.

After thousands of years, those minerals form a fine layer of tiny crystals known as druse or druzy around the inner hollows, creating rounded geodes or more irregular-shaped vugs. Quartz is the most common type of druse, but you’ll also find agate, chalcedony, and garnets (just to name a few).

Most geodes are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but occasionally, someone stumbles across one of epic proportions. Some, like the geodes in the South America’s Paraná Basin, are big enough to hold a person (or two). And that’s just the beginning. Ohio’s Crystal Cave sports 3 ft. long crystals, and Mexico’s Cave of Crystals (Is it just us, or were the people in charge of names running a tad shy on creativity?), contains an astonishing 39 ft. long, 55 ton shard of selenite. Just a shot in the dark, but we’re guessing that might be a bit much for anyone’s jewelry box.

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