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Buffalo River
TREASURE HUNTING IN ARKANSAS
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What this area is known for:
1.Quartz Crystals
2.Wavelite
3.Diamonds
4.Marine Fossils
5.Magnet Cove - mineral specimens
6. Arkansas wet stone - Novaculite
7. Rush - mineral specimens
8. Bauxite
Biggest finds in this area:
1.There are incredible specimens of Arkansas Quartz Crystals worth thousands of dollars in museums, rock shops,and rock shows. The Smithsonian in Washington DC has one of the best displays anywhere on rocks, minerals, and gems; including spectacular Arkansas minerals.

2.The Arkansas Diamond Mine is a fun place to visit but a great deal of work is required to find a diamond. But if you find a good one, you are in the money.

3.

Local appraisers:
1. There are many knowledgeable owners of Rock Shops at Hot Springs, Mount Ida, and on Hwy 7 North from Hot Springs
2..
3.
.
Local geocaching/treasure hunting clubs:
1. NW Arkansas Gem & Mineral Society
2. http://www.centralarrockhound.org/
3. http://www.amfed.org/club.htm
4. http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/ouachita/natural-resources/minerals/index.shtml
.
Best time of year to go: Arkansas is called the Natural State and is a great place to vacation just about anytime of the year. The summers are warm so leave heavy prospecting for the morning. Other helpful resources:
(newspapers, websites, etc)
1.Rockhounding Arkansas http://www.rockhoundingar.com/
2.Coleman Mine http://www.colemanquartz.com/
3.Sweet Surrender Crystal Mine
http://www.sweetsurrendercrystals.com
Have a question about treasure hunting or geocaching in this region?
Post a comment for fellow treasure hunters below!


THE BEST PLACES TO HUNT
Regions can have multiple good spots to go add details to build a complete guide.
Location #1: Coleman Crystal Mine


General description: The Coleman Mine is open to the public for a modest fee. Some of the world's best quartz crystal finds have come from the Coleman mines. It is just a short drive from Hot Springs which offers numerous attractions for the vacationer.
How to get there:

Drive from Hot Springs north on HWY 7. After passing Hot Springs Village look for Colemans Crystal Yard on the left. You can't miss it.

See the Coleman's site for additional Information:
http://www.colemanquartz.com/
Grade this location: (A to F): A

Arkansas - Travel Channel Cash and Treasures
GPS coordinates:

Handy to bring along:
1.Hat to shade the head
2.Bucket to carry your treasures.
3.Hand tools
Helpful notes to newcomers: Coleman Crystal Mine is a family attraction and does not require back breaking work to find crystals. You will find crystals! Fine mineral specimens of quatz can bring serveral hundred dollars. Good Luck!
Location #2: Arkansas Quartz Crystal Mine.

couple.jpg You'll come and we will be sure you have a great time.

General Description:
Sweet Surrender is a commercial quartz crystal mine that has areas for you and your family to come and dig for crystal. We are located just north of Mt. Ida Arkansas which is known as the quartz crystal capital of the world.
We will help you to know what you are looking for and get you started.... This way you can have fun and come play in the dirt.
How to get there:

Click on the link:

DIRECTIONS TO THE MINE ARE: FROM MT. IDA TAKE HWY 27 NORTH (THRU WASHITA) TO HORSESHOE BEND ROAD. HORSESHOE BEND ROAD IS 1/2 MILE PAST WASHITA ON THE RIGHT. GO 1/2 MILE DOWN HORSESHOE BEND ROAD TO THE FIRST MAIL BOX ON THE RIGHT.(FLOYD IRONS) TURN RIGHT ON THE FOREST SERVICE ROAD AND FOLLOW THE ROAD TO THE TOP OF THE HILL UNTIL YOU SEE PICNIC TABLES
Grade this location: (A to F) A
Map:
Handy to bring along:
Bring plenty of water, maybe some sun screen and/or umbrella, old hand garden tools, or an old screwdriver. We can even possibly loan you a few tools.
Helpful notes to newcomers:
Call to make reservations or to confirm that you will
be here to dig the next day (870-867-0104.) If no answer leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Location #3: Bauxite Arkansas
General description: Bauxite Arkansas was the largest source of domestic bauxite ore. Reynolds Metals and Alcoa operated extensive mining operations. Bird's eye bauxite, hematite, and geotite can be found. Some of the harder specimens of bird's eye can be polished. There is a mining museum in the town that is worth stopping to visit.
How to get there: From Little Rock take I 30 to Reynolds Road HWY 183 to Bauxite. Turn south on Bauxite Cut Off Road and turn east on Mt Olive Cut Off Road. Specimens can be collected in the ditches. Do not venture into the mine pits. There is more material than you will want with out trespassing.
Grade this location: (A to F):

Arkansas - Travel Channel Cash and Treasures
Map:

Handy to bring along:
1.Rock Hammer
2.Rock Bag
3.Safety Glasses
Helpful notes to newcomers: The bird's eye bauxite is nice to have in a collection but is not particularly valuable. It can make attractive cabochons but is not a hard mineral.


Location #4: Crater of Diamonds State Park

General description: The State Park offers the opportunity for the visitor to find one of the most prized gems (diamonds)in the world. Of the estimated 25000 diamonds found the largest was 16.37-carat Amarillo Starlight. Beside diamonds there are other pegmatite gems, jasper and agate.
How to get there:

http://www.craterofdamondsstatepark.com/

Travel west on I-30 approximately 56 miles and take exit #73 at Arkadelphia, then go south on Ark. 26 for approximately 34 miles to Murfreesboro. From downtown Murfreesboro, take Ark. 301 and go 2 1/2 miles southwest to the park
Grade this location: (A to F): A




Arkansas - Travel Channel Cash and Treasures

Uncut Arkansas Diamond

Handy to bring along:
1.Screens can be rented at the park
2.Hat for shade
3.Pick and shovel if you are ambitious
4.Washing screen if you bring your own
Helpful notes to newcomers: Do not think that diamonds are common. Typically 2 diamonds are found each day. I go to the mine mainly to collect jaspers and agate which are plentiful.
Read Becky's Report on the Travel Channel Web Site
http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Cash_and_Treasures/ci.Diamonds_-_Becky.show?vgnextfmt=show


Location #5: Caddo Gap & Near by Quartz Mining

General description: Gaddo Gap is a fault that splits a gap through a mountain of Arkansas Novaculite. Hernando Desoto confronted the Tula Indian tribe at Caddo Gap and wrote that they were the most fearsome warriors that he had encountered. Amazing folds of Novaculite line the road passing through the gap. The Caddo river that runs beside the road is known for canoing, fishing and you might gather some specimens along its banks.
How to get there: Caddo Gap is between Glenwood and Mount Ida on HWY 8. Wegner Crystals Mines are 3 miles south of Mount Ida.

http://www.wegnercrystalmines.com/

Mount Ida has an annual crystal festival that is well worth visiting.
http://www.mtidachamber.com/calendar_of_events.htm
Grade this location: (A to F): A There are several crystal mines in the area.
http://www.arkansas.com/things-to-do/crystal-hunting/

Arkansas - Travel Channel Cash and Treasures
Road Cut at Caddo Gap:



Arkansas - Travel Channel Cash and Treasures
Handy to bring along:
1.Rock Hammer
2.Safety Glasses
3.Rock Bag
4. Hand tools
Helpful notes to newcomers: Novaculite is sold as Arkansas Wet Stone for sharping knives. The harder materials can be napped into Native American Tools.
The Wegner Mines is one one the better mines in the area.


Location #6: Petrified Wood

General description: South Central Arkansas is Piney Woods country with slow moving Bayous. The sub soils are Quaternary gravels. Petrified woods and some fossil palm wood is found in the Pleistocene age deposits. Lignite coal beds are buried beneath the river sediments. Some of the wood is highly silified with occasional veins of opal. One log I found has beautiful red opal vein running along its length.
How to get there: There a many sites where wood can be found. One that I have collected is north of Fordyce on Arkansas HWY 8. Turn at Bucksnort on CR 131 east or on CR 101 east. Drive slowly and watch the ditches. The roads are dirt and the county grades the roads periodically revealing pieces of petrified wood. There has been large logs (well over a 1000 pounds) over turned by the logging crews . When you find a spot- load up. Some of the gravels are steam smoothed banded chert, quartz and colored jaspers that make good tumbling material.
Grade this location: (A to F): A GPS coordinates:

Handy to bring along:
1.Pick and Shovel
2.Buckets
3.Boots
4. Front end loader ( there are some huge logs)

Arkansas Petrified Wood
Helpful notes to newcomers: Do not attempt this rockhounding trip during deer hunting season. The Piney Woods will be full of hunters wanting to shoot a deer and you might be mistaken for one. The best time is the spring of year if the creek don't rise.
The petrified wood is mainly tan color but I have found black and red colored wood. The material should be high graded because there is an abundance of leaverite. Leave er rite there.


Arkansas Petrified wood found near Fordyce Arkansas


Location #7: Civil War Relics

General Description: The Battle of Mark's Mill was a Union disaster. General Frederick Steele had plans to join forces with Brigadier General John M. Thayer and take the port at Shreveport, Louisiana. Steel was plagued with a lack of supplies. A force of 2000 soldiers were escorting 240 wagons to supply Steele troops . The force was ambushed by by a Confederate force in the low lands of south Arkansas at the cross roads from Camden to Pine Bluff. The Union force suffered approximately 1600 casualties and men captured, compared to 300 Confederate casualties. My Great Grandfather, Wilson Polk Wallace, fought in this battle in General James F. Fagan's Confederate Cavalry.
The local legend is that the ghost of the soldiers haunt the dark forests and re enact the battle especially on the anniversary of the battle.
How to get there:

The Historical Marker is east of Fordyce on HWY 8 and the intersection of HWY 97. Two well known people were born in the area. You will pass the birth place of Paul "Bear" Bryant on HWY 8 at Smith Chapel. Just five miles north at Kingsland, Johnny Cash was born.

civil war
Grade this location: (A-F)
I have found civil war battlefield collectibles in a small creek that flows about a hundred yards from the marker. A large number of Union guns and other
battle weapons were gathered by the local people after the battle and hide or buried for fear of being found with contraband. A friend who lives not far from the marker has a extensive collection of civil war collectibles. Watch "Antiques Roadshow" to get an idea of what these relics can be worth.
Where to look:
The battle was over a much broader area than just around the marker. Much of the land is private property or belongs to large timber companies. Always ask permission to collect. As an added bonus Cretaceous fossils and petrified wood can be found in the area. (see posting above Location #5)
The gravel also contains quartz, jaspers, cherts, and petrified wood.
Handy to bring along:
1. Metal detector
2. Shovel
3. Back pack
4. Small hand pick
Helpful notes to newcomers: Cleveland county is not on your tourist maps. It is the least populated county in Arkansas. The county is heavily forested and has a wild beauty.


Location #8: Magnet Cove


General Description: Magnet Cove is world famous for the extensive occurrence of different minerals in one location. About 42 different minerals have been identified at the cove. Mines have been operated for several strategic minerals including: vanadium, titanium, molybdenum, barite, calcite and others. Magnet Cove is an intrusive complex that is elliptical in shape with a maximum diameter of about 15,000 feet.The more resistant peripheral intrusives form a rim which surrounds the cove or basin. Much of the property is privately owned and permission must be granted before entering any sites. Road cuts are the easiest place to collect The well known site at the steel bridge is also a good place to stop without problems.Magnet Cove is so well known and so much abuse has occurred that land owners will call the sheriff if their property lines are crossed without asking.
How to get there:Directions to the steel bridge are: Take 270 east from Hot Springs and turn left at HWY 51 (270B) . Travel 3.7 mile and turn left on CR 78. Travel until you reach the bridge. After crossing the bridge, park on the right side of the road. A seam of pyrite crosses the creek. Several minerals can be found including:pyrite, small black smoky quartz crystals, brilliant lustered brookite crystals, orthoclase feldspar, gray films of molybdenite, and even an occasional specimen of iridescent pyrite.

Check the following link for the complete information:

http://rockhoundingar.com/locations/magcove.html
Grade this location: GPS coordinates:
Handy to bring along:
1.Hand pick
2. Rock hammer
3. Shovel
4, Buckets
Helpful notes to newcomers:
Respect for private property is a top priorty. Magnet Cove was named for the lodestone found in the are.



VIDEO FROM THIS AREA
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PHOTOS FROM THIS AREA
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About this photo: Arkansas Turquoise from the Mona Lisa mine
weight - 15 ounces
Photo submitted by:Bill Reynolds
Arkansas turquoise



Arkansas Petrified Wood


About this photo: Arkansas petrified wood found near Fordyce Arkansas

Photo submitted by: Bill Reynolds


Arkansas Novaculite



About this photo: Arkansas Novaculite from near Mount Ida

Photo submitted by: Biill Reynolds



650 Pound Quartz Crystal Cluster




About this photo: 650 pound quartz crystal cluster
Ron Coleman Mine - Jessieville, Arkansas


Photo submitted by: Bill Reynolds



National Directory page - Travel Channel Cash and Treasures

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National Directory page - Travel Channel Cash and Treasures

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