Interview With Geode Cutter Eugene Henderson


Nestled near the entrance to Ghost Town In Knott’s Berry Farm lies a specialty store called the Geode Shop and is filled with fossils, minerals, dinosaur eggs, bones and meteorites from world wide locations.

The fascinating thing about Geodes is that no one has any idea what is inside the spherical hunks of rock. The only way to determine what is inside the geode is to either smash it open with a large hammer or cut it in half with a diamond rock saw. The secret is trapped in the rock for thousands of years!

Eugene Henderson AKA “Geode Gene” is a Geode Cutter at Knott’s Berry Farm with an extensive knowledge of gems and minerals. Anytime Eugene is working he is more than happy to chat with you and answer any questions you might have.


Answer Key
FRG=Family Review Guide
EH=Eugene Henderson

FRG: Please share with us exactly what a Geode is!

EH: A Geode is an old rock that can have crystals, agate, or different kinds of minerals!! You never know what’s inside until they’re opened!!

FRG: How long has the Geode Shop been at Knott’s Berry Farm?

EH: The Geode Shop at Knott’s Berry Farm will celebrate it’s 35th Anniversary this year!!

FRG: Who were the original Owners of the shop?

EH: Randy Elliot, known around the world as The Geode Man, was the original owner until 2013!! His wife Maria owns the shop now, and keeps it open in his honor!!

FRG: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started working at Knott’s cutting Geodes?

EH: I’ve always been a fan of Knott’s Berry Farm ever since I was little!! It holds awesome memories, and it was my dream to work at Knott’s!! One day I walked up and my friend in the education department asked if I was looking for a job!! I was, so she directed myself over to The Geode Shop!! After a couple of interviews, the dream came true in May 2017, and the rest is history!!

FRG: Where does Knott’s get it Geode’s from?

EH: Our Geodes that we cut open are specifically found in a small area in Chihuahua, Mexico!!

FRG: What is the rarest Geode color?

EH: Amethyst, which is a purple stone, and very sought after by our guests, is the rarest color!!

FRG: How do you explain the colored markings on Geodes At Knott’s?

EH: Our Geodes are marked by color. The red marked geodes are Mexican Coconuts likely to be solid agate. The black marked ones are Mexican Coconuts guaranteed to be hollow, and the blue marked ones are the Trancas which are 50/50, and go by weight.

FRG: Is there a trick to picking hollow geodes?

EH: Based on our experience, The Trancas are often hollow. Usually lighter means more hollow heavier more solid, but only in those specific kind of Geodes!!

FRG: Tell us about mud balls? If a guest picks a mud ball do they get another geode?

EH: A mud ball is basically a dud!!  We guarantee that you’ll receive a good amount of crystals, agate, or both usually half of the Geode or more!! If you receive less then half with more minerals or ash, you get to pick another one!!

FRG: What is a Thunder egg?

EH: A Thunder Egg is a nodule-like rock that is formed within Rhyolitic volcanic ash layers!! They could have crystals inside, and are mainly found in Oregon!! Sometimes Knott’s brings in thunder eggs to cut!

FRG: Tell us what a Geiger Counter is and what they measure for?

EH: A Geiger Counter is an instrument used for detecting and measuring ionization!!

FRG: Have you ever had any celebrities autograph a Geode?

EH: I personally haven’t, but we do have signed agate slabs in the shop signed by many celebrities!! One of my favorites is “Weird” Al Yankovic!!

FRG: What is your favorite crystal?

EH: There’s so many out there, but I would say Amethyst!! Very beautiful!!

FRG: Does The Geode shop sell other items aside from Geodes?

EH: The Geode Shop does sell all kinds of items such as minerals, fossils, dinosaur bones, and our popular Coprolite which is more affectionately known as Dinosaur Poop!! We have a lot of different, awesome items in the shop!!

FRG: What is the average cost of a Geode at Knott’s?

EH: Usually they start around $14, and go up in price based on size, weight, and where they come from in the mines!!

FRG: Can customers bring their own geodes in to be cut? If so how much does it cost?

EH: We do have guests that will bring in their own Geodes for cutting!! There’s a $10 cutting fee, and we require that of course they have to be Geodes and not normal rocks, and they have to fit!! Unfortunately we our saw cannot cut super big Geodes or super small they may shatter!!

FRG: Do season pass holders get a discount on their rocks?

EH: Yes! If you have a season pass you do receive a discount dependent on which pass you have!! However, the discount does not apply if you bring in your own Geode to be cut by us.

FRG: Do the Geodes come with come with a detailed description of their age and composition?

EH: Each Geode does come with a Miner’s Deed, which will give you information about the Geode you picked!!

FRG: What advice would you give to a new Geode Collector?

EH: I would say be open minded!! Geodes may look like plain rocks, but they do have cool stuff in them!! Also, if you love history they’re very old you can own a piece of Earth’s history, and the surprise of it all because you never know what’s inside until it’s opened!! Geodes, minerals, crystals they’re all pretty awesome!!

mud_ballPicture of a mud ball. Photo by Geode Gene

Fun Geode Fact:

One large geode in the shop once belonged to Steve Wynn and was on display in one of his Las Vegas hotels. His wife snatched it in their divorce and found a willing buyer in the Geode Shop.

Funny Geode Jokes by Eugene Henderson

  • What do you call an Irish Geode? A sham-rock
  • What do you call an geode under the influence? Stoned
  • What do you call a crazy person in a geode shop? Off their rock-er.

Picture Of Geodes From The Geode Store


Knott’s Berry Farm Grand Re-Opening

The park will reopen to season passholders May 6, with plans for a grand reopening to the general public on May 21 for a summer-long, Knott’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. “The Knott’s Family Reunion” looks to reunite family and friends in a safe and fun environment after a year-long closure due to COVID-19.

The anniversary celebration runs through September 6, 2021. In accordance with current state guidelines, capacity will be limited and available to California residents only with reservations required for both single-day visits and Season Passholders. Ticket sales and reservations will be available starting April 26.

All 2020 and 2021 season passes purchased through May 5, 2021, will be valid through May 5, 2022. Knott’s Season Passes are now available starting at $101 or six easy payments of $13.50 after an initial payment. Gold Passes are $135 or six easy payments of just $17.00 after an initial payment. Information regarding Soak City Waterpark will be coming soon. These offers end on June 20, 2021. Applicable taxes and fees apply. Payment plans are only available at

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