You'll be amazed at the crystals from Arkansas

Some Basics

Mineral Identification
Collecting Tools, and How to Use Them


Introduction to Geology
Our Changing Earth
The Geologic Time Scale
Stories Fossils Tell
Earthquakes and Faults
The Ouachita Mountains
Energy Resources: Fossil Fuels

Quartz Crystals

Introduction to Quartz
Digging Quartz Crystal
Cleaning Quartz Crystal
What's it Worth?
Types of Quartz
Geology and Mineralogy
Quartz as Gems
Experiments You Can Do

Other Collectable Minerals


Managing a Collection

Making Your Collection the Best
Cleaning Minerals
What to do...

Minerals Special to Arkansas

Some are New to Science


No Gold in Arkansas


Introduction to Quartz Crystals

photo of quartz crystal clusterQUARTZ CRYSTAL is a significant part of rockhounding in Arkansas. We are presenting you many and varied articles for you to browse. We just want you to be aware of just how interesting all the many aspects of quartz can be.

I have heard many people say that quartz is the most abundant mineral on earth.  That statement should be qualified somewhat.  The earth as we are able to see and collect from it largely consists of the crust....that thin skin that floats on the plastic mantle and metallic core.  As such it is volumetrically insignificant compared to the total volume of the earth. To qualify any statement concerning a mineral's abundance we need to realize we don't often see much of what is deeper in the earth than the crust.  With that in mind, I refer you to a quote from the Handbook of Gem Identification by Richard T. Liddicoat, Jr., page 199, that says "Quartz, the most common single mineral, includes so many varieties ..."  Certainly then, quartz in its many varieties is the most common mineral exposed on the continents, and let's face it, that is where most of us collect!

Whether you dig your crystals yourself, or silver pick from the shops, you'll find an amazing array of quartz crystals from Arkansas.

     It's dirty, it's messy, and it's fun! How to dig your own quartz crystals, whether you are digging in Arkansas or anywhere else.

     Getting the clay and iron stains off, and building contraptions for really cleaning your crystals.

     Valuing a crystal using both objective and subjective measures. It's a tricky job.

     A list of places to dig your own crystals; you'll find the best and showiest quartz crystals at one of these mines. You pay an entrance fee and keep what you find. Some mines are by appointment only.

     There are many types and forms of quartz, such as bubble quartz, smoky, phantom etc. Not the strict crystallography term, but habits and growth patterns exhibited by quartz, such as twins, burs, tabulars, faddens, etc.  Inclusions are other minerals found inside quartz crystals. Some are lovely, others have mud in them, you can find many things captured by quartz. There are even man-made quartz crystals.

Geology and mineralogy: A geological explanation of occurences of quartz in the state of Arkansas.  Although quartz has a unique structure, so do many other minerals. That in combination with the chemistry is what makes a mineral a mineral.

Gemstones from the colorless, clear variety of quartz known as rock crystal, and colored varieties of quartz gemstones, including amethyst, citrine and others.

Experiments with Quartz Crystals
Tribolumenescence and piezoelectricity.