Magnet Cove Arkansas – Rockhounding

Filed under: regular postings — Gary July 19, 2010 @ 9:44 pm


Magnet Cove! The most mineralized 5 square miles in Arkansas!

History of Collecting
Before 1820, locals recognized there was something different about this area. Their compasses went haywire as they walked across the ground. Then by the 1840′s people began to notice a variety of unusual minerals. Later in the 1850′s many specimens had been shipped to Europe and examined by German mineralogists and Magnet Cove’s fame as a collecting area began.

Hot Spring County
Magnet Cove Historical Marker

“This is Magnet Cove which covers an area of irregularly oval shape about five square miles. The cove is made up of volcanic rocks which have gradually been forced to the surface of the earth. It was probably not an eruptive volcano. About 42 distinct mineral species have been found in the cove and many of the mineral types and combinations are of world-wide interest to mineralogists because they are know to occur in only two other localities, the Ural Mountains and the Tyrolean Alps. Here was the home of James Sevier Conway from 1834 until after 1840. Here the eminent English geologist G.W. Featherstonhaugh visited in the autumn of 1834.”

Truly a world-famous site
Magnet Cove has provided many heydays for rockhounds, collectors, mineralogists, and geologists. And it continues to do so when access to sites is available. There are 2 comprehensive publications on Magnet Cove. The earliest is a part of the Arkansas Geological Survey’s Annual Report for 1890 – “The igneous rocks of Arkansas” by J. Francis Williams and the most recent is USGS Professional Paper 425 (1963) by Erickson and Blade. Both of these reports are long out-of-print, but may be reviewed at major university libraries. William’s report goes into some detail concerning the minerals and their occurrence at Magnet Cove and the USGS report details the chemistry, along with some additional mineralogy, of the igneous rocks. Many of the sites named are the same, despite the decades of time separating these two publications. There have also been a series of articles in recent years in
Rocks and Minerals magazine on various minerals and sites of this area.

<read more here>

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