Searching for Crystals and Diamonds in Arkansas

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Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines in Mount Ida
Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines in Mount Ida

Surrounded by the Ouachitas, Mount Ida is home to abundant quartz crystal deposits.  This zone is part of the state’s “quartz belt,” an area about 30 miles wide, stretching roughly from Hot Springs west to Pencil Bluff.

Family-owned rock shops line the highways in and around town, and you’ll see the sign proclaiming Mount Ida “Quartz Crystal Capital of the World” when you enter the town limits. The town is also home to the annual World Championship Crystal Dig. There are many spots to dig for crystals around town, including Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines at 82 Wegner Ranch Road. Wegner’s, which opened in 1980, provides the opportunity to dig for your own crystals at a working mine. It’s also a spot to learn first hand about geology and mining techniques. The scenery surrounding the mine is beautiful and what further stands out are the environmental practices that are followed here.

Crater of Diamonds State Park is located about 50 miles away in the tiny town of Murfreesboro. This spot is famous for being one of the only places in the world where a person can search for real diamonds in their original volcanic source. Along with searching for diamonds, there are a variety of rocks, minerals, and gemstones that can also be found here. And the best part if that you get to keep whatever you find. If you’ve never been to the park, you can get a quick introduction via the diamond displays and exhibits that detail the site’s history and geology in the park’s visitor center.