Quartz Crystal from Arkansas is thought to be on par with the crystals from commercially productive deposits found in Madagascar and Brazil. High-quality quartz veins and crystal pockets in Arkansas may be found in the geographic area of the Ouachita Mountain range. Arkansas quartz crystal formed in this region may be associated with local mineral deposits of shale, sandstone, chert, slate, and novaculite. The ancient Ouachita Mountain area in Arkansas was considered to be a mystical location by Native American tribes. The hot and cold springs in the "Valley of the Vapors" (now the city of Hot Springs) was considered a place of peace for even warring tribes. Shaman traveled to "power points" in the Ouachita mountain range where the earth's energy was said to be the strongest. The beautiful Arkansas quartz crystals of this area were believed to have sacred, spiritual significance with medicinal properties and energetic healing purpose.
There are many configurations of quartz crystal to be found in Arkansas: beautiful icy clear points and multi-terminated clusters, milky white quartz, enhydro, curved, twinned, druzy, and the stunning double terminated “Arkimer Diamonds” to name a few. Arkansas quartz crystal may also exhibit interesting phantoms and inclusions, have chlorite or other mineral surface coating, flashy interior rainbows and reflective veils, etc, etc.
On the subject of sparkly crystals, Murfreesboro, Arkansas is home to the Crater of Diamonds. This Arkansas State Park is one of the only places where you are able to search for real diamonds and keep what you find! Woohoo! Visitors to the Crater of Diamonds State Park are able to dig throughout the 37-acre plowed field, which is actually the eroded surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcanic crater. According to the Carter of Diamonds State Park website, the diamond search area is plowed periodically when weather allows to help loosen the surface soil and promote diamond finds. Plowing is unscheduled but generally takes place once a month during spring, summer, and fall. You may rent or purchase mining tools at the park.
From personal experience, I found spending the day, digging through the naturally green tinted alluvial flow field of the Crater of Diamonds, incredibly meditative and peaceful. Super lucky if you do find a diamond (think “needle in a haystack.”) No worries if you don’t. You will most likely not go home empty handed, as there are also a variety of other minerals to be found, such as Jasper, Lamproite (which gives the plowed fields its green coloring), Mica, Agate, Calcite, Amethyst, and Barite.
I highly suggest a crystal road trip to check out, do some crystal digging, hike in the natural beauty, and experience the good vibrations of the quartz crystals and other mineral specimens found in the stunning state of Arkansas.
If you get a chance, and are available the second weekend in October, head over to Mt. Ida for the 31st Annual World Championship Quartz Crystal Dig
I was very fortunate and traveled to Mt. Ida for the World Championship Quartz Crystal Dig a couple of years ago. What a great trip! The Arkansas National Parks along the way were beautiful places to visit and hike and soak (Hello ….Hot Springs.) I loved meeting many of the crystal diggers and spending the day(s) in the dirt digging for crystals. As always, the crystal vendors who had booths at the Mt. Ida Fairgrounds for the Championship Quartz Crystal Dig entertained and educated with crystal stories and science. Also at the fairgrounds, and not too be missed, is the Quilt Show ~ such an amazing display of textile artistry.
For other information check out my blog posts ~ Fabulous Arkansas
Other recommended books:
Off the Beaten Path Arkansas - A guide to unique places by Patti DeLano
Southeast Treasure Hunter's Gem and Mineral Guide by Kathy Rygle and Stephen Pedersen
Collecting Crystals ~ A guide to quartz in Arkansas by Darcy and Mike Howard
Genuine Diamonds in Arkansas ~ Glenn Worthington