Thought I would let you know that Jim E and I had a great time digging quartz
crystals at Arrowhead Mine near Mount Ida, Arkansas, a couple of weeks ago. I met Jim and his daughter Kira at the mine, three miles south of town, and brought two of my models with me, as we had four hours of free time to dig before a waterfall shoot I was doing later that day near there. Neither of my models had ever dug quartz crystals but knew what they were and actually had a great time there.
We met up with Matt Price and he explained the rules to us and showed us where
we could dig, he had a couple of piles set aside for us to dig through and we all started digging right away, all of us finding a nice small cluster within a
few minutes of each other near the top of the pile. Kira informed us she was looking for the tiny crystals so she could make necklaces
for her friends, and since the smaller crystals dont do much for me, I gave her all of the smaller ones I found. She had a half bucket of them when I left four hours later.
I was looking for some clusters and found a few smaller ones. Matt showed us a couple of small blue phantoms that he had found the day before in the mine, one was a smoky grey blue and the other was a ghostly blue color crystal. While we were digging through the first of our piles, Matt climbed up on the seventy five ton track hoe and began excavating pockets of crystals from the sandstone pit, which was taped off for safety, as were a few other areas of the pit mine. After using the track hoe for about twenty minutes, he asked if any of us were interested in any yard rock and I was the only one that answered in the affirmative, so he walked up and handed me what appeared to be a chunk of red clay mud, measuring about eighteen inches long and eight inches wide. As I looked closer, I could see two to three fairly larger crystals sticking up out of the clay on one end of the slab, two inches exposed from the clay and a black colored, thinking I might have at least a couple of smokey quartz crystals.
I put the slab in my bucket and continued to look around. Doing a little surface collecting behind me in a rock pile, I found two more small clusters fairly quickly.
Matt came over and moved us, along with a few other guys there, to a rock pile
up against the wall on the west side of the mine pit and told us to avoid the overhanging dirt and work the wall vugs for loose crystals. Jim and my two guys started finding crystals almost immediately in the clay and sandstone vugs and began extracting them with screwdrivers and hammer and chisels, while I surface collected. I began finding several smaller singles and gave them to Kira, and then she came down to the area I was in and
I let her take over as there were smaller singles all over the place there. I walked up to the wall where Jim and the guys were working and finding some nice one to three inch size crystals all over the wall. Jim showed my models how to find and dig out the crystals from the wall. One of my guys found two crystals with pink inclusions, which I am not sure Matt even is aware of.
We left shortly after that to go to our shoot and Kira was working on at least a half bucket of small crystals, most one inch and smaller. I was able to find several for her while I was billy goating up on the wall, they were literally all over the wall up there. Jim told me earlier this week that he and Kira actually did very well while there that day, and drove back to Minnesota the day after. After cleaning my bucket up this week, I discovered I had four nice clusters and a several singles as well, and the slab of clay turned out to be a nice chunk with several crstals imbedded in the clay, which has cleaned up rather nicely.
This mine is fairly easy to find and access, a few miles south of Mt Ida on Hwy 27, then east on Owley Road to a private dirt road thru the woods to the mine. If the road would have been wet, it would have been a real adventure getting there, luckily it was quite dry. The road is a bit bumpy and there is not very many places, I counted one, where you could actually get up to the fifteen mile per hour speed limit that Matt has posted on the road.
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