This package includes a day's dig in our mine, where with a keen eye and a little work, you can find not only crystals (which are a natural occurrence here) but also many other minerals that we have seeded in order to create a "treasure hunt adventure" for children of all ages. Other treasures to be found may include fossils and minerals from around the world, such as rubies, sapphires, amethyst, topaz, garnet, included quartz, and geodes, as well as tumble stones, beads, foreign coins, fools gold, and real silver and gold. So bring your family, friends and metal detectors and join us in a wonderful adventure of digging crystal and treasure hunting.
The mining fee is $22 (including tax) per adult for the day, Children 7-11 are $11.00 (including tax) each for the day and children 6 and under are free with a paying adult.
For those of you who would like a "complete crash course" on crystals, we are pleased to offer a 4 hour crystal workshop in our mine from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm Wednesday thru Sunday. This workshop will be "pre-seeded" to assimilate digging an actual "crystal pocket" so that I can more easily teach, and insure an abundant dig. As a rockhounding miner with 19 years experience, I will take you up and dig with you, teaching you about the geology of the area, what to look for, and how to dig and identify these crystals, which have so many different configurations and habits. You will keep all you dig and/or find, and you will receive our printed, laminated chart to help you identify and learn about the different formations of the as well as some of their metaphysical properties. You will also receive a printed version of the basic geology of the area, the instructions for cleaning the crystals you dig, and the acid. The cost of this workshop also includes the mining fee and will be $150.00 for the first person, and $95 for each additional adult. When we are finished with the workshop, you and your party will have the rest of the day to dig and search for other crystals and minerals in the mine. This package is by appointment only, as it takes time to prepare.
This package is a workshop geared toward families who come to dig in the mine with children from 7-15, and includes an introductory discussion (at the shop) about crystals, and tips on how to find them, as well as a collection and discussion of assorted minerals and fossils, some of which can also be found in our tailings at the mine, where you can keep all you find. At the end of the dig, they will receive an 8x11 certificate (with a list of the requirements they have completed) naming them honorary miners in "The Crystal Capital of the World." The cost of this workshop (including the mining fee) is $32 for children 7-11 and $42 for those who are 11 and up. These workshops are by appointment only, as they take time to prepare.
Girl Scout and Boy Scout requirements for badges and loops can also be met with this package. This workshop is geared to cover these requirements, but you needn't be a scout to do the workshop... we welcome all children of all ages!
Some of you who want to "dig your own crystals" are just passing through and may not have the day to spend mining, or the tools to dig your own crystals. Or you may have elders or young children who might only be good for an hour our two, and not a whole day in the mine. It is for these reasons (and more) that we began building our "labor of love" tailings over nine years ago. We now have over 100 yards of "tailings" (crystal dirt) right here at our shop, which contain crystal from all the different mines we have previously dug. With a little work and a good eye, you can find jewelry points to larger points and clusters, as well as other stones. By continuously replenishing our tailings, we can provide a wonderful and easy dig for all. When you dig here with us, you are most welcome to use our tools, including screw drivers, garden tools and shovels that you may need, and we will dig with you awhile to help you have an enjoyable experience and abundant dig. We recommend that you bring gloves and wear close-toed shoes... no sandals please! There is a bathroom available on the premises, and many other services are available as well. Here, the focus is on the "joy" of the dig...we enjoy sharing our time, knowledge and crystals with all those who express a desire to learn. So, come join us in a magical adventure, even if it be for only an hour, and we promise you a memorable experience and the joy of digging your own crystal treasures. We ask $12.00/hour/person, children 6 and under are free with a paying adult.
Special rates for families and groups of ten or more are also available. Please call or email in advance to arrange a "tailor-made" package to suit the needs and wants of your party.
WHAT TO BRING WHEN GOING CRYSTAL MINING
This mine is an older, 10-acre rock-hounding mine, meaning that there is no working equipment here and no licensed miner need be on the premises. There are two pits of tailings (crystal dirt) and one has a nature pond. A map will be provided, to make finding it very easy, and it is located only 8 miles from the front door of our shop. You will receive a key, and can stay all day till just before dark. The road can be a bit rugged, especially after the rain, as are all mine roads here, but there is an easier parking area at the bottom of the hill, with a short up-hill walk to get to the pits. There is a picnic table but no facilities. Other things you might want to bring are gloves, sun-hat, digging bags, pouches or buckets, screw drivers, garden tools, camper shovel or small shovel, picks, digging bars, hammer and chisel, water, snacks, first aid kit and anything else you can think of that may come in handy. Metal detectors are also welcome, as we have grains of silver and gold to be found as well.
CLEANING YOUR CRYSTALS
First, spray ALL clay and dirt out of the crystals. Baking them in the sun and spraying them off, then baking and spraying again, rather than picking them clean, makes this less labor intensive. If you decide to pick the clay out which is often more fun, be very careful not to damage the crystals...we recommend wooden skewers or tooth picks, as metal can damage the crystal. Dental tools may also be used with great care, though.
METHOD 1 ~ You will need 2 plastic 5-gallon buckets, 1pound of acid, a large, black plastic bag, and rubber kitchen gloves, for protection...always a good idea.
Place 1 pound of oxalic acid in the bottom of a 5-gallon plastic bucket, being careful to not inhale any... in its powder form it is most dangerous, so a mask is always a good idea. Slowly add the water, mixing in the acid as you go. Fill it about 1/2 full and set it aside. Then, drill 1/4" holes throughout the sides and bottom of the other bucket, making a colander. Carefully place the crystal in the colander 1/2 to 3/4 full, and gently ease them into the bucket with the acid. You can slowly lift the colander up and down in the acid to stir up the acid over the crystals. (We call it "irritating" the crystals...LOL) Place a black plastic garbage bag over your buckets and put them in the sunlight. Soak them for about a week, irritating them often, and then you can pull the colander out and spray all of the crystals while still in the colander first. If they are not yet iron-free yet, you simply place them back in the acid bucket again and recover them placing them back in the sunlight... The black bag over the top allows the sun to warm the water without destroying the acid by exposure to the UV rays. Rubber gloves are highly recommended when working with the acid solution, especially for those with sensitive skin. If most of the iron appears to be gone, then you can individually remove these crystals and spray the rest of the acid off of them. Any residue acid will be yellow in color, so if you spray off all the yellow, your crystals should be acid free.
METHOD 2 ~ The crock pot on low is also a great way to clean your nicer, smaller pieces. Fill a ceramic crock pot 3/4 full with water and measure out a 1/2 cup of acid and using a plastic ladle, gently stir it into the water. Still using the ladle, carefully place your crystals into the pot, making sure to cover them with at least 2 or 3 inches of water. Cover them, and set them on "low" to bring them to a low simmer for a few hours. Remember to keep an eye on the pot, and add hot water only, keeping the crystals covered by at least 2" at all times. If you let the water burn away, you take a chance on damaging your crystals. Let the crock pot cool down naturally before you try to remove the crystals. Never take them out of the acid bath while hot and immerse them in cold water. They can shatter just like glass, and you don't want to damage these beauties. When they have cooled down, you can place them in a strainer to rinse them with water, or spread them out to spray them off, removing any signs of yellow acid. Then lay them out to dry in the sun.
For a really beautiful shine you can also soak them in another acid (pickling vinegar). Be sure to cover the container though, or you will smell vinegar for a week...LOL!
mt ida arkansas crystal mines
crystal mines ar
Julie RavynHawk Kincaid talks about dig your own crystals in Mt Ida Arkansas crystal mines, their locations and more.
crystal mines ar.