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I was visiting with a friend one day and she gave me a geode. It wasn't a birthday present or anything, just part of a discussion - "Have you ever cracked open a geode?" My answer was no, and so began my attempt to open this rock with a hammer and chisel and by throwing it. I did not succeed - barely made a dent.

Fast forward a few months and I notice a booth at the farmer's market which sells geodes. I realized that someone had to open theirs, so I made a mental note to bring mine the next Saturday morning. The gentleman with the wet saw and 9 fingers took my geode and cut it open for me. He predicted that it was going to be a crapshoot and was pleasantly surprised when he revealed the inside.

He suggested that I use some clear-coat spray paint on it to bring out the color and make it shine. You can see in my photos how dull it is without. So I went home and coated it a few times and once it dried I made sure to do the back, too.

I'm thankful to my friend for the gift and the lessons that followed: Be on the lookout for people with the right tools, don't be afraid to ask a stranger for help and sometimes you just need a little clear coat.

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