Crater of Diamonds State Park: Located in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, the Crater of Diamonds State Park is a unique destination that attracts thousands of visitors every year. This state park is the only diamond mine in the world that is open to the public, allowing visitors to search for diamonds and other gemstones.
The Crater of Diamonds State Park covers over 911 acres and is located atop a volcanic pipe. The park was established in 1972 and has since become a popular destination for diamond hunters, rockhounds, and nature lovers alike.
In this article, we will explore the history of the Crater of Diamonds State Park, what visitors can expect when they visit, and some tips and tricks for finding diamonds.
The History of Crater of Diamonds State Park
The Crater of Diamonds has formed over 100 million years ago when a volcanic eruption created a diamond-bearing volcanic pipe. Over the years, erosion caused the top layers of soil to be removed, exposing the diamonds that were once buried deep beneath the earth’s surface.
The first recorded discovery of diamonds in the area was in 1906 when John Wesley Huddleston, a local farmer, discovered a 17-carat diamond on his property. The diamond was named “Uncle Sam” and was eventually sold to a New York jeweler for $36,000.
Following the discovery of the Uncle Sam diamond, the area became a hub for diamond mining. In the 1920s, the Arkansas Diamond Corporation purchased the land and began mining for diamonds. The corporation operated until the 1950s when the mine was sold to a private company.
In 1972, the state of Arkansas purchased the mine and established the Crater of Diamonds State Park, making it the first and only diamond mine open to the public.
Visiting Crater of Diamonds State Park
Visitors to the Crater of Diamonds State Park can expect to have a unique and exciting experience. The park is open year-round, and visitors can bring their own equipment or rent equipment from the park’s Diamond Discovery Center.
Diamond hunting is allowed in designated areas of the park, and visitors are encouraged to bring buckets, shovels, and screens for sifting through the soil. The park provides a free identification service, so visitors can have their finds evaluated by a park employee.
Aside from diamond hunting, the Crater of Diamonds State Park also offers several other activities for visitors. The park has hiking trails, picnic areas, and a water park, making it a great destination for families.
Tips and Tricks for Finding Diamonds
Diamond hunting can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also be challenging. Here are some tips and tricks to help visitors increase their chances of finding diamonds:
- Look for diamonds after a rainstorm. Rain can wash away the top layers of soil, exposing diamonds that were previously buried.
- Check the weather forecast before visiting. Diamond hunting is best on dry days when the soil is easier to sift through.
- Bring a magnifying glass. Diamonds can be difficult to spot, so a magnifying glass can help visitors identify potential diamonds.
- Focus on the areas where the soil is the most disturbed. Diamonds are heavy and tend to settle in areas where the soil has been dug up.
- Don’t give up! Finding diamonds takes patience and persistence. Visitors should plan to spend several hours searching for diamonds.
The Crater of Diamonds State Park is a one-of-a-kind destination that offers visitors the opportunity to hunt for diamonds and other gemstones. The park’s unique history and beautiful surroundings make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in geology, history, or outdoor activities.
Visitors to the park should come prepared with the right equipment and a willingness to be persistent and patient in their search for diamonds. With a little luck and a lot of perseverance, visitors may just discover their very own diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.
In addition to diamond hunting, visitors can enjoy other activities at the park, including hiking, picnicking, and swimming. The park has a campground with 47 campsites, as well as several cabins for rent, making it a great destination for a weekend getaway or a family vacation.
The park’s Diamond Discovery Center offers a variety of programs and workshops for visitors, including a diamond mining demonstration, a geology talk, and a history lesson on the park’s diamond mining past. The center also has a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and other diamond-related items.
It’s important to note that while visitors are allowed to keep any diamonds they find at the park, most diamonds found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park are small and not of significant value. However, the thrill of the hunt and the opportunity to find a real diamond make the experience well worth it.
Overall, the Crater of Diamonds Park is a unique and exciting destination that offers visitors a chance to discover a rare and valuable gemstone while enjoying the beauty of Arkansas’s natural landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned diamond hunter or just looking for a fun and educational outdoor adventure, the Crater of Diamonds State Park is a destination you won’t want to miss.