"Arkansas Diamonds": clear Quartz Crystal digging
I had made an earlier recommendation on a Thread about where adults and kids will have a good time... if they like getting dirty and find actual good... stuff.
This is at Ron Coleman Mine near Jessieville, Arkansas. 1-800-291-4484
This is actually an open pit mine that has been excavated below the local water table and needs a pump to remove water at the bottom. These quartz crystals were so clear, many called them "Arkansas Diamonds". Actually clear Quartz, but those not knowing the difference of a Diamond or a Quartz Crystal... it does not matter.
My wife and I found this place by accident after the first week they opened and set up a tent on a campsite. Picnic table, electricity, showers and restrooms. Dump for trailers that camp there. This might have been 2005... or 2004.
They charged $20 per person and you keep all you find. The first four years the crystals we found were were worth hundreds of dollars at a rock shop. Many were so flawless and clear... you will not want to give one away to your best friend. The first day we dug, we kept everything... only to discover a secret that the regulars knew... avoid the milky crystals... as the crystal clear like ice crystals are what you will treasure. Each and every one you find. ... and you will find plenty.
When they first opened, we were there just after they opened the campground, by accident. We found so many, you could barely carry the bucket out to the parking area! We kept anything. After sorting through them... we kept only the better formed crystals... and later ONLY the clear "points" as these loose crystals are called. We dreamed about digging them the first evening! Dreamed about them... and we were experienced rock hounds. YOU will also. The kids... they will go crystal crazy!
Garden Digging tools to paw through loose red sandy grit to find crystals.
One or two shovels. Some crystals can weigh pounds, and not just ounces.
Knee pad, as you will be bent over and on your knees.
Gloves... as broken crystals are sharp.
Water. You can dehydrate when you are Crystal Crazy.
Snacks... as you will not want to leave a productive hole in the ground!
Five gallon plastic buckets to put your dirty finds.
WASH your finds at the area they have the hose... toss the duds.
A towel to cover your... bucket... as claim jumpers are there!
Disposable clothing, sturdy boots/shoes that will get very dirty.
If it rains... they should charge you EXTRA.
In the Summer Coleman will have an area just for KIDS. I am sure they sprinkle a couple thousand crystals just for easy pickings, as well. They fence it off to keep the adults from over running the place.
You will want to shower at their shower first. You will be absolutely filthy. Your hands will be red. The red dirt sticks to your face. You will be dirtier than our Blue Heelers and... ENJOY EVERY MINUTE!
Several years ago we began to downsize the "collections" and sold most of our crystals for thousands of dollars. We kept some that today are in the Coleman shop for hundreds of dollars. For whatever the cost is... it is well worth it.
These crystals were used in WW2 and earlier for radio's. They also make perfect clear quartz "wafers" with ground up quartz at the mine. They have crystals that weigh hundreds of pounds for $500,000 each.
The geology containing these crystals extends though out this part of the Ozarks. These are formed under very special conditions to be so clear. Many books are available on the internet, but you will not need any to find them.
I have no financial interest in any Quartz Mine. For those who like to find Rocks and Minerals... great area. For kids... they will remember this for the rest of their lives. We use to give our second and third picking quality out on Halloween... The kids came back every year for... MORE. Enjoy. Winter can be cold, but just dress warm. Wear shoes you can throw way. Wear beat pants, socks, shoes, shirt... toss them when you leave. No kidding.
... and if this gets old... Diamonds are not far from here, but lots of work for nothing to show... The "real" Diamonds... but that is another Thread.