I've been wanting to dig crystals in Arkansas for years now. I've gone on a few gemstone digs, for Staurolites and Garnets in Taos, NM and Topaz in Mason County, TX. Both digs were a low find rate, the topaz especially. I found a handfull of staurolites and some tiny garnets and zero topaz.
I had heard of Coleman Mine because it has such a high find rate. You pay $20 to dig but if you don't find anything, you get $20 credit in the gift shop. You would have to actually try to not find crystals at Coleman Mine. The place is exploding with them. Some of the world's largest crystal clusteres are found here. The energy was trumendous. The land felt alive with the crystals' vibrations.
is located at
211 Crytal Ridge Lane
Jesseville, AR 71949
This is the commercial mine, and it's closed to visitors for digging. You can, however, sign up for a tour of the mine. Digging goes from 8am - 4:30pm.
We got to the mine just after 2pm, which, we discovered gets you a discounted entrance fee. The regular fee is $20 per person and you get to keep everything you find. This includes a heavy duty bag to put your finds in. We purched digging tools in the gift shop for $2 a piece but you are welcome to bring your own.
For future digs, I plan to bring a bucket and heavy duty gardening gloves. I bought a new pair of hiking boots for this dig and I was really glad that I had them. Sturdy footwear is a must.
To the left of the commercial mine, is the Tailings field. They dump piles of excavation material from the mine into these hills and that's where you get to dig your own crystals.
We were informed to look through darker, redder dirt, and wet dirt especially. It had rained the entire night before so we were lucky to have a lot of wet dirt to choose from.
My dear friend, Jenna, came on the trip from Kansas City with me. It was a 7.5 hour drive to the mine.
Here's a close up of one of the tailings piles.
Jenna had a strong intuition about a spot to dig in the way back. En route, I found my very first crystal just laying on top of one of the tailing piles. Just sparkling in the sun for me to find.
Jenna's spot was great, we were off down into the lower hills, which from the looks of it, don't get picked through much. We found a lot of tiny clear points here along with a lot of the white quartz shapes.
They say, if you can get it out of Coleman Mine, it's yours to keep. Someone started digging away at this massive crystal cluster but gave up on it.
My first big point! We moved away from the mountain side and in towards the center of the tailing area when I found this beauty!
This is my favorite of all the clear crystals I found. I literally gasped when I found it! I love it and will keep it forever as a keepsake from this trip.
My bag of crystals was two thirds the way full. It was really heavy. After the mine closes at 4:30, you're welcome to clean your crystals off at the wash station. The gift shop is open until 5 so I did a little shopping instead of cleaning my crystals. When I got home, I put all my crystals in a big cooking pot and soaked them for a while.
You can camp at the mine, the spots are $13 a night and there's another crystal cleaning station there as well as electricity hook ups. We opted for something near water, and found the Gulpha Gorge Campsite which is $30 a night.. It's located in the Hot Springs National Park right next to the creek surrounded by hiking trails. It's where I took the product shots for the May 25th New Moon series.
The next day, we drove 15 minutes in to Hot Springs, AR and visited the historical Bathhouse Row There are several gorgouse bathhouses to choose from.
We got to Bathhouse Row at noon, but by then, all the private tubs were booked. Make your reservations early because the public pools were also full. We lucked out and got a spot in the public pool at Quapaw. Make sure you have a bathing suite and flip flops, but you can buy them there. The pools range from 95, 98,102 & 104 degrees ferenheight.
The next day, we drove 25 minutes from our campsite to Lake Catherine State Park to see a waterfall. This is Falls Creek Falls, and we hiked two miles into the park to see it. The water was super cold, but I imagine it's the perfect temperature during the heat of the summer time. We did rest of the photo shoot here. I have never shot at had a more beautiful location.
The Waterfall was well worth the hike. The hike back was mostly uphill but still worth it. We drove home to Kansas City after the hike. This trip was truly inspiratoinal, relaxing and rewarding. There's nothing like plucking a gemstone directly from the Earth. It's such a gift. We left KC Friday night and drove back Monday early evening but still had time for camping, crytals, nature, hot springs, photoshoots, waterfalls, crawdads and most of all, friendship.
After soaking my crystals, I lay them to dry on an industrial size baking sheet. I found all of this in under 2 and a half hours.
The clear quartz is the most valuable but I found the white quartz to be beautiful in its own way. It has a soothing and calming energy and many of them have a few quartz like sides.
I made a crystal grid from my finest of my finds. Because I have OCD and I love crystals.
Here are all of the clear quartz points, minus the two bigs ones I found.
I've hand selected some of my favorites to turn into jewelry. Stay tuned to my Etsy, where I post my one of a kinds!
Thank you for letting me share my crystal journey with you!