So you are thinking that you would like to dig some of your own crystals? That sounds like a good idea. Based on experience, there is nothing like being the first one to see a crystal. It is a truly magical experience.
I DO NOT HAVE A QUARTZ CRYSTAL MINE, ***But, I can act as your guide and helper.***
There is a suggested donation for my services.(see below). My service is open to ADULTS ONLY.
You can choose hard rock mining, or collecting, and pick the mine in which to dig.
Yes, digging crystals IS a magical experience. I feel the excitement every time I dig!!! I was hooked when I dug my first crystal back in 1990. Things have changed a lot since then. Now the best I can offer you is that you are coming for the experience of digging. In order to have me help you dig YOU MUST MAKE AN APPOINTMENT!! Email is the BEST way to get ahold of me.
Commercial surface quartz miners are now required to receive MSHA training in order to comply with the guidelines established in the mid-'90's. I go every year. It is amazing to see how this little known organization, like so many other government organizations, has increased its power over the last decade and is basically accountable to noone. Thus, I am a certified Arkansas Surface Quartz Miner. I receive an update once a year, that used to be free, and has now risen to $40.
Mine owners are still allowed to have guests or visitors at their mine. However, you MUST stay within the designated areas. If a safety inspector makes the 'always unannounced visit' and catches a non-certified person in an off limits area, they may never know they were spotted. However, the mine-owner certainly will and will be presented with a hefty citation of $6000 per person caught. The penalty goes up if this recurs. This is very sad but true chapter in the reality of crystal mining, in OUR National Forest. Just going and 'digging in the woods', if caught, could result in a fine and or jail, issued by the US Forest Service, the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission, a policeman or Federal Marshall, and is treated as a federal crime, as it occurred in the National Forest. So if you have a problem with this, you can take your chances- BY YOURSELF. Good Luck! I suggest going somewhere else and doing something else; writing your Congressman on a piece of tissue paper (because that is all it's worth). Or, getting legal and taking a 40 hr certifaction course, heart-saver course and annual refreshers, like I do. Sorry, but I have to make that disclaimer- for my own sanity.
OTHERWISE, even though I DO NOT OWN A CRYSTAL MINE, I still know some places where 'guests' can dig in designated areas. I will be your guide and show you what to look for and help you find crystals. What WE find, YOU keep!
Most mines charge a fee of $20/adult guest per day, (children less and group rates available) and let them keep all they find. I know the owners and they welcome me and my guests. We only go into the designated areas. Hopefully, with some luck and hard work, we find something that will make you happy. I am NOT allowed to take you down into the mine. Like it or not, I do not make the rules, I just follow them. There are, however, a couple places where can still dig in the veins, and I am most welcome at these places. The stuff we find will be small, from a quarter inch to almost thumb-sized, if we are lucky- but we will be the ones who do the work and we are the ones who find it! BIG stuff requires BIG machinery, as the bedrock soon becomes hard enough for blasting. For those of you who have no idea of what I am speaking, just imagine trying to split a 2 foot thick piece of quartz by hand, with a hammer and chisel. It has a hardness of 8 on the MOHS scale. Even a 100 ton machine has a problem with this! Also for every large piece you see, over 50 to 100 yrads of earth and rock has had to have been moved- at least once.
Arkansas quartz crystals are mined from pockets of crystals which occur in veins of quartz which run thru the hard bedrock layers, generally sandstones or shales. The crystals 'mines' are actually OPEN SURFACE PITS, or strip mines. Which is contrary to the common 'newbie' misconception that Arkansas crystal mines are caves. THERE ARE NO CAVES!
I hope that the above has helped to put things in perspective for you. Most people have 'no idea' of where to, or how to, dig crystals. Many people have never even visited a mine and have 'no idea' of safety conciousness. A mine is a very dangerous place. In fact, one of the most dangerous places one can go. I show you what to look for, how to dig, where to dig, and how to be safe while doing so.
There are plenty of accomodations in the area, ranging from primitive camping to motels to private cabins. I recommend the 'Aqua Motel'. 870-867-2123. It is very close to where I live. They are 'digger friendly', too. There are plenty of other activities for you, too. (though you may just be 'plumb tuckered out' after digging, like me!) And, of course, many fine eating establishments.
Please be aware that I have a limited amount of time per year to take people digging with me. Please check my "Upcoming Shows" page as to my availability. When we dig YOU keep all that WE find.
I prefer to take people digging only between late September and the beginning of April. Otherwise, it gets too hot, there are too many bugs and vines and it is generally uncomfortable for an old man like me to dig in hot weather. Heat stroke is a REAL thing. Plan ahead as much as you can. Check the weather. BE IN SHAPE!!!
Please bear in mind that I reserve the right to screen all persons who wish to participate in a digging tour. I also reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
***You MUST make an appointment, in advance, for, I may not be home, or, I may be too busy, if you just 'show up'. This necessarily means MORE THAN merely calling or emailing me and telling me you are coming to dig and that you are already here and on your way over to see me. PLEASE give me some advance notification.***
Unfortunately, even tho I am intuitive, (rich, single, good-looking and charming) mind-reading is impossible for me. I have NO IDEA of what YOU want to do once you get here, if you do not communicate with me. Tho, I CAN provide options on the spur-of-the-moment. Calling me, at ANY phone number is NOT a good idea. Leaving a message, tho, will get a response, albeit, in most cases, later than earlier. If I feel the need to talk to you, I will call you. Sorry, but cell phone service here is spotty at best and I do not sit around waiting for the phone to ring. Have I made that clear?
EMAIL IS THE BEST WAY TO COMMUNICATE WITH ME. (Do you understand?)
Once we both have an idea of how and when you are arriving, where you are staying, and how time you have to spend, and how much energy you think you want to expend on the physical aspect of digging, we will be in a better place to be able to make a tentative plan and itinerary. To put this in perspective- eg: someone flying into Little Rock Airport and renting a compact car and staying in a motel for 2 days, will have less time and space for crystals to spare, than a person with an empty pick-up truck and a trailer, here to camp and dig for a week. All this, plus, other factors, are taken into consideration, for YOUR maximum crystal digging experience.
FOR EVERYONE'S SAFETY!!, I prefer to have ADULTS ONLY, PLEASE! And certainly nobody under 11.(see rules and guidelines below) A mine is no place for children. Mining is a serious and dangerous business. Again, a mine is a very dangerous place. Anything can, does and will happen, especially with children :( I am not a babysitter. There are plenty of other places to take your children. If you think that is insensitive, maybe now is the time you should start looking for another guide.
I work closely with many active crystal mines in the area. I also offer
an optional nature hike upon and thru areas of the crystal deposit, so
you can get an idea of just how wonderful this place is and how many crystals
are here, which, in my humble opinion, is well worth the time. It also helps you to learn about what to look for, and how to recognize when you find crystals. YOU are the boss. The number of days you spend and the mines and places that we
go to are, basically, up to you. Though, I can and do recommend many places. The best thing
to do is call in advance and we can put together a tentative package for
which can be considered donations, are as follows:
1 adult/day - $150, 1 day = 6 to 8 hours
2 adults/day - $260,
3 adults/day - $360,
4 adults/day - $425..
Suface or dump-pile collecting/ Nature Hike.
1 adult/day - $75, 1 day = 6 to 8 hours.
2 adults /day - $140,
3 adults/day - $175,
4 adults/day - $210.
All rates are negotiable. I also accept MC/VISA/Dis - Debit and Credit.
There is also the mine entrance fee, which is usually $20/person, including me. You must pay for me, too. So add in $20/ person plus $20 for me. I usually am able to get myself in for free, and maybe even a discount, since I am your guide.
In all fairness, I can handle up to 4 people per day, in order to divide my time equally. Anymore is just spreading myself too thin for personalized instruction. I am also willing to take groups or clubs, for this we can work out a special rate in advance. It will be low since I love to promote the hobby!
Even though I am handsome, charming and seemingly all-knowing, I can make no guarantees that we find anything, nor can I guarantee good weather. Some days, it is just too sloppy to dig. And, of course, any miner will tell you that mining is basically an educated hit-or-miss business. (ps. They ALL say that they have the best crystal mine, too. daaa) Our Mother, the Earth, only put the crystals where she put them, and sometimes that is in a different spot than where one chooses to dig. Other times it becomes a bonanza or jackpot. I can, however, guarantee that I WILL show you how to dig, and what to look for, and even do some of the digging for you. As I said, what WE dig, YOU keep.
RULES and GUIDELINES for tours.
1. You must be in good physical condition. Mining and hiking is very demanding physical labor. Be prepared for 4 to 6, or more, hours of hard working labor in the hot sun.
2. NO children under 14, please, no.
3. Bring food, WATER and other thirst quenching liquids.
4. Gloves and boots are must-have items. No shorts, skirts or sandals. Crystals and shards are among the sharpest things on this Earth!
Kneepads, hats, umbrellas, towels, sweatbands, pillows and small mats to kneel and lay on are optional and recommended. As are long sleeved shirts or coveralls. Expect whatever clothing to be ruined when you are done mining.
5. The most dangerous thing about walking around in a mine is: walking around in a mine. "PITFALLS" are THE MOST common mining injury! ALWAYS, WATCH WHERE YOU ARE WALKING! Do not dig above or below anyone. Rolling or falling rocks and debris is very dangerous.
6. Stay inside all flagged and fenced areas. ABSOLUTELY!! Stay away from all equipment and machinery.
It is very dangerous. If you do not own it: Don't touch it or go near it! Because you sure don't want to have to PAY for it.
7. Bring your own tools: SHOVELS, hammers, screwdrivers, buckets, newspaper for wrapping and whatever tools you think you may need. I am unable to provide you with tools. Digger bars are available locally. Digger bars generally run around $15-$30 each. Oxalic acid for cleaning your crystals is usually $4.00/lb. Depnding on circumstances such as how much time you have and what I am cleaning, there may be room in a crystal cleaning tank for me to clean some of your crystals, usually free of charge, depending on how much and how big the job is... If that is the case- you need to plan your time to include an extra day into your schedule for cleaning.
8. A crystal mine is a primitive area. There are no bathrooms, ice cream stands, ushers, hot-dog vendors, waterfountains or garbage cans. Bring personal items. Please clean up after yourself. Pack out what you pack in. That's right! NO HOT DOG VENORS :(. BUT, in most places, we can have a cookout or picnic.
9. Johnbe is your dig master. Please pay attention to the dig master and follow his instructions.
Remember.., I have done this before! Again, my time for digging tours (and my own personal digging!) is limited due to my show schedule, which can be found on my "Upcoming Shows", page. Please EMAIL ME for further details. IF YOU ARE A CLUB, PLEASE EMAIL ME and I will go over the details for taking your club. And, as always, EVEN IF I do not have the time to take you, Please feel free to email me and ask me for advice.
|All images and articles are respective
property of owner.
Copyright © 2004 - 2005 JohnBeCrystals.com
Design Copyright © 2004 - 2005 MTS Multimedia
Last Updated On: 6/12/13