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Diamond Point, Arizona

Posted by Mark & Linda Mahlum  
Mark & Linda Mahlum February 19, 2009 01:46AM
On our drive back to Colorado from Tucson yesterday, my wife and I decided to check out the Diamond Point quartz locality. The site was covered with 6"-12" of snow so our plans were thwarted. Has anyone out there collected that site near Payson? Is it a large area? What method should be employed to collect the best crystals? Sharing your experiences here would be much appreciated.

Mark Mahlum
Joe D. February 19, 2009 04:36PM
Mark & Linda,

I believe this area is now private land which the developers swapped other land for this federal land. They were building lots of houses there the last time I was there. The swap took place officially in 2004. There was a nice cow elk that came out on the dirt road infront of me when we were there. It didn't want to leave but finally wondered off. I'm not familiar with teh access to the ridge since they built all the houses. These same Herkimer type Diamonds are available back where the Payson Geodes erode out. Just not as plentiful.

Joe D.
Jim Bean February 20, 2009 03:30AM
DP has been hit hard over the years by collectors, closed down for a few yrs and is now open with FS restrictions in place as to time of year and size of holes allowed. Good things can still be found there but this amounts to lucking into some small spot where previous collectors managed to miss turning over that given area.
I cannot tell you how extensive the area is, nor do I know exactly what area you pinpointed, but I've been shown areas outside the main area that have produced very nice stuff (lots of hard work and not as prolific as what I'm calling the main area). Not sure whether these areas are out of bounds now by FS decree, but I believe they are. Locals I'm sure still pull out decent stuff, and I enjoy what comes out of there enough to revisit the area whenever I get a chance to as an aside to other AZ adventures, even if I end up skunked.

Curiously to this day there are no images here on Mindat of the wonderful quartz from this locality (unless I missed them). I must assume at least some responsibility for that. 8-)

To answer your methodology question, cleaning the tough clayey soil out around any outcrops MIGHT be productive, if you can flip over and/or break up any virgin ledge you can find MAY be productive, there seems to be a certain horizon there but even that is spotty. Also a local with way more experience than me would quite likely laugh at my advice here, but experienced locals don't normally post their secrets on a public forum such as this. ;)

I'll also have to advise against wandering off in the woods there in search of fertile ground unless you're very well experienced in outdoor navigation skills, I know of two instances with people well familiar with the area wandering away just far enough to get lost, one managed to find the road without much issue, the other stumbled into the SAR deploy area after about 5 hrs missing just before SAR began working.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 03:37AM by Jim Bean.
DK September 13, 2011 05:10AM
Currently living in Sedona, I am about 2:30 away from Diamond Point near Payson. In the past 2 years since going there on free weekends and whenever I have the time, I have roamed the woods there. It is a vast area, and like said in other another post, make sure you have some navigational skills before entering the national forest area there as well as a compass. All those crystals in the ground have made navigation a trick, as one can get turned completely around as the vortex energies are fascinating and mind boggling. I know, its happened to me. As far as the availability of crystals there, I do know from my experience that unless you luck out, It may take some time to find a place that is really worth your time to dig and surface collect, but you will find something guaranteed. They are there! The crystals come in a wide range of sizes and and clarity. Not all are super clear and as a first time visitor to the forest there, you may have to be happy with some crystals that the herkimers of new york will put to shame. Of course I speak of the herkimers I see in stores. I have never been to Herkimer New York so I cannot actually see the range of quality of those and what the wider scope of the quality of crystals are there.
I spent upwards to a year or a little more hiking miles through the woods finding alot of seperate outcroppings, with fair quality to the crystals and a few crystals that were of some size before finding the place I really wanted to dig! This spot has been a lucky find for me as I have stumbled upon clusters as well as amethysted specimens. What a small area though! You can see why some great spots can be missed when some deposits are only a speck in a large national forest area and that forest ground is covered in dead plant material! I get the feeling that there is alot hidden in those woods and it takes effort to find that place that hasn't been found yet. I also feel that when these quartz were initially found, they were mined to a very large extent and many of the huge specimens have been removed from the land. I saw one beautiful specimen in a crystal store in Sedona that was double terminated and over a foot long! It makes me wonder where they have been taken and why these diamond quartz have been left somewhat unknown to the public as well as crystal and metaphysical book authors and energy workers. It looks like many of the Herkimers have been left overall undisturbed throughout all those millions of years and the Payson diamonds have undergone terrific earthquakes, and earth shifting that crushed them and left them under the ocean a couple times which is apparent by the coral, clams, and other sea fossils there. I also stand to think that these Payson diamonds were not completly done growing when earth changes struck. by looking at the incomplete crystals that are found there it seems some more time was needed to bring alot of the crystals to full size and sharpness in detail and clarity. I have found many incredible crystals, and many still that are out there so know that they are not all gone! If you go and you just want to find something LOOK IN THE DRY WASHES. Its a good place to start. Will you find any worth selling on your trip there? That may take some time and alot of work but you might just want to go for your own pleasure.
Shain June 16, 2013 06:28PM
I know this topic is a few year old but i will add my 2cents worth. Having grown up and lived near Diamond Point for many years. I can tell you from many experienced runs the crystals you look for span a rather large area. Looking at any general Topographical map, note that Diamond Point is part of the South eastern edge of what is known as Little Diamond Rim. The photo of the crystal i have attached was found just this last year about 14 miles west of Diamond point.

I personally collect as float but have several areas where with the right patience and a slow hammer/chisel. I have worked out goonie pockets with fine crystals still attached to the host.

The unique aspect of the area right around Diamond point is the quartz found there can display a slight Amethyst hue on one or both Terminations. I have only ever seen this from crystals collected near the actual published site near the Lookout tower. Contact the Payson Tonto Ranger station for more details about digging dates at Diamond Point.
Payson Ranger District
1009 E. Hwy 260
Payson, Arizona 85541
(928) 474-7900
open | download - crystal.jpg (227.9 KB)
Tim Jokela Jr June 16, 2013 08:16PM


Matt Neuzil June 16, 2013 11:39PM

Tim Jokela Jr Wrote:
> T

A buena hambre no hay pan duro
Mark Heintzelman June 16, 2013 11:57PM
Thanks so much for further clarification on what the area still has (and had) to offer, good stuff to know!
Always appropriate to reopen a thread to add more good information, thanks much!

To Matt,
Tim's response is to the much older post made in 2011 by DK (typical irrelevant "crystal healing" drivel). I also hope Shain doesn't assume it's pointed at him!

Sarahrose August 20, 2013 03:26PM

Theses are some I found just the other day at diamond point outside the actual digging area....I did not dig to find these at all, they were on the surface under the pine needles..:-)) are they actually IN the rock and cone out? Or are they in the clay? I'm just wondering where they originate from?? I read about an area not far from the main digging site that I may go try and find, and I will be bringing someone with and a GPS to ensure nobody gets lost..:-)) it does not show in the photos, but these all are sparkling clear with many rainbows!!! Very beautiful!! Better t ht gold IMO..:-))
open | download - image.jpg (806.3 KB)
Stephen Pegler August 20, 2013 10:22PM
We were camping up at Diamond Point on the Memorial Day weekend. I did a lot of hiking to locate good digging sites when you can dig in October. Lots of potential still there. You can see lots of mostly solid calcite "vugs" in the limestone blocks. If you can crack them out or saw them out, generally they have some pretty good doubly terminated quartz crystals encased in the calcite. Dissolve them out with HCl. I have a Ryobi battery powered diamond saw that zips right through the limestone.

I'm in Silverton, Colorado right now and headed for Ouray. Does anybody have any good collecting advice for the San Juans?

Ralban May 11, 2014 02:29PM
It's true. There are vortex's in the area. Just looked at the way the trees grow with a twist. The mountain also seems to have a strange affect because you cannot see a distance point for reference. Be careful for rattlers, I've seen more than one and mark your trail, bring lot's and lot's of water and remember to fill your holes and pack out your trash. Thanks, Robert
Karyn March 19, 2015 03:49AM
2015. Any info on area of diamonds and amythest would be greatly appreciated
Janet October 03, 2015 04:37PM
I just went up in August and founds lots of stuff on the surface in just an hour. Something to keep in mind is that area gets downpours during the summer and then snow in winter, so it's constantly eroding. Best advice is to follow the waters path
Mark March 08, 2016 04:39AM

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