Get dirty for diamonds
It’s finders keepers at this unassuming field that looks like a wasteland of sorts – you’d never expect to be a diamond mine.
The Crater of Diamonds State Park, in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, is the world’s only diamond mine open to the public.
Stretching across 37 1/2-acres (That’s about 28 football fields!), the diamond-bearing field is the eroded surface of an ancient volcanic crater.
Do some surface searching – walking up and down the rows of dirt looking for diamonds lying on top of the ground – and you might find some if you’re lucky. It’s especially productive after a hard rain, which washes the soil away, leaving the gems exposed on the surface. Alternatively, use a small hand tool to dig around in loose soil.
And if you spot the occasional experienced diamond hunter, you’ll probably see them digging deep holes in particular soil type, and hand-sorting the gravels.
Diamonds found at the Crater are typically smooth and well-rounded, resembling a polished stone. The park also offers free rock and mineral identification.
More than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed in the park since the first diamonds were discovered there in 1906. We hear just last year, a visitor unearthed a 8.25-carat diamond, the fifth-largest diamond found by a visitor to the state park.
Entry costs $8, and diamond mining tools are available for rent or purchase at the park.
And if you do find any, they’re yours to keep. We dig that!
There’s also various exhibits, an aquatic playground, and other facilities at the premises, but as for us, we’re heading straight to the mining grounds!
By Pinky Chng, May 2016
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