60°F
Sponsored by
60 Years of KARK

World Championship Quartz Crystal Dig in Mount Ida

It starts today and runs through Sunday.
Digging for crystals in Mount Ida. Photo courtesy: Wegner Quartz Crystal Mine
Digging for crystals in Mount Ida. Photo courtesy: Wegner Quartz Crystal Mine
Nice crystal find in Mount Ida. Photo courtesy: Sweet Surrender Crystal Mine.
Nice crystal find in Mount Ida. Photo courtesy: Sweet Surrender Crystal Mine.
Crystals waiting to be dug out in Mount Ida. Photo courtesy: Sweet Surrender Crystal Mine.
Crystals waiting to be dug out in Mount Ida. Photo courtesy: Sweet Surrender Crystal Mine.
Crystals dug out and cleaned in Mount ida. Photo courtesy: Wegner Quartz Crystal Mine.
Crystals dug out and cleaned in Mount ida. Photo courtesy: Wegner Quartz Crystal Mine.
MOUNT IDA, AR - Mount Ida, the “Quartz Crystal Capital of the World” will be the scene of the World Championship Quartz Crystal Dig this week: Oct. 11-13.

Three area mines will be participating: Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines, Bear Mountain, and Sweet Surrender. There will also be a film crew from AETN documenting the event.

The Mount Ida area has been identified as one of the major deposits of quartz crystal in the state and makes up a major “quartz belt” within the Ouachita Mountains. Many of the different quartz crystal formations are found here, including the interestingly formed “phantoms”, which occur when a new crystal is formed over an existing one with the visible older crystal called the phantom, clusters (which contain several crystals) and double terminated quartz.

Last year, the championships didn’t take place due to financial reasons so this is a nice return for the popular event. I went to the championships in 2009 and due to rain the crystal fields were quite muddy but that didn’t stop competitors from digging in. I remember there was also a Japanese film crew from Nihon TV covering the event that year. The footage was viewed by 15 million Japanese TV viewers. During the dig, contestants compete for cash and trophies and can keep all the crystals they mine during the contest.

Also of note, the Quartz, Quiltz and Craftz Festival will also be taking place at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds during this weekend. This is a gem and mineral show as well as an arts and crafts and quilt show (over 150 quilts will be there for folks to see).

Below is a video from the Sweet Surrender folks covering washing clusters that have been found at their mine.

Story by: Zoie Clift, Travel Writer, Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

Click here for the Sweet Surrender Crystal Mine Facebook page.

Click here for the Wegner Quartz Crystal Mine Facebook page.


Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus