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March-April 2010

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The Las Choyas Geode Deposit, Chihuahua, Mexico

In November 2000, my wife, Sue, and I were in El Paso, Texas, for sightseeing and buying geodes from our usual supplier. At the conclusion of the trip, one of our friends in El Paso introduced us to another wholesaler, the Carrillo family of Gem Center U.S.A., Inc. Before returning to Pittsburgh, we visited the Carrillos' shop, which was brimming with Las Choyas geodes. When asked where the geodes came from, Jeannette Carrillo replied that they had mined them. We had stumbled onto the primary claim holders and miners at the Las Choyas geode mine! This article summarizes our family's five trips (taken in 2001–2006) to this world-famous mine in Chihuahua, Mexico, documenting changes that have taken place here since described by Peter Keller more than thirty years ago (Keller 1979).

Jeffrey R. Smith is a geologist and owner of Jeff's Geodes, which specializes in educational programs and the sale of geodes from southern Indiana and Chihuahua, Mexico. His article titled “Geodes and Geodes after Fossils from Heltonville, Lawrence County, Indiana” was published in the May/June 2007 issue of Rocks & Minerals.

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