Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Campgrounds & RV Parks, Family Camping, Family Weekend Trips, Historic Places & Landmarks, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, State & National Parks
Some Days Are Diamonds…
Arkansas, The Natural State, is blessed with an abundance of geological wonders. Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public, stands out as a unique geological “gem” for you to explore and enjoy.
An Arkansas couple found a flawless 2.44-carat silver white diamond at the Crater of Diamonds on Sunday, March 20, according to Park Interpreter Margi Jenks.
Due of the gem’s color, and because it was discovered during the weekend of a full moon Super Moon event, they named their diamond the Silver Moon.
Melissa and Kenny Oliver of Rosston, Arkansas, discovered their diamond, which they plan to keep, while wet screening material from the East Drain area, where major excavation work was done by heavy equipment in October. It was the 93rd diamond found so far this year by park visitors.
According to Jenks, the 2.44-carat Silver Moon diamond is very similar to the 1.31-carat Silver Bullet diamond that was found last year by David Johnson of Murfreesboro. The Silver Moon is the largest of four diamonds weighing over 1 carat that have been found at the park over the last 10 days. The other three diamonds, however, were discovered while their finders were surface searching, which according to park staff has been a very successful search technique recently at the park.
A Gem among Diamond Mines
Crater of Diamonds State Park is the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public. On average, two diamonds are found each day at the park.
The state park’s policy is finder-keepers. What park visitors find is theirs to keep.
Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow. The colors found at the Crater of Diamonds are white, brown, and yellow, in that order.
Other semi-precious gems and minerals found in the park’s search area include amethyst, garnet, peridot, jasper, agate, calcite, barite, and quartz. Over 40 different rocks and minerals are unearthed at the Crater making it a rock hound’s delight.
In total, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at Arkansas’s diamond site since the first diamonds found in 1906 by John Huddleston, the farmer who at that time owned the land, long before the site became an Arkansas state park.
The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was unearthed here in 1924 during an early mining operation. Named the Uncle Sam, this white diamond with a pink cast weighed 40.23 carats. Other large notable finds from the Crater include the Star of Murfreesboro (34.25 carats) and the Star of Arkansas (15.33 carats).
Within the park boundary, remnants of old mining ventures remain, including the Mine Shaft Building, the Guard House, mining plant foundations, old mining equipment, and smaller artifacts.
Diamond Discovery Center
The search area at the Crater of Diamonds State Park is a 37 ½-acre plowed field, the eroded surface of the eighth largest diamond-bearing deposit in the world in surface area. You’ll pass through the park’s Diamond Discovery Center on your way to the diamond search area. This fascinating interpretive center serves as your gateway to the search area by offering an in-depth introduction to the unique adventure of searching for diamonds. Tour the exhibits. Visit with the park interpretive staff. Here, you’ll learn to recognize diamonds in the rough. You’ll be taught the three different search methods used at the Crater of Diamonds. And, you’ll be introduced to the diamond hunters’ hall of fame featuring photographs of the faces of successful diamond prospectors.
In this building you’ll rent the digging tools and screens for your diamond prospecting. And, here is where you will return later to have your material identified by a park staff member. If you’ve found a diamond, it will be certified, too.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is the perfect place to stay while not only enjoying the diamond mining field but also to explore the Lake Greeson area and the Ouachita Mountains. The campground consists of 47 Class AAA sites with tent pads, 50 amp power, water, and sewer hookups that can handle up to 70 foot rigs.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is located on Arkansas Highway 301 at Murfreesboro.
It is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.
For more information, visit craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.
Angels are like diamonds. They can’t be made, you have to find them. Each one is unique.
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