Quartz stone can be found in most geographical areas of the world. Quartz is located on the earth’s crust and forms in cracks of sandstone, granite and other types of rock. The quartz that is found in the cracks is called a "vein" of quartz. Some parts of the world are known for their large quartz stone deposits and they are the best places to go if you want to find good specimens. It can be hard work and a bit challenging but the reward of finding some attractive quartz is worth it.
Where to Look
Use the locality map at Mindat.org to find the closest or best area for you to go begin your quest (see References; scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says Localities for Quartz). Click on the area in which you are interested; this will lead you to a list of mines or known deposits. Use mineral resource maps to narrow your search. These can be found at mines that allow public access to the area.
Look for mines or fields that are tilled just for the purpose of rock hunting and allow you to search for quartz stones for a fee. You do not want to start your mining efforts on private property; make sure that you have permission to search and dig in that particular area. Otherwise it is trespassing.
Search old or running stream beds and creeks--that are open to the public-- for exposed areas of earth; under fallen trees and alongside the stream where you see striations of rock and soil.
Visit the Ouachita Mountain area in Arkansas; it is the home of some of the best quartz mines in the world. Hot Springs and Mount Ida, Arkansas, have many exposed hillside mines and fields just for rock hunting. You pay a small fee to do your searching and you get to take home any quartz stones that you find.
How to Dig
Section or mark off an area to find your quartz stones. If you are in a mine or near an opening to a mine shaft, use a flashlight to look for shimmering or sparkling areas and use a hand shovel to dig around in that area to see what you come up with. Sometimes the presence of orangish or reddish soil is an indicator that quartz may be in the area. If you are near a stream bed you will need to dig or scratch the surface with a rock rake or hoe and look for minerals that are different in appearance from the soil.
Collect any possible specimens in a bucket and take it to an area where you can dump it out and sift through it by hand or with a boxed mesh screen. Many times small pieces of quartz are an indication of larger deposits nearby. If you found small quartz particles, go back to the place where you found them to dig around some more for possibly larger stones.
Use your hand shovel to pry out any large specimens if you are lucky enough to find some. Place the shovel under the stone or to the side to dig it out. It may be possible that the quartz stone has crystals that you do not want to damage.
- Rock rack or hoe
- Hand shovel
- Boxed mesh screen
Wear old clothes because you will get very dirty. Take a towel or a cushion to sit on while digging or scratching.
Wear heavy gloves; quartz can have sharp edges that can cut you while digging.