Don't worry about Toni Weight putting all of her
eggs in one basket -- they won't fit.
Hundreds of eggs fill the shelves of Weight's
Weber State University office and North Ogden home.
Stone eggs and wooden eggs, ceramic eggs, painted
eggs, music box eggs, even a bouncy, rainbow-striped
rubber egg. All in all, it looks like someone ran a
tad amok with the Easter decorating.
Yet Easter has nothing to do with this egg-stravagant
display. The eggs are here year-round because Weight
is a collector of anything ovoid or egg-oid.
"I think the egg shape is pleasing," says the
Weber State interim vice president of student
affairs, surrounded by more than 120 eggs in her
Not only that, she says, "I like the feel of
That's evident as she picks one up and holds it
in the palm of her hand, rubbing the smooth and
shiny surface with her fingers. Her daughter jokes
that Weight must get "acquainted with" every new egg
this way before it joins her collection.
An amateur rockhound, Weight was first drawn to
stone-shaped eggs. She bought a couple of polished
onyx beauties during a visit to Tijuana, Mexico,
about 15 years ago.
Later, she picked up another egg -- and then
another. Pretty soon, eggs started scrambling into
her life from friends, co-workers and family.
As Weight's collection swelled -- more than 300
now -- its meaning grew beyond the
pleasing-to-look-at. Each one has a story.
Here's one a colleague brought back from England.
Here's one a daughter picked up on a trip to Bryce
Canyon. Here's one Weight found in a shop in
"Each and every one means something and has
memories tied into it," she says. Sunny side up
Weight's eggs range in size from tiny half-inch
ellipticals to 7 inches tall.
They come from all over the world: Turkey, China,
Israel, Africa, England, Iran. Most are displayed
upright on stands; others are nestled together in
Look closely and you'll even spot a real egg or
two in the mix, including two creamy ostrich eggs
and a green emu egg.
A basket overflowing with marble eggs is proof of
Weight's philosophy that "beauty is not dependent on
This earth-tone assortment was a surprise find at
a local dollar store, just a buck an egg.
"You can put these up against any of them,"
Weight says. "They just kind of each have their own
One of her most expensive eggs was $225, a
red-and-black mottled eudialyte mineral from Russia.
Most of the priciest eggs were gifts, Weight
"I usually stick to (paying) around $25 to $35,"
she says. "That's usually about all I can do in good
For the book
Two of the newest ovals -- a multicolored painted
egg and a black-gold sheer obsidian -- rest on the
topmost shelf of the bookcase in Weight's office.
Here they'll stay until Weight is ready to
catalog them in one of two inches-thick binders.
Each egg has its own page, listing details about
material, size, date of acquisition and origin. And
there are color "portraits" of every egg, too, taken
by Weight's husband Shirl.
The catalog seemed necessary as the collection
grew and Weight realized, "I'm not going to remember
where these all come from."
One entire binder is filled with nothing but
stone eggs: amber, jasper, tiger's-eye, amethyst,
Weight prefers stones with natural colors and
avoids those that are dyed.
"You think a rock is a rock," she says, but it's
fascinating to see the variety and brilliance of the
colors, from sky-blue lapis to bright pink
Anyone who knows Weight likely knows about her
"We've all bought them for her; everybody buys
her eggs," says daughter Julia Hall of Roy, one of
Weight's four children.
Daughter Serena Weight says she and her siblings
usually look for odd eggs, like the half-red,
half-green one she once gave her mother.
"It's fun to find them for her," says the North
Ogden resident, "and it's an easy gift."
One of Weight's favorites is a Russian-made egg
that's deep red glass covered with metallic gold
decorations. It was a gift from her staff when she
received a student affairs award.
Her ugliest egg? That would be the ceramic
quilted-looking thing she found on eBay. It was
actually advertised as "The Ugly Egg."
No parting gifts
Weight says her only "failure" is a liquid-filled
purple egg with pink polka dots. It won't stand up
or hold its shape; it just slumps in a blob on the
She might even get rid of this one, although
giving eggs away is something she never
She tried once. She had to make a gift basket
that included things she liked, so she naturally
added an egg -- but it ended up being one she bought
especially for that purpose.
"I couldn't part with any of mine," she says.
And then she had to buy another one just like the
gift egg, to keep for herself.
Amber is one material she'd like to have more of,
"If I could find one with a bee in it, a nice
preserved bee ... I'd go for that," she says.
Although Weight stumbles across eggs in gift
shops, rock shops, children's stores or even music
stores, she also has regular places she visits to
look for eggs, like a certain shop in West
"Whenever I'm up there, I have to go in and look
at their eggs," she says. "The man knows me very
Memories by the dozen
The North Ogden native has never added up the
value of her collection, although she says it's
likely worth thousands of dollars.
One day, the eggs will be passed on to Weight's
children. And she knows egg-xactly how she
wants her son and daughters to divvy them up.
"I want them to all get together and sit around
the table and put all of them on the table and take
turns picking them," she says.
That way, they'll choose what they like, she
says; "They don't get to study the book first."
For Weight, every egg has its appeal, be it her
first Mexican onyx or an intri-cately carved African
Well, "all except that squishy one," she quips.
EGGS IN THE COLLECTION
Pewter, with a hinged lid
Black cat birdhouse
Flute egg, from China
Pyrite, or fool's gold
"Gone With the Wind," with Scarlett and Tara
Iranian glass egg, with design painted on inside
Olive wood, from the Holy Land
Septarium nodules (Utah stones)
Nesting eggs, decorated with old maps
Chinese writing rock
Eggs that turn into egg cups, from England