Rocks! (kind of)
January 28, 2014 3:11 PM   Subscribe

This is my first question here on askmefi (yay!). I am in need of geode slices, approximately quarter-size, I'd guess. I want to make my girlfriend a backgammon game and use the geode slices as the stones. She's into crystals (natural, from-the-ground crystals, not Swarovski-type crystals) and such, so I thought it would be a neat way to customize an already-customized board. I'm not having any luck finding such animals, though. There is a rock shop in my area, but I looked and they don't have them. I thought maybe jewelry supply web sites might be a good source, but came up empty there, too. I would need them to be as round as possible and would need 15 in one color and 15 in a second color (I realize the colors vary within the stone, but I'd need them consistent enough to tell whose stones are whose when playing). Can anyone out there suggest resources where I might find the slices?
posted by msbadcrumble to Science & Nature (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Such a cool idea. I bopped over to and typed in "geode" and found some promising leads right away. If you don't see the exact sizes you want, and I think they may be there, I am pretty sure you can find a seller who can work with you to get you what you need.
posted by bearwife at 3:16 PM on January 28, 2014

What a nice idea. Here are some listings 1,2,3.
Try googling for more.
posted by Snazzy67 at 3:27 PM on January 28, 2014

American Science and Surplus carries both small geodes (if you can get a way to slice your own) and various agate slices. But in general, you may get a lot more hits if you look for "agate slices," like this. The internet seems to tell me that the only real difference is that geodes have a hollow hole, and if you don't care about the hole, you could use a small agate instead. A plus seems to be that a lot of the listings for geodes are in their natural state, and a lot of agates are dyed (so you could get your different colors).
posted by spelunkingplato at 3:32 PM on January 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Science musea gift shops usually stock a kind of "break it open yourself" geodes that're maybe 50% larger than a walnut, and if gift-shops can get them, no doubt you can find a small supply. From there you can get someone to slice and polish them, or maybe you can do it yourself. Don't pay gift-shop prices, whatever you do-- there are better ways to donate to a museum.

Geez, 1" geodes are nearly dirt cheap if you're willing to cut it yourself... but cutting it yourself means a pricy (but adorably small) lapidary table saw, or a lapidary blade for a saw you already have (far cheaper) plus polishing discs/belts/drums (as the case may be).

(Snazzy67's links go to some really cheap slices, but none of those will give you a reason to buy more tools!)
posted by Sunburnt at 3:32 PM on January 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was on a similar search myself last year, and metafilter recommended Free Spirit Emporium. I got what I needed, hopefully you will, too!
posted by phunniemee at 3:32 PM on January 28, 2014

Many stained glass suppliers sell round geodes in multiple colours with very consistent sizes.
posted by jeather at 3:33 PM on January 28, 2014

Give Mama's Minerals a call! I bet they'd work with you to get a nice selection of similar shapes and sizes.
posted by ellenaim at 3:41 PM on January 28, 2014

eBay has a great marketplace for rocks.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:50 PM on January 28, 2014

As an alternative possibility, you could use fossilized ammonites, which are of course round(ish), abundantly available in small (actually all) sizes and come in all sorts of fascinating mineral finishes, including ones that have crystalized chambers. You could use the sliced kind for red and unsliced for black.
posted by jamaro at 3:54 PM on January 28, 2014

Okay. I've tried posting this three times. Never ever going to try to set up links on an ipod again. Here goes:

Bernie's Rock Shop. Madison, WI. Nice folks. Good deals. If you call them and they don't have what you need, they probably know who does.

Fire Mountain Gems. Gemstone cabochons if you don't have to have geodes.

Hooray! It worked!
posted by tllaya at 7:04 PM on January 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I second Bernie's!

This is a good time to inquire at shops. The Tucson Gem shows begin soon and many shop owners will be attending. They often will look for special requests.

Another idea is to see if your area has a lapidary club. You may find someone who has the interest and equipment to cut what you need.
posted by cat_link at 12:51 AM on January 29, 2014

Where are you? If you're in Tucson, or Phoenix or anywhere else within a not-too-long drive from Tucson, then the gem and mineral shows are starting up here next week. There will be more of this stuff than you can shake a stick at.
posted by azpenguin at 6:21 AM on January 29, 2014

Wow! Thank you, everyone, for your responses! The suggestions of other types of geode-type things is helpful as I didn't know what else to call them or look for. I'll check out the links and see what I come up with. azpenguin - I'm nowhere near Tuscon or Phoenix, but I'll check my area for gem shows.
posted by msbadcrumble at 3:48 PM on January 29, 2014

« Older How do you get difficult yet uninteresting tasks...   |   Dog left in apartment for five days--Los Angeles Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.