Where can you find your own diamonds?
If you have a strong interest in gemstones you would probably love to have an opportunity to mine for diamonds yourself. Here’s where you can go – it is the only producing diamond mine in the United States and the only diamond mine in the world that is open to the public.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
This diamond mine is located near Murfreesboro, Arkansas. For a fee of a few dollars you can enter the mine, search all day and keep any diamonds that you find. In addition to diamonds, you might find one of the colorful semi-precious stones that occur naturally there. These include: amethyst, agate, jasper, garnet, peridot and hematite.
The diamonds at the Park occur in the soil and that makes them easy to look for. Some people find them after it rains by walking through the field looking for the bright reflection of a diamond that has been washed clean by the rain. Other people dig in the soil and carefully search through it one shovel-full at a time. You can bring your own tools or rent tools at the Park. Power tools are not allowed, however, the Park periodically plows the diamond field to turn up fresh soil. (See the satellite image at right for a view of the plowed fields of the Park.)
Searching is easy but you will need a combination of luck, patience and a very sharp eye to find a diamond. Most people don’t find a diamond but a few miners are very successful. Every one has fun.
Who Discovered Crater of Diamonds?
Diamonds were first discovered at this location in 1906 when John Huddlestone found two strange crystals in the soil of his farm. He didn’t realize that his farm was right above a volcanic pipe filled with lamproite (a volcanic rock formed from partially melted mantle materials which sometimes contains diamond-bearing rocks known as xenoliths that have been transported up from the mantle).
Huddlestone suspected that his crystals might be diamonds and took them to a local jeweler for assessment. Word of the discovery leaked out and a “diamond rush” began. Soon thousands of people descended upon the Murfreesboro area, however, the Huddlestone farm and immediately adjacent land was the only location with promise of becoming a diamond mine.