|Location:||26 km North of Hot Springs, Arkansas on Highway 7 North.|
All year daily 8-sunset.
Adults USD 10+tax, Children (0-9) free.
|Classification:||Quartz Mines Fee Mining|
|Address:||Jim Coleman Crystal Mines and Rock Shop, 837 North Highway 7, Jessieville, Arkansas 71949, Tel: +1-501-984-5328, Fax: +1-501-984-5457. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Coleman Rock Shop & Crystal Mines is a so-called fee mine, where you pay your fee to be allowed to mine or dig for minerals. In this case you can take anything home you find. The main minerals found here are quartz crystals which are also called rock crystals. It is not allowed for visitors to enter the actual mine, dump trucks and front-end loaders bring mineral bearing slack to the surface and the visitors collect in thole slack heaps. The minerals are embedded in red clay, which is the only remains of the former surrounding rock which was dissolved. Chemical dissolution only works on the soluble parts of the rock, what remains are the insoluble components. In this case this are clay minerals, rust which causes the red colour, and the crystals. This makes it quite easy to retrieve them, you just use a 3-prong hand garden tool.
The best time to search for minerals is after a rain, because the rain washes clay from the heap. Unfortunately digging in wet red clay will definitely make you dirty. That's pretty funny for children, but spare clothes to change afterwards are a must. Also we recommend gum boots. Also the clothes you wear should be old, because most likely the red clay will leave stains, even after washing them. Also the digging will be cold and wet during winter, but on the other side there will be less competition.
Jim Coleman Crystal Mines, Inc. is the largest producer of natural Arkansas Quartz in the U.S.A. The mined minerals are sold in the Rock Shop. Beneath their own minerals they sell a wide variety of minerals and fossils from all over the world. They also sell minerals, glassware and cut and polished minerals which are more or less esoteric baubles.