Avant Mining, LLC was founded in 2010 by James Zigras with the purchase of a small wavellite mine in the community of Avant, Arkansas. As Mr. Zigras diversified the company by acquiring various other wavellite, variscite and turquoise mines in the state of Arkansas, a renewed interest in the properties of quartz crystals became the focus of the company. Since then, Avant Mining has grown to become the largest quartz crystal mining company in the world with 23 mines and over 12,000 acres of land. We pride ourselves on being an industry leader in both ethical and sustainable mining practices. Specimens from our mines have been featured at the Smithsonian, Yale, Harvard, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and various universities across the country.
Garfield Lewis Claim, Montgomery County, Arkansas:
Discovered by indigenous peoples in the pre-history of America. Re-discovered by William Fisher in the late 1800s who eventually sold the claim to Garfield Lewis in the 1940s. The claim was then leased by the US Government during WW2 for oscillator grade quartz mining. It was sold to Don Burrow in the late 1970s who sold the claim to Kenny Manley in the mid-1980s. Manley then sold the claim to Ron Coleman in the early 90’s who forfeited the claim.
The crystal bearing veins occur within Crystal Mountain sandstone which is Ordovician in age (about 450 million years old). The quartz crystals themselves formed around 250 million years ago. This mountain has produced the most valuable and important specimens within the Mt. Ida quartz crystal district also known as “The Crystal Capital of the World.” Fisher is famous amongst top collectors for producing what many experts regard as the finest Japan-law twin quartz in the world which is pictured on this page. The Garfield Lewis Claim also produced the giant plate of quartz on display in the Smithsonian. It has been on display there since 1945.
Zigras Mine, Blue Springs, Garland County, Arkansas:
This mine and the neighboring McEarl mine have produced what most experts regard as the finest clear quartz crystal specimens in the world. The Lemurian Zone is an area we occasionally grant pocket digs. This area produces not only amazing “Lemurian” or Muzo habit quartz but also superb blue-grey shale phantom inclusions.
If you are on a budget and do not want to spend a significant amount of money crystal mining, we encourage you to research places to collect by hand in the Ouachita National Forest. This is free of charge and although it is not likely that you will find world class crystals it is always fun to get out in the forest and dig. More information can be found on the USDA Forest Service website.