They call it the “field of dreams,” and who wouldn’t consider finding a free diamond a pretty nice perk for visiting a state park? There is only one diamond mine in the entire world open to the public, and you can visit it at Crater of Diamonds State Park, near Murfeesboro, Arkansas, to try your hand at unearthing one of these dazzling gems.
Crater of Diamonds offers visitors the adventure of a lifetime, searching for diamonds in a 37-acre plowed field within the park. That field is the eroded surface of an ancient volcano pipe, the eighth largest in the world, based on its surface area. Treasure hunters can search for diamonds here, and if you find one, it’s yours to keep. In addition to diamonds, there are a number of other gems that have been found here, including amethyst and jasper.
Learn Before You Search
Diamond prospectors (and that means you!) begin their visit to the Crater of Diamonds State Park at the Visitor Center, where diamonds in the rough are on display and a show at the Adventure Theater helps explain how the diamonds came to be here.
After the orientation, make a stop at the Discovery Center, where you’ll learn the tips and techniques used by diamond hunters at the park. Exhibits and interactive programs help illustrate good ways to dig for diamonds.
Digging tools are available for rent at the park, and staff on site can help with free identification and certification of your finds.
Just How Likely Are You to Find a Diamond?
Diamonds were first discovered at this location in 1906. Since that first discovery, more than 75,000 diamonds have been discovered. Most of the diamonds found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park are white, yellow, or brown.
Notable diamonds that have been found on this site include the following:
* 40.23-carat Uncle Sam Diamond, the largest ever found in the United States
* 16.39-carat Amarillo Starlight Diamond
* 15.33-carat Star of Arkansas Diamond
On display at the Crater of Diamonds State Park’s Visitor Center is the Strawn-Wagner Diamond. When found it was over 3 carats in the rough, but it was cut to create a 1.09-carat stone, which is graded D Flawless or Triple O (the highest grade that can be given a diamond). A diamond like this is so perfect that few jewelers ever see one in their lifetimes…but you can see this one at the park.
So how likely are you to find a diamond while visiting the Crater of Diamond State Park in Arkansas? While no one can provide any guarantees, since the 1972 opening of the state park, 27,000 diamonds have been found by visitors to the park. Other valuable gems that are frequently found include garnets, amethysts, agates, jasper, and quartz.
Other Park Features
What if you don’t find any diamonds? Well, visiting Crater of Diamonds State Park won’t be a total loss because one of best things about the Arkansas park is enjoying the refreshing waters of Diamond Springs after all that digging. The water park is a great place to have some cool, relaxing fun.
In addition to the water park, Crater of Diamonds offers camping, hiking trails, a gift shop, picnic sites, and a café. Camp sites are offered on a first come, first served basis in the park. Also located in the area are the “Diamond Lakes”–Catherine, Hamilton, Greeson, Ouachita, and DeGray. Each lake offers water sports and fishing, along with camping and rustic cabins for rent.
No other state (or national) park in the United States can offer visitors the chance to go home with a diamond. There’s only one spot like it in the country, the Crater of Diamonds State Park.