Local Man Digs out TV Success Collecting Minerals Around the World

By Judea Robinett

Photos courtesy of Mineral Explorers

Thomas Nagin is the mineral guy. The Hot Springs resident has been into minerals since he traveled to Arkansas in the 1970’s where he discovered for himself the high-quality quartz that the state is known. After relocating to Hot Springs shortly after, Nagin decided that minerals were his calling. The mineral hunting and dealing business has taken Nagin and his team all over the world, searching for gems and deposits of all kinds of earthly matter. “It afforded me the ability to travel and make money doing what I liked,” the veteran explorer says of his decades in the field.

Nagin also owns Crystal Springs Mining Co. and Gallery in downtown Hot Springs which houses an international catalog of gems, minerals and fossils. He also supplies prestigious museums, collectors, decorators, and retailers around the world with minerals, gems and crystals.

Though he has traveled all over the world in search of unique stones and gems, Nagin is happy to be based in the Hot Springs region, partly because of the area’s own minerals. “It’s very unique, some of the best in the world,” says Nagin referring to the quartz crystals prevalent in this part of the state.

Last year he took his passion to the airwaves with Mineral Explorers, an unscripted TV show produced in Hot Springs and aired on AETN and most other public tv channels throughout the country. After a well-received first season, Mineral Explorers has a new series of adventures that, according to a press release by the show, “digs even deeper into the lustrous world of gems, crystals and minerals.”

“He [Nagin] created Mineral Explorers as a way to showcase the beauty and diversity of the mineral world and to answer the many questions people have about his profession. As Executive Producer and Host, he brings his experience and enthusiasm to the show. ‘My career has taken me all around the world and people are always curious about the people, the places and, of course, the minerals,’ he said. ‘I wanted to find a way to share it all.’”

Nagin and his team of producers and photographers, many of whom are also from Arkansas, trek to some of the most remote places on earth in search of mineral orr. His best find, he says, was a Rhodochrosite, a large red crystal, he found high in Andes Mountains of Peru.

“Everyone’s enthusiasm for the series has been really encouraging,” said Nagin. “I’m so proud of the show and our hard-working production team that helped turn this idea into a reality.”

The press release also states “The series combines adventure, travel and education while providing viewers with a unique glimpse of the mineral trade and the cultures surrounding the mines.”

Season Two is now airing on ATEN at 10:30 p.m. Check local listing for additional dates and times and visit www.mineralexplorers.com for season one episodes, behind-the-scenes videos, blogs and educational resources.