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Commesso di Pietre Dure

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A2J Lapidary and geodes4u.com


It all started as a hobby, and that is what it still is today. If it were anything else, it would no longer be fun. And, I'm in it for just that. The Fun !


It happened in 1969, with a trip to Geode State Park, and a walk in the creek. Looking down and spotting the distorted image in the rippling water of a shiny bluish-clear geode. I was hooked. I remember that moment, even after all these years. Into my pocket it went. The day concluded with a tour of Geode Industries in New London, IA. This is the showroom of the family that invented the Vibrasonic tumbler. Geodes everywhere, minerals of all kinds, the latest copy of Lapidary Journal, a black light room, and my favorite; frames of polished Montana Agate slabs, behind the counter. On some weekends my parents would take me to their store and drop me off for a couple hours. As soon as I could drive myself, I hung out in there many Saturday mornings. 46 years later, the store is gone, but I am still hunting for geodes.


This book was written by Edward (Earl) Smith of Geode Industries fame in New London, IA. He and his father were instrumental in the legislation that made the geode the official state rock of Iowa. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Smith in 2003. I told him my geode story and of the influence their store had had on me. We enjoyed discussing the good old days, and geodes in general. At the end of our discussion he pulled out a copy of his new book, signed it, and gave it to me.

Mr. Smith passed away in 2011