Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, AR is billed as “The World’s Only ‘Keep What You Find’ Diamond Site” – and that’s the truth. Where else can you pay a small fee to dig for diamonds you can keep?
You’re probably thinking to yourself that this has to be some kind of scam. That the park is either seeding the site with a few cheap diamonds for tourists to find – or that there’s nothing there at all. It’s sensible to be skeptical about these things – but, in this instance, you’d be wrong on both counts.
You see, Crater of Diamonds State Park is located on part of a 95 million-year-old, eroded volcanic vent. This slowly crumbling ancient vent is full of concentrated, heavy minerals – including diamonds and other semi-precious gems. As the vent erodes, more heavy minerals are released into the soil.
The diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park were first discovered in 1906 when the land was still just a family farm. Owner John Huddleston found two strange crystals on the surface of one of his fields. Little did he realize that he’d just become the first person outside South Africa to find diamonds at their source.
Huddleston sold the farm to a commercial diamond mining company but the find proved unworthy of their attention. The diamond field just wasn’t rich enough to justify the expense of their operation. But that doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same!
Over the years, some real doozies have been found here. In fact, largest diamond ever discovered in the U.S. came from Crater of Diamonds State Park: a 40.23 beauty found in 1924 called the Uncle Sam diamond.
You may be thinking that any diamond field discovered in 1906 has to be picked over by now – and once again you’d be wrong. People continue finding valuable diamonds at Crater of Diamonds to this very day. In fact, the most recent, notable find came in March, 2017, when a 14-year-old found a 7.44-carat diamond after only 30 minutes. It is the 7th-largest diamond to be found at the park since 1972!
Crater of Diamonds State Park is more than just a bunch of folks searching the ground for diamonds. It also has interactive exhibits that explain why the diamonds are here and how to look for them. The park also offers fishing, a wildlife blind, hiking trails, a gift shop, and restaurant. But let’s face it – you’re going to be mining for diamonds while you’re here.
The diamond search area is open daily throughout the year, except for major holidays. Mining tools are available to rent and, as I mentioned above, you’ll be given instructions on how to prospect and what to look for.
Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow and Crater of Diamonds diamonds come in three colors: white, brown, and yellow, in that order of commonality. Diamond prospectors may also find amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, quartz, and other gems. The park’s Diamond Discovery Center provides free identification of whatever you dig up. They also offer certification of diamonds found at the park.
So go ahead, come on out to Crater of Diamonds State Park. You’ll really dig it!
Crater of Diamonds State Park
209 State Park Rd, Murfreesboro, AR 71958
Visitwww.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com for hours, directions, and other information.
Crater of Diamonds State Park Lodging
No matter what you do or where you go in Arkansas, a locally owned and operated Arkansas B&B is somewhere nearby with a room just for you. True Southern hospitality, personalized amenities, and an insider’s knowledge of the area – that’s an Arkansas bed and breakfast inn!