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12 Common Rocks & Minerals You Can Find in Arkansas

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With its rolling hills, rocky mountaintops, bubbling streams, and shining lakes, Arkansas is any nature-lover’s paradise, and its diverse landscape provides a wide array of rocks and minerals. In this overview, we will dive into the many rocks and minerals that are scattered across the Natural State and list their rockhounding sites or locations.

In Arkansas, the most common rocks and minerals you can find are:

  • shale,
  • limestone,
  • chert,
  • agate,
  • jasper,
  • bauxite,
  • quartz,
  • diamond,
  • amethyst,
  • turquoise,
  • opal,
  • and gold.

Whether you are a visitor or an Arkansas local, it’s always helpful to learn more about the rocks, minerals, and gemstones you may find during your rockhounding adventures. Just as a treasure map leads to riches, this guide of common rocks and minerals in Arkansas will help you uncover the many beautiful stones that exist in the Natural State. 

Common Rocks and Minerals in Arkansas
Common Rocks and Minerals in Arkansas

If you are interested in checking out the best rockhounding tools you can find them by clicking here (Amazon link).

What Rocks Are Found in Arkansas

During your rockhounding expeditions in Arkansas, you are sure to come across many interesting and unique rocks, including: 


LocationGPS Coordinates
Fayetteville 36.074859, -94.123155
Wheeler36.111140, -94.259252
Johnson36.130335, -94.165976
Cave Springs36.261134, -94.233362
Siloam Springs36.166706, -94.550074
Friendship Creek36.179652, -94.037877
Brush Creek36.148460, -93.974792
Where to Find Shale in Arkansas

Since Arkansas has many rivers, brooks, and streams, it makes sense that rockhounds often come across sedimentary rocks such as shale. There are multiple types of shale that exist in Arkansas, but the most well-known one is called Fayetteville Shale.

This ancient shale was formed during the Mississippian age 323 to 354 million years ago, and it’s hard, dense, and black in color. Fayetteville Shale became famous for the natural gas that’s contained within the rock, and it’s had a significant impact on Arkansas’ economy.

As you would expect, rockhounds find Fayetteville Shale near Fayetteville, Arkansas. Check out Wheeler, Johnson, and the regions in north-central Arkansas for shale and other sedimentary rocks. 


LocationGPS Coordinates
Beaver36.473422, -93.777013
Little Rock34.712151, -92.303853
Eurika Springs36.440085, -93.752607
Benton34.560122, -92.594255
Saline County34.674447, -92.707824
Washington County36.108236, -94.224200
White River35.759387, -91.696024
Batesville35.774987, -91.61105
Where to Find Limestone in Arkansas

Although the types of Arkansas limestone vary in color and texture, they are all high-quality stones that are often chosen for sculptures and ornamental displays. If you enjoy collecting fossiliferous stones, then be sure to look for Pitkin Limestone.

In the late 1890s, this limestone was referred to as Archimedes Limestone since it contains many screw-shaped Archimedes fossils. The reason this type of limestone contains these fossils is because the limestone was formed over 320 million years ago.

At this time, Arkansas was covered by a shallow sea, which is why the limestone in this state often contains fossils of sea creatures. 

Some of the best places to find limestone in Arkansas are the areas near the quarries. For example, there is a very well-known quarry located in Beaver, Arkansas, so any rockhound on the hunt for limestone can visit Beaver and the surrounding regions. 

Recommendation box: All tools and equipment you need for rockhounding and rock identification* (Amazon links):

1. Estwing Rock Hammer – Light, comfortable, and extremely durable hammer.
2. Estwing Geologist Pick – Classic and the most trusted paleo pick in the world.
3. Finder 12-inch Chisels – Heavy-duty chisels set with hand protection.
4. Mini Handle Shovel – This is a great tool for digging deep in the dirt.
5 Ironclad Utility Work Gloves – Breathable, but they also protect the areas requiring them most.
6. 3M Safety Glasses – Comfortable and efficient goggles for rockhounding.
7. Convoy 8+ UV Light – 365nm UV LED flashlight with a patented glass filter.
8. Wesley’s Jewelers Loupe – High magnification options (30X and 60X) with carrying case.
9. Mohs Hardness Kit – A specially designed kit for rockhounds

*All recommended products are personally tested and regularly used by experts from this website.


LocationGPS Coordinates
Ouachita Mountains34.497738, -94.454870
Mountain Fork34.489780, -94.521604
Hot Springs34.448101, -93.073578
Ouachita River34.441553, -92.968264
Carroll County36.372819, -93.524357
Kings River36.347591, -93.640572
Osage Creek36.353484, -93.601219
Where to Find Chert in Arkansas

Wherever you go in the Natural State, you are sure to run across some chert. Chert is as common as dirt in Arkansas, and there are many different varieties. One interesting variety of chert, called novaculite, is found solely in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Novaculite is composed mostly of silica, and Native Americans used it to create weapons and sharp tools. While lighter colors of novaculite are the most common, rockhounds often find it in various colors, including white, black, dark gray, tan, red, and pink.

In addition to the Ouachita Mountains, you can also find chert near Hot Springs County and Caroll County. Keep an eye out during your all rockhounding adventures in this state because no matter where you go, you are sure to come across some fine pieces of chert. 


LocationGPS Coordinates
Crowley Ridge34.761715, -90.717867
Crow Creek35.062590, -90.761646
Forrest City35.005479, -90.775898
Ouachita Mountains34.497738, -94.454870
Mountain Fork34.504210, -94.431696
Choctaw Creek34.520548, -94.448647
Slate Creek34.532958, -94.417705
Polk County34.517118, -94.412212
Where to Find Agate in Arkansas

Even though the agates from Arkansas might not be as colorful as the ones from other states, they are still incredibly beautiful. Arkansas agates tend to display swirls of earthy colors and intricate patterns.

The most famous type is known as Crowley Ridge Agates, and as the name suggests, they are found near Crowley Ridge, Arkansas.

If you are on the hunt for Crowley Ridge Agates, Crowley Ridge should be your first stop. Some other areas to search are the Ouachita Mountains, Crow Creek, and Forrest City. 

TIP: Scientists cannot conclude whether agate and jasper can be considered the same mineral chalcedony or not. Find out more in the article below:
Jasper vs. Agate: Crucial Differences (Are They Same?)


LocationGPS Coordinates
Crowley Ridge34.761715, -90.717867
Pike County34.069725, -93.648102
Crater of Diamonds National Park34.037298, -93.653595
Prairie Creek34.034939, -93.681933
L’Anguille River34.770247, -90.724562
Crystal Lake34.761081, -90.725292
Long Lake34.794074, -90.693964
Where to Find Jasper in Arkansas

Arkansas has plenty of jasper for eager rockhounds, and although the most common color is reddish-brown, it can also come in black, brown, and green. Arkansas jasper has high polish after it’s been tumbled, making it a favorite among local rockhounds.

A lot of jasper in Arkansas, especially near the Ouachita Mountains, originates as red novaculite. If you notice novaculite in the terrain, there’s a high chance you might find jasper as well.

For Arkansas jasper, be sure to look near Crowley Ridge, Pike County, and the Crater of Diamonds National Park. 


LocationGPS Coordinates
Saline County34.581450, -92.670789
Bauxite 34.544130, -92.527966
Putaski County34.672600, -92.213983
Little Rock34.798998, -92.338952
Conway 35.104649, -92.427925
Brooks34.568098, -92.443280
Where to Find Bauxite in Arkansas

Bauxite is a sedimentary rock that is the world’s primary source of aluminum. In Arkansas, bauxite is so abundant that they named an entire city after it.

It was mined all throughout the 1900s, but most major mining companies left Arkansas after the 1990s, and there is still plenty of bauxite left over for rockhounds to collect.

Some of the largest bauxite deposits are located in Saline County and Putaski County, and the mines surrounding these counties are great places to look for this rock.

BTW: Do you want to know more about rock and mineral identification? The books listed below are the best ones you can find on the internet (Amazon links):

What Minerals Are Found in Arkansas

When you are rockhounding in Arkansas, keep an eye out for these eye-catching and valuable minerals: 


LocationGPS Coordinates
Ouachita Mountains34.501032, -94.454809
Washita34.652518, -93.531337
Jessieville34.691699, -93.063763
Mena34.585436, -94.220167
Story34.689939, -93.521812
Mt Ida34.559368, -93.635763
Ron Coleman Mining34.662175, -93.100393
Avatar Crystal Mine34.501094, -93.636838
Where to Find Quartz in Arkansas

Not many people know that Arkansas has some of the largest quartz crystal beds in the world, and the Smithsonian recently acquired a piece of Arkansas quartz that is 8,000 pounds!

While you might not be able to take home an 8,000-pound piece of quartz, you can find plenty of smaller, high-quality pieces that have excellent shape and shine. In fact, the quality of Arkansas quartz is so high that it’s considered to be on par with pieces mined from Brazil and Madagascar!

Since quartz is a popular mineral in Arkansas, there are many mines that the public is allowed to access for a small fee, such as Ron Coleman Mine.

The most beautiful pieces of quartz are found near Hot Springs and the Ouachita Mountains, but you can also find some near Washita, Mena, and Jessieville. 

TIP: There are numerous fake quartz crystals you can come across in the market, even if quartz is the most widespread mineral. Check out the differences in the article below:
Real vs. Fake Quartz: Focus on These 12 Key Differences


LocationGPS Coordinates
Crater of Diamonds34.032477, -93.672352
Prairie Creek34.034699, -93.681868
Murfreesboro34.046243, -93.696771
Pike County34.022060, -93.672223
Parker Creek34.062813, -93.676197
Lake Slough34.037638, -93.693491
Where to Find Diamond in Arkansas

Every rockhound dreams of finding diamonds, and Arkansas helps people turn those dreams into reality. The Crater of Diamonds is a state park where the public can search for diamonds, and some of the largest diamonds in the U.S. have been found in this park.

Some well-known Arkansas diamonds from the Crater of Diamonds include the Uncle Sam Diamond (40.23 carats), Amarillo Starlight Diamond (16.37 carats), and the Strawn-Wagner Diamond (3.03 carats with a perfect grade). One rockhound even found a rare 4.38-carat yellow diamond during her visit to the Crater, and another found a 3.29-carat brown diamond from this state park.

Every rockhound who visits Arkansas should stop by the Crater of Diamonds at least once, and then swing by the surrounding areas near Pike County to find some of these gorgeous gemstones. 


LocationGPS Coordinates
Crater of Diamonds34.032388, -93.672899
Prairie Creek36.345443, -94.039505
Saline County34.783581, -92.873113
Garland County34.670285, -93.143201
Hot Springs Village34.682008, -92.947271
Little Missouri River33.839392, -93.275628
Pike County34.209767, -93.709962
Where to Find Amethyst in Arkansas

In Arkansas, amethysts run in veins, so the probability of finding more than one piece of this mineral in a single area is high. Arkansas amethysts are lovely once polished, and they can range from clear to dark purple in color.

While there aren’t any naturally occurring amethyst geodes in Arkansas, there are plenty of amethyst crystals that are just waiting for the right rockhound to find them.

Although the Crater of Diamonds is popular for its diamonds, people also often find amethysts there. You can also search for amethysts near Prairie Creek, Saline County, and the Little Missouri River. 

TIP: Amethyst is present in many states across the United States. Check out the best states for finding amethyst in the article below:
Where to Find Amethyst: Best Environments & Locations (USA)


LocationGPS Coordinates
Porter Mountain34.391112, -94.103901
Polk County34.382325, -94.109084
Caney Creek34.399824, -94.107206
Ouachita Mountains34.501032, -94.454809
Mauldin Mountain34.594669, -93.699043
Montgomery County30.383835, -95.695956
Lake Ouachita34.569535, -93.279322
Where to Find Turquoise in Arkansas

Anyone who loves vibrant blue-green turquoise should book a trip to Western Arkansas, which has the only gem-quality turquoise deposits in the U.S. outside of the Southwest. Most Arkansas turquoise is found in novaculite, and the largest piece of turquoise from Arkansas is 245 pounds.

While there are multiple areas in the state where this mineral can be found, the place that is well-known for its turquoise is the Mona Lisa Mine, located near Mena, Arkansas.

While one of the best places to find turquoise in Arkansas is the Ouachita Mountains, there are other places in Western Arkansas that have turquoise, including Polk County and Montgomery County. 


LocationGPS Coordinates
Crater of Diamonds34.032388, -93.672899
Potash Sulfur Springs34.479151, -92.969823
Pike County34.209767, -93.709962
Garland County34.670285, -93.143201
Benton County36.305759, -94.037943
Lake Catherine34.463513, -92.975831
Murfreesboro34.046243, -93.696771
Where to Find Opal in Arkansas

While opals are not as common as quartz or diamonds in Arkansas, there are still plenty of these beautiful gemstones in this state.

Rockhounds have come across multiple types of opals in Arkansas, including fire opals and dendritic opals. Some people have even found hyaline opals in areas of Arkansas where petrified wood is common. 

There are a couple different places where rockhounds find opals, including the Crater of Diamonds and Potash Sulfur Springs. Opals have also been found near Pike County, Garland County, and Benton County. 

TIP: Opal and opalite are fundamentally different substances with almost identical appearances. Check out the main differences between these two terms in the article below:
Opal vs. Opalite: 6 Crucial Differences (Are They Same?)


LocationGPS Coordinates
Ouachita Mountains34.497738, -94.454870
Cherry Hill34.988821, -92.875152
Little Brushy Creek34.936299, -93.212340
Sevier County33.796935, -94.011929
Carter Creek34.536981, -94.172575
Pulaski County34.850855, -92.547705
Little Missouri River33.838839, -93.276057
Where to Find Gold in Arkansas

If you want to get your hands on some gold dust, Arkansas is a great place to be. Most of the gold in Arkansas is “flour” gold, meaning that it comes in flakes and dust rather than large nuggets.

The Ouachita Mountains are known for their gold deposits, and you might come across some silver as well in that area. As you pan for gold, keep in mind that pyrite is common in Arkansas, so you might need to do some tests to ensure that whatever you find is actually gold.

In addition to the Ouachita Mountains, rockhounds hunt for gold near Cherry Hill, Little Brushy Creek, and Sevier County.

TIP:  Let’s dive into the art of gold panning in Arkansas with the complete guide in the article below:
Gold Prospecting in Arkansas: 6 Best Locations & Laws

FAQ About Common Rocks & Minerals in Arkansas

For more information about Arkansas and its treasure trove of rocks or minerals, see the following FAQs:

What Rare Rocks Can You Find in Arkansas

Wherever you go in the Natural State, you are sure to come across some rare rocks during your rockhounding trips, including jaspers, geodes, and agates. In some parts of Arkansas, you can also find pieces of obsidian, although they are rare in this state.

One of the best places to look for unique rocks is Crowley Ridge, especially if you want to obtain some Arkansas agates and jaspers.

For geodes, there’s no better place to search than the Crater of Diamonds. You can also take a look around the Ouachita Mountains, an excellent rockhounding site that’s overflowing with fascinating rocks and minerals.

What Rare Minerals Can You Find in Arkansas

Fortunately, Arkansas has more than enough rare and valuable minerals for rockhounds to find. Some rare minerals and gemstones you can find in Arkansas include diamond, amethyst, turquoise, garnet, wavellite, onyx, and opals.

Although pearls are not technically labeled as minerals, they are considered gemstones, and you can find freshwater ones in the many lakes and rivers of Arkansas. As a matter of fact, Arkansas had a pearl rush during the late 1800s after a twenty-seven-grain pink pearl was pulled from the White River.

Any rockhound who wants to find gems and minerals in a single area should stop by the Crater of Diamonds or the Ouachita Mountains. For pearls, you can visit the White River or Black River, but use caution as you search since the currents are often strong and dangerous.

TIP: Dating rocks and minerals is not a simple task, but scientists have been able to solve it. Check out the complete guide in the article below:
Step-by-Step Guide on Dating Rocks by PRO Geologist

What is the Most Famous Rock or Mineral Found in Arkansas

Without a doubt, the most famous mineral found in Arkansas is quartz, but Arkansas diamonds are a close second. Arkansas’ state mineral is quartz, and this state has some of the world’s finest quartz crystals that are on par with pieces from Brazil and Madagascar.

Additionally, Arkansas is home to some of the largest quartz beds in the world, which is the reason why it’s one of the few places in the world where quartz crystals are mined commercially.

Some lucky rockhounds have even found rare crystal arrowheads that were left behind by Arkansas natives centuries ago, during 8,000 B.C.

While the best places to go for quartz crystals are Hot Springs and the Ouachita Mountains, rockhounds have also acquired quartz in the Crater of Diamonds.

In addition, there are many crystal mines scattered throughout the state that you can visit for a small fee to find new quartz additions for your collection.

BTW: If you are looking for the best UV light for rockhounding, find out my picks below (Amazon links):


There’s no doubt that Arkansas is a picturesque state, but it has much more to offer rockhounds than just scenic views. With diamonds, agates, quartz crystals, turquoise, jasper, and more, it’s easy to see why rockhounds flock to this southern state.

As you explore the Natural State, don’t pass up the opportunity to visit the famed Ouachita Mountains or the Crater of Diamonds, which is the only state park in the U.S. that lets you dig for gemstones and keep what you find.

No matter where you go rockhounding in Arkansas, you are sure to return home with some very special and unique treasures for your collection!

TIP: Arkansas is one of those states where rockhounding for gems and minerals is truly a blessing. Check out the complete rockhounding guide in the article below:
Rockhounding in Arkansas: Best Digging Sites & What to Find