A Mount Ida crystal
The ancient Ouachita Mountain area of Arkansas was considered 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 mountains where the earth's energy was said to be the
strongest, and the beautiful Arkansas quartz of the Ouachitas were believed to have sacred and spiritual significance.
The World's Finest Quartz Crystals
Geologists say that Arkansas and Brazil have the best quality quartz
in the world, and today rockhounds, families and tourists from all over
the world head for the Hot Springs and Mount Ida area to go prospecting
in the abundant Quartz Crystal deposits of the Ouachitas. Whether
you are interested in mining for your own crystals in a "dig-your-own"
mine or would prefer to find the perfect crystal in one of the many Rock
and Gem shops in the area, you will surely treasure the natural beauty
and "energy" of your own Ouachita Quartz Crystal.
Dig-your-own Crystal Mines
Crystal mines – Arkansas crystals
Many "dig-your-own" crystal mines are in the Ouachitas with most of them located in the small Ouachita Mountain hamlet of Mount Ida, the Quartz Crystal Capital of the World. Additional mines are found in Mena, Jessieville, and Story. The mines consist of pits and exposed hillsides where backhoes and bulldozers have removed the soil and clay in search of the quartz veins that run through these ancient mountains. Whether you are a beginning digger or an experienced rockhound, you are sure to find a spot at the various mines well suited for you.
At some crystal mines, there are areas where crystals are
literally lying on the ground and all you have to do is pick them up.
Often the only equipment needed is a screwdriver or a small garden tool
to loosen the dirt and a bucket to hold the Arkansas crystals.
For avid rockhounds, there are also spots where experience and patience
are needed along with a crowbar or chisel. Regardless of the area you
dig in, it is best to wear old clothes and shoes because you will get
dirty. Although most crystal mines allow people to dig for
crystals year-round, the best time of year to mine is during the spring
and fall when temperatures are cool.
For those who like Arkansas crystals
, but don't want to dig their own, there are numerous rock shops in Hot Springs
and the Ouachitas.