1.5" Keokuk Quartz Geode with Bladed Barite - Iowa

This is a sparkling quartz geode with a bladed barite crystal cluster, collected from the Keokuk area of Iowa. It's been cracked open to reveal an interior lined with glimmering, clear quartz crystals. Both halves are included.

This specimen is a part of an old collection that we recently acquired. Some of these Keokuk geodes come from locations that are no longer collectable.

Unlike most geodes that form in volcanic rock, Keokuk geodes are found in the sedimentary rock. They started out as concretions, balls of mud, which formed around organic material about 340 million years ago. The outer shells of these concretions were subsequently replaced by chalcedony and the interiors of the concretions were dissolved, leaving a hollow space into which quartz crystals could grow. Most geodes are 2 to 5 inches wide, though specimens as large as two feet across have been found.

Keokuk geodes contain a variety of minerals, but quartz is dominant in most. Many geodes are filled with clear to white quartz crystals. Micro-crystalline quartz, or chalcedony, whose component crystals are too small to be seen with the naked eye, forms the outer shell. Chalcedony layers also encrust the interior walls of many geode cavities, covering the surfaces of the earlier-generation quartz crystals in a variety of colors, including white, gray, blue, yellow and orange. Calcite is also a common mineral in many geodes though 17 other minerals have been identified in Keokuk Geodes including pyrite and sphalerite.

The area around Keokuk, Iowa is sometimes referred to as “the geode capital of the world. In 1967 they were even named the official state rock of Iowa. Geodes have been collected from the Lower Warsaw Formation within about 100 miles of the city for over 150 years.

Silicon Dioxide, also know as SiO2 or Quartz, is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust. Quartz crystals generally grow in silica-rich, hot watery solutions called hydrothermal environments, at temperatures between 100°C and 450°C, and usually under very high pressure. Quartz veins are formed when open fissures are filled with hot water during the closing stages of mountains forming, and can be hundreds of millions of years old.

Barite, commonly spelled baryte, is well-known for its great range of colors and varied crystal forms and habits. It is a heavy mineral consisting of barium sulfate, and typically has the chemical formula of BaSO4. The barite group consists of baryte, celestine, anglesite and anhydrite. It's generally white to colorless and is the main source of barium.
Quartz & Barite
Keokuk area, Iowa
1.5" wide