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page 33 of the online mineral museum: an introduction to arkansas quartz

2011-12-12 - 9:06 a.m.

all photos this page © 2011 by elaine radford

I might as well admit it. I got bogged down on completing the Online Mineral Museum because I have so many delightful Quartz specimens, especially from Arkansas. I didn't know where to begin. But, at some point, I have to realize that the only way out is forward. So here we go, with no promises that I'll publish a complete catalog of my Arkansas Quartz any time soon, but at least we'll get a look at a few interesting pieces.

Up top is a very fine, very large double-terminated Quartz specimen that we call the pup, for its friendly energy. Mount Ida, I think, but at any rate, it's from somewhere in the Hot Springs, Arkansas Quartz region. Wonderful unbroken tips for a specimen this size. It also has some very nice rainbows. A very beneficial crystal for any home, but it won't go to any home. It's mine, I say with an evil cackle. Mine, mine, all mine!

Now here's an interesting cluster of ashy gray Quartz crystals tipped with deep black Smoky Quartz -- the unusual "Coontail Quartz" of Magnet Cove, Arkansas. Our specimen came when we bought the collection from the Kenner "Fire Agate" widow around 1990. Now, we all know that clear Quartz turns deep black Smoky when exposed to radiation, but the color in Coontail Quartz specimens is not created in a lab. I just used the fabulous Google to learn what we might have suspected, which is that the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission, the old regulatory agency for atomic/nuclear matters) once checked out the site but it turned out that the radiation-bearing minerals that caused the Smoky Quartz color were thorium and not uranium, so the mines had no value as strategic resources. Instead, "Coontail Quartz" was collected just for pretty. It certainly makes a fine conversation piece in my Quartz collection. As far as I know, this banded raccoon's tail pattern of striped gray and smoky Quartz doesn't occur anywhere else in the world.

Here are photos of a small collection of so-called Elestial or water Quartz clusters from Miller Mountain, Arkansas and vicinity, collected in the early 1990s. They're definitely Quartz, and they have an unusual skinny, curved shape to the crystals in the cluster, but I'm not sure that Elestial is the right name for them. The unexpected "curve" compared to the standard straight lines of most Quartz crystals has always intrigued me.

We collected one or two small pieces of "curved" quartz ourselves, but most of it was collected by a friend. However, we had better luck collecting small clusters or pieces of Landscape Quartz. Here is a small collection from Miller Mountain, Jessieville, Arkansas area, probably mostly from the fee collecting area, in the early 1990s:

The "landscapes" are caused by the brown and green Chlorite inclusions in the Quartz, which give the illusion of such things as green mountains or mossy foothills trapped in the clear Rock Crystal. A close-up at one cluster to give you a better idea -- and this one holds rainbows too:

I have never collected in Little Rock. Instead, we purchased this sweet temptation at a Hot Springs rock shop. It is an Elestial Quartz cluster, from Little Rock, with (I believe) red Hematite inclusions that give it a wonderful earth-red look:

Here are some "classic" Miller Mountain, Jessieville rock Quartz crystal clusters. The one in back was collected by our friend, and we collected the others in early 1993:

At some point I'll have to photograph these small clusters from Mount Ida, Arkansas again, because the photo of the crystal points against a white background doesn't do justice to the brilliant clarity of these classic specimens. I got these in a rock swap a few months ago:

In 1993 at Miller Mountain we collected a few "Phantom" Quartz specimens, mostly clusters with the gray Smoky Quartz phantom trapped inside of the clear Quartz points. Here are a couple of small ones I kept back for my collection:

Nothing wrong with a blow-up if it gives you a better idea of what I'm talking about:

Whew. I've got lots more, but this is MORE than enough to introduce anyone who's curious to the infinite variety of the world of Arkansas Quartz.

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