There is nothing quite like the thrill of discovering a crystal in its natural habitat. Our state, Arkansas, is known for its abundance in crystal hunting places, but with so many options, it can be challenging to identify the best ones to visit. That’s why we created this guide to help you through your crystal mining journey here.
We went all over our state to uncover the exquisite sites to find crystals in Arkansas. These highly recommended spots are pulled from our experience going around as well as from recommendations of other experienced collectors and enthusiasts: Magnet Cove, Crater of Diamonds State Park, Fisher Mountain, Prairie Creek, and Hot Springs National Park. Join us as we revisit these spots in this article!
The Types of Arkansas Crystals You Can Find
Arkansas is renowned for its crystal deposits, which are some of the largest and most diverse in the world. Our state is home to a wide variety of crystals with beauty that is truly remarkable. Crystal collectors and enthusiasts from all over the world flock here to hunt for these stunning wonders.
Rare crystals found in Arkansas
More common crystals found here
- Quartz (Clear, Smoky)
The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in Arkansas
Since our state abounds in crystals and crystal hunting spots, we thought of choosing the 5 most exquisite sites that you can put on top of your to-visit list here, too. Our criterion for selecting them? The amount of fun and success we had of finding crystals!
Magnet Cove is Our Favorite Crystal Mine in Arkansas
Hot Spring County, AR
The name “Magnet Cove” comes from the fact that the area is home to a large deposit of magnetite, which is a mineral with magnetic properties. The area has been mined for its bountiful crystal deposits. It’s also well-known as a great place to find Arkansas gems.
Magnet Cove is home to a unique type of rock called “lamproite,” which is rich in minerals and is volcanic in origin. This type of rock is only found in a few places in the world, including here. The lamproite rocks in this area contain a variety of crystals, including Garnet, Quartz, and various types of Mica.
If you’re planning to visit here, consider that the best time to go is during the cooler months when the vegetation is less dense and the ground is easier to see. Secondly, it’s important to note that the area is on private property, so you’ll need to get permission from the landowner before you start digging. Finally, be prepared for a bit of a hike. The crystal-bearing rocks at Magnet Cove are scattered throughout the area, so you’ll need to do some exploring to find them.
Some more common crystals found here have lots of similarities that make it easy to confuse them. So we’ve put together a few guides to telling specific crystals apart:
Where we found crystals at Magnet Cove
Magnet Cove is so rich in mineral and crystal reserves that gemologists and mineralogists have been studying it for a long time. Its granite outcrops are known for having many beautiful samples of crystals such as Labradorite, Apatite, Aventurine, Garnet, Iolite, Opal, Rutile, Smoky Quartz, and Sunstone.
The tools every crystal hunter will need
When you're out looking for crystals having the right tools for the job is very important. You don't need a lot for most trips but there are a handful that are critical and will make your life a lot easier.
We get asked a lot about the equipment we use. Over the years we've found a handful of tools that we recommend to both new and experienced crystal miners which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhounding equipment guide. These are quality options that also happen to be relatively inexpensive.
Below are the basic tools that make your life so much easier and save you a ton of time. Check out the full guide to see everything we recommend bringing. One quick note, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases but we try very hard to only recommend gear we would use ourselves and often recommend brands you can't find on Amazon.
At a minimum you should have:
1 - Sturdy rock hammer: The Estwing Rock Pick is our standard
2 - Rugged chisels: Try Kendo' 3-piece Chisel Set
3 - Compact shovel: The Koleiya 28-inch shovel works well
4 - Rock screen pan: The Wazakura Soil Sieve Set fits the bill
5 - Eye protection: DeWalt Safety Glasses are cheap and comfortable
6 - Head protection: Malta's Safety Helmet has been our go-to
7 - Jewelers lens with at least 20x magnification: Jarlink's Jewelers Loop is perfect
The crystal-finding books that we use most
There are also a few books that have been extremely helpful in the search for gems. These books have great recommendations and tips:
We provide links to find these tools on Amazon but some can also be found at your local hardware stores. For more recommendations check out the link to our full tool guide above.
Pike County, AR
Crater of Diamonds State Park is a true treasure trove of diamonds and other precious crystals. Located in Murfreesboro, this place has a rich history dating back to 1906 when a local farmer discovered diamonds on his land. The area was later developed into a public park, and it has become a popular destination for diamond hunters and rockhounds from all over the world.
This park is situated on an ancient volcanic crater, which has left behind a unique geological formation called the “lamproite pipe.” This pipe is a vertical tube of rock that contains a variety of minerals and crystals, including diamonds. The diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park are the only diamonds in the world that are open to the public for mining, making it a truly special location for crystal collectors and enthusiasts.
Looking to visit here? The best time to go is after a heavy rain when the soil is loose and easier to sift through. Bring your own tools, including shovels, buckets, and sifters. And finally, be prepared for a bit of hard work. Diamond and crystal hunting in general can be tough, but the thrill of discovering them is absolutely worth it.
Where we found crystals at Crater of Diamonds State Park
This area is well-known by rockhounds because you can practically find crystals anywhere within the place. Some of the ones you’ll probably get your hands on here are Agate, Amethyst, Garnet, Jasper, Quartz crystals, and, of course, sparkling, mesmerizing, and stunning Diamonds.
Once you find a specimen, you might wonder how much crystals are worth. Read up on that in our linked article.
Montgomery County, AR
Fisher Mountain is located in Ouachita National Forest, near the town of Mount Ida. This area has a long history of crystal mining, dating back to the 1800s when settlers first discovered the rich deposits of Quartz crystals in the surrounding mountains. The area was later developed into a public recreation area, and today, it’s a popular destination for rockhounds and crystal enthusiasts.
This area is made up of sedimentary rocks that have been heavily folded and faulted, creating a unique environment for crystal formation. The mountain is primarily composed of Quartz, with occasional deposits of other minerals like feldspar and mica. The crystals here can be found both on the surface and in the ground, so be sure to bring your digging tools!
To go here, take Highway 270 west from Hot Springs until you reach the town of Mount Ida. From there, follow signs to the Ouachita National Forest and Fisher Mountain. There are plenty of amenities available in the area, including camping facilities.
Where we found crystals at Fisher Mountain
Take note that crystal mining in Fisher Mountain, owned by Avant Mining, come with a certain fee, which, if you ask us, is totally worth it because you have the chance to find great samples of Clear and Smoky Quartz here.
Montgomery County, AR
Prairie Creek is located in the Ouachita Mountains, near the town of Jessieville. The area has a rich history of crystal mining, dating back to the 1800s when settlers first discovered the rich deposits of Quartz crystals in the surrounding mountains. Over the years, many commercial mines have operated in the area, but today, it’s a popular spot for individual rockhounds and crystal enthusiasts.
Prairie Creek is home to some of the most beautiful crystals in our state. This area is primarily composed of sedimentary rocks, which have been subjected to intense pressure and heat over millions of years, which perfectly supports crystal formation.
If you want to go here, take Highway 7 north from Hot Springs until you reach the town of Jessieville. From there, follow signs to the Ouachita National Forest and Prairie Creek. Once you’re there, we’re sure you’ll be in awe of how beautiful and rich in resources this area is. Just look at its photo!
Where we found crystals at Prairie Creek
Explore the different nooks and crannies of the creek to find amazing samples of Amethyst, Epidote, Garnet, Hematite, Peridot, Pyrite, and Quartz crystals, among others.
Garland County, AR
Located in the heart of Hot Springs in Garland County, Hot Springs National Park is home to a variety of natural hot springs, which have been a popular attraction for visitors for over 100 years. The park is also known for its rich geological history, which has resulted in a variety of beautiful minerals, including Quartz crystals.
Hot Springs National Park is home to some of the most beautiful crystals in our state. The area is situated along a fault line, which has created an ideal environment for crystal formation. That’s why crystals can be found all over the park, both on the surface and in the ground.
If you’re keen on visiting, take Highway 70 west from Little Rock until you reach the town of Hot Springs. The park is located in the heart of the town and is easily accessible by car.
Where we found crystals at Hot Springs National Park
We recommend exploring and searching through the area outside the boundaries of the Hot Springs National Park along all surrounding ridges of the Ouachita Mountains. Here, you can find samples of clear Quartz crystals in varying sizes. Some of them may even be in clusters, too!
Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting
Like we said earlier, Arkansas has plenty to offer when it comes to crystals, so aside from the top 5 exquisite crystal hunting sites, here are some more that you may want to include in your journey. What’s great is that some of these places are also great spots to find Arkansas geodes.
Where you can find crystals for free in Arkansas
Many people think the best sites to find crystals are ones that require some fee, but luckily, Arkansas has equally-rich spots that don’t require any payment before you can search for crystals. Here they are:
|In hillside exposure south of creek in Berryville area
|Several gravel pits and beds located north of a county road which connects Arkansas Highway 1 and 49
|Along both sides all the way through Crowley’s Ridge State Park to headwaters
|On gravel road at Ben Hogan Quarry
|Along the southwest shoreline at Morris Ferry
|At copper prospects in Board Camp, Hatton, and Mena areas
|At the Jeffrey Quarry
|Upstream and down at the St. Francis River
|At Paron area
|Blue Ball area
|North on US-65 to the gravel road at right leading to Rumley
|At the Burr Prospect
|On the Pelly Howard Farm
Other great places to dig for crystals
If you’re one feels like paying a fee guarantees finding crystals, then you might want to explore the following pay-to-dig sites. Just bear in mind that the fees may vary depending on the season, so call first before heading out.
|South o SR-7 to Coleman Mine
|At fork bear right and continue to expansive dumps of Chamberlain Creek Barite Mine
|Yellville area lead mines
|Northeast at the Lewis Crystal Mine
|Lead mine dumps at Ponca area
|At the Morning Star Mine and dump and at the Tomahawk Mine
|Gillham area mines
How to find crystals in Arkansas
Some of our recommendations above cover large areas that might be difficult to explore with limited time and energy, so to help you focus your search, you can start exploring some of the places where crystals can usually be found, such as the following:
Streams and Creeks
Streams and creeks are natural channels for minerals to flow through. Over time, the constant flow of water wears down the surrounding rock and exposes new deposits of crystals. As a result, these waterways can be a goldmine for crystal hunters. What’s more, it’s a relatively easy and accessible way to find crystals in streams and creeks. Unlike commercial mines or hard-to-reach mountain locations, many of these waterways are easily accessible by car and require minimal hiking or digging to find crystals.
Quarries are large open-pit mines where rocks and minerals are extracted from the earth. These sites are excellent for crystal hunting because they provide easy access to large quantities of rocks and minerals. The mining process also often exposes new deposits of crystals that were previously hidden deep underground.
Another advantage of searching in quarries is that they can be a lot of fun. Many of them have steep walls and unique geological formations that make for an exciting and adventurous hunting experience. Plus, the size and scale of these places can be awe-inspiring and make for a memorable day out.
Mines and Mine Dumps
Searching in mines and mine dumps can be a great way to discover some unique and stunning crystal specimens here. Many of the mines in the area were once used for commercial mining, but today they are open for public exploration and offer a wealth of crystal treasures.
Arkansas Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations
As long as you’re compliant with our state’s laws on crystal mining, you will have no legal problems searching for crystals here. This is especially true for the laws imposed by the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment which regulates this activity here. Some of these laws include securing any necessary permit or permission depending on the type of land you will explore. Also, be mindful of any existing rules and regulations that aim to protect the environment and biodiversity of the area. Overall, while we’re aiming to take home crystals, it shouldn’t come at the cost of our natural resources.
The Best Crystal Shops In Arkansas
With all the many crystal hunting sites here, it can be difficult to select the ones where you can find your target crystals. So if you prefer to have all of them in one sitting, then visit the local crystal shops here. These stores have amazing crystal selections that you might otherwise find difficulty uncovering in their natural environment.
- Jim Coleman Crystal Mines, Inc. – 5837 AR-7, Jessieville, AR 71949
- Blue Moon Crystals & Jewelry – 6328 Hwy 270 E, Mt Ida, AR 71957
- Gem Adventures Rock Shop Springdale – 101 Holcomb St, Springdale, AR 72764
- Gem Adventures Jewelers and Rock Shop – 117 E Main St, Farmington, AR 72730
- Magic City Crystals – 46 Spring St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
- AHW Gems and Minerals – 10332 AR-265, Fayetteville, AR 72701
- Mystical Crystal – 802 S Mt Olive St, Siloam Springs, AR 72761
- Real Earth Creations – 3024 Hwy 270 E, Mt Ida, AR 71957
- Strange Magic Gems – 210 N Reynolds Rd, Bryant, AR 72022
- Crystal Waters – 7 Spring St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
Additional places to find crystals in nearby states
If you’ve already tried all of our recommendations above or are planning a trip out of the state, you should check out our guides for neighboring states:
- Crystals in Missouri
- Crystals in Tennessee
- Crystals in Mississippi
- Crystals in Louisiana
- Crystals in Texas
- Crystals in Oklahoma
If you have any recommendations we haven’t covered, please leave them in the comments below!