One of the most common questions people ask about crystal is if it has been polished. The Arkansas quartz at All Things Arkansas most definitely has NOT been polished. God made it just like you see it.
Our quartz is from the Old Coleman Mine in Jessieville, Arkansas, and is the world standard for quartz. The Old Coleman Mine is located in the Ouachita Mountains and the best quartz around the world is going to be from there.
To anyone looking at the mine from afar, it looks like an open pit mine with red clay mud. Tourists are allowed to mine for the own quartz in specially designated areas at the top of the mine. They are digging through the tailings, parts of the dirt that have been brought to the surface by employees and not gone through.
Many people tend to doubt that the tailings have not been searched. Trust me, they haven't. Crystals are primarily located in "pockets" and it simply is not cost effective for large-scale operations to mine outside those areas. Instead, they move the dirt to the top so you can find your own treasures.
To find the "pockets," one follows the trail of the veins until it circles out. Veins are similar to what you think of in your body, except in this case its a long white line amidst the red clay.
When it circles out to the large pocket, employees pull out crystals one at a time. They may even use old bed mattresses to protect the crystal points.
From there they are brought to the cleaning area and rinsed off and allowed to air dry. There is a lot of red clay staining the piece at this point, so they are then cleaned in a hot vat of oxalic acid overnight.
The next day they are removed and rinsed with water once more. Once this is done, most of the red clay residue is gone and the beauty of the quartz has been exposed.
The crystals are now ready to be sold to customers around the world. Prices range from $1 to several million.