Arkansas is the only state in the Union that has a state park that has a diamond mine. This is the Crater of Diamonds state park that is open to the public where they can keep any diamonds they find. Every month park visitors walk away with the diamonds they have found. This park is located just south of Murfreesboro, and is well worth a visit.
The gold found in Arkansas is found in roughly the same area as the quartz crystals. You can pan for the gold along the many rivers and creeks that drain out of the central Ouachitas. Most of the gold found will be as fine flakes or grains.
Gold has been known in Arkansas since the days of the Spanish in the 1500s, and there has been more then more then one gold rush centered on the Ouachita Mountains since. The Spanish reportedly even mined gold in Arkansas in their time. The other period of gold mining occurred during the period from 1800 to 1830. It was reported at the time they didn’t find much gold.
Even while gold is scarce there are plenty of other things that you can find prospecting in Arkansas. One of the more interesting minerals is cadmium sulfide found with the lead and zinc ores. It wasn’t too many years ago that Arkansas was the largest producer of Cadmium in the United States.
In order to make any prospecting venture worthwhile is a real good idea to read everything that you can find about the area where you are going. Among the prospectors in Canada there is a saying that more valuable mines are found in the shadow of a preceding mines headframe.
There are even small deposits of turquoise that are associated with copper in the Ouachita Mountains. This is then worked sporadically for its value as a gemstone for making jewelry.