Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas is the world’s only publicly operated diamond mine where visitors are allowed to search and keep any gems they find. Park visitors search for diamonds in a 37.5 acre plowed field. Over 40 different rocks, minerals and gemstones are found in this eroded surface of a volcanic pipe, but it is the diamonds that are the big attraction.
This month a visitor from Wisconsin, Bob Wehle, made headlines at the Park. He had made several trips to the Park in recent years and had found four relatively small diamonds but this trip produced bigger results. Bob uncovered a 5.47-carat, canary yellow diamond, which is the second largest diamond found in the park this year.
In an effort to increase the “production” of diamonds, the park staff had dug a trench in mid-September to provide new levels of dirt for prospectors to search. Bob Wehle was screening dirt from this newly dug trench when he saw the bright yellow diamond appear on his quarter-inch mesh screen. The diamond crystal is a rounded double pyramid shape with beautiful yellow color.
This year has been an exceptional year for larger diamonds with Marvin Culver’s 4.21 carat yellow Okie Dokie Diamond discovered March 12, Mike Ellison’s 2.18-carat white Moonshine Diamond July 25, Mr. and Mrs. Roden’s 6.35-carat brown diamond on September 23, and now Bob Wehle’s 5.47-carat yellow diamond on October 14.
Just as big winners at the casinos in Las Vegas raise the interest and excitement of gamblers, the big diamond finds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park keep hopes high among diamond seekers and rock hounds.
Over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at this location since John Huddleston, the farmer who owned the land, discovered the first diamond in 1906. The Crater became an Arkansas state park in 1972 and since that time, visitors have discovered 25,000 diamonds.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is open daily with admission to the diamond search area is $6 for adults, $3 for children (age 6-12), and discounts are available for organized groups of 15 persons or more. There is no other place in the world that for such a small admission fee rock hunters can seek the diamond of their dreams.