The Ouachita Mountains (“wa-she-tah”) span across from Eastern Oklahoma to Central Arkansas. This mountain range has been one of the most important sources of high-quality clear quartz crystals in the world for more than 150 years. Brazil and Madagascar are the only other countries with a more abundant source of quartz.
Clear Quartz crystals found in the Ouachita Mountains grow in pockets and veins which run through various types of sedimentary rocks like sandstone.
Quartz crystal in Arkansas can be identified apart from its rival counterparts through the common presentation of special features. These crystals are perfectly clear and colorless unless they carry inclusions of colored minerals such as limonite. The prism faces are shiny and most often present fine and even striations. It is unlikely to see growth pits or etch structures on rock crystals mined from this region.
The Ouachita Mountains are greatly composed of sedimentary rocks. The sediments were deposited during exposure to a deep marine environment in the ocean south of the North American continental plate which had collided with the South American plate causing the sedimentary rocks to fold forming the Ouachita Mountain range as a result.
The Ouachita Mountains have ridges running from East to West and the quartz veins had developed in fissures along the mountains’ crests in the same direction.
Mineral-rich water had been heated through the arrangement of cracks in the rock layers which allowed for the circulation of water percolating through deep layers of rock. It is notable to add that their heat source is not linked to a shallow magma chamber which makes their development unique to their counterparts.
These ancient crystals are believed to have formed during the Permian age. In geologic time, the Permian Age began 298.9 million years ago and ended 252.2 million years ago.
The most remarkable property of clear quartz crystal is the ability of the crystal to vibrate at very precise and stable frequencies. These frequencies are so exact that quartz crystal is used to make extremely accurate time-keeping instruments and equipment used to transmit radio and television signals. It is also used to make specialized lenses and filters used in lasers, microscopes, telescopes, and other high-demand scientific instruments. Quartz crystal is the material of the world’s most advanced electronic devices.
It truly is a gift to share space with a specimen as remarkable as this beautiful large quartz cluster while we discover its ancient history and continue to learn about the part it plays in the powerful advancements into our future.
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Some gems and minerals can be fragile and we recommend handling your specimen with care. Please also know that out of abundance of caution, we do not recommend the trend of putting mineral specimens in your drinking water as it is not always healthy to do so. Additionally, some minerals are water soluble and using water as a method to clean certain specimens can lead to deterioration. We do recommend dusting your minerals with a wide paintbrush you can find at the dollar store or by using an air can.