20 posts categorized "Crater of Diamonds"

5.47-carat Canary Diamond Found

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.

Craterwehle547diamond_1This 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.

6.35 Carat Diamond Found in Arkansas

Rodendiamond635_carats2Donald and Brenda Roden of Point, Texas found a 6.35-carat coffee color, brown diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park on September 23, 2006.  They named their gem the Roden Diamond and are uncertain at this time whether they will eventually sell or keep it.

Rodendiamond635_carats1Park Superintendent Tom Stolarz noted, “The Roden’s gem is the eighth largest find of the 25,714 diamonds discovered since the Crater of Diamonds became an Arkansas state park in 1972.”  He described the gem as “about he same size and color as a large coffee bean.  The gem has somewhat distorted octahedral shape and a metallic-looking shine that is characteristic of diamonds from the Crater of Diamonds.”

Crater of Diamonds State Park is one of 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and is located in southwest Arkansas two miles southeast of Murfreesboro.  The park is the world’s only publicly operated diamond site where the public is allowed to search and keep any gems found, regardless of value. 

Learn more about Crater of Diamonds State Park...

50th Diamond

CraterdiamondsCrater of Diamonds State Park was in the news again with the discovery of a 2.18 carat white diamond.  Mike Ellison moved to Arkansas last year and now devotes five days a week digging for diamonds at the state park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas, the world’s only diamond producing mine open to searching by the public.

The 2.18 carat diamond was the 50th diamond Mike has found and the stone is the 273rd diamond discovered at Crater of Diamonds State Park this year.

1.11 Carat Diamond Discovered in Arkansas

Craterdiamondgirl_1 It is common for nine-year-old children to dig in the dirt, but how many do you know that find a diamond?  Courtney Condor, of Grantsburg, IL, was digging for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds Park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas on June 11 when she discovered a 1.11-carat white diamond.

The Condor family had been at the park for two days before Courtney found the gem near a sign marking the largest diamond find in the United States: a rose-tinted 40.23-carat “Uncle Sam” diamond found in 1924.  Courtney was using a child’s had shovel when she found the diamond which she named, “The Sparkles Diamond.”  The diamond is an elongated, tear-shaped stone and is Courtney’s to keep because all diamonds found at the park belong to the visitors who find them.

Park superintendent Tom Stolarz said that Courtney’s diamond was the 218 diamond found by visitors at the park to date in 2006.  While it is rare to find diamonds on the surface anywhere in the world, Crater of Diamonds Park is unique in that it is the only diamond mine where visitors can keep the diamonds they find.  The 37.5-acre park is a popular attraction for families where they have the opportunity to find one of nature’s prized possessions, a precious diamond.

Learn more about Crater of Diamonds Park

Diamond Mining Vacation

Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas is in the news again as a Kansas women and her 12 year old son found a 2.12 carat light yellow rough diamond while on vacation this past weekend.

Craterdiamonds2_1The park’s 37.5 acre diamond search area is the world’s only diamond producing site open to searching by the public.  The area is plowed up on a regular basis and “miners” go through the dirt and rocks looking for diamonds they can take home with them.

About 60,000 people come to Crater of Diamonds State Park each year to search for these precious gems.  Geologists believe these diamonds were formed millions of years ago and shot to the earth's surface during a violent volcanic eruption. The portion of the crater that is known to be diamond bearing is the eroded surface of an ancient volcanic pipe.

Rough diamonds do not look like the polished gems you buy in a jewelry store. A diamond weighing several carats may be no larger than a marble so it takes good eyes to spot the crystals. Diamonds have an oily, slick outer surface that dirt will not adhere to so Crater of Diamonds miners look for clean crystals. Most diamonds found at the crater are yellow, clear white or brown.

If you are on vacation in the area of Crater of Diamonds State Park, you might want to take a few hours to do some diamond mining.

4.21 Carat Arkansas Diamond

OkiedokiediamondThe Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department recently announced that a 4.21 carat yellow diamond was discovered at Crater of Diamonds State Park, the world’s only diamond mine open to searching by the public. 

The lucky “miner” was Martin Culver, an Oklahoma state trooper who was making his first visit to the park.  Culver and his family were visiting the park after watching a History Channel feature on the park.  His is going to name the diamond the Okie Dokie Diamond after his home state, Oklahoma.

Check out my other discussions on Crater of Diamonds State Park



Diamond Plates for Arkansas

Diamondlicenseplate Diamonds are in the news again in Arkansas as Governor Mike Huckabee introduced the new license plate design featuring a diamond.  Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas is the only diamond mine in the country where people can dig up diamonds.  The diamond plate is not a specialty license plate but is the official design

The Natural State is the official nickname for Arkansas and was officially adopted by the legislature in 1995 to highlight the "...unsurpassed scenery, clear lakes, free-flowing streams, magnificent rivers meandering bayous, delta bottomlands, forested mountains, and abundant fish and wildlife." This nickname replaced the official Land of Opportunity nickname following the slogan Arkansas Is a Natural that was used to promote tourism and outdoor recreation.  The diamond seems well suited for The Natural State because they are simply picked up out of the plowed fields at the Crater of Diamonds mine.

Until a few years ago, when diamond mining began along the Colorado-Wyoming border, the Crater of Diamonds area in Arkansas was the nation’s only diamond mining area.  There is an innate intrigue with the thought of picking up a diamond off the ground and knowing you can keep it that keeps thousands of visitors coming to the Crater of Diamonds State Park every year.

Mining Diamonds in the United States

While the United States is the leader in diamonds purchased, there are relatively few diamonds actually mined domestically.  There are numerous kimberlite pipes and lamproite pipes scattered from New York to Wyoming and Michigan to Arkansas, there are currently only two active diamond mines in the country.

Kelsey Lake
Kelseylakediamondmine_1The Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine, which straddles the Colorado-Wyoming State line, began production in 1996. It was North America’s first large-scale commercial diamond mine.  Production is from one of several kimberlite pipes of Devonian age in the State Line district of Colorado and Wyoming where open pit mining is used extracting the kimberlite ore.  During this open pit mining, much of the ore is removed with land movers and shovels, loaded into trucks and carried to the processing area.  The largest diamond found so far is 28.3 carats, and about 25% of the 20,000-carat annual production is of gem quality.

Kelsey Lake, the United States’ only commercial producing diamond mine, is now owned by McKenzie Bay International, Ltd, a Canadian mining company, and is operated by McKenzie’s local subsidiary, Great Western Diamond Co.

Crater of Diamonds
Craterofdiamonds_1 Located just 2.5 miles south southeast of Murfreesboro, Arkansas, diamonds were discovered in 1906 by a local farmer/prospector.  The lamproite pipe was mined from 1910 through 1929 and was a private tourist attraction from the 1950s to 1972, when it was sold to the state and converted into Crater of Diamonds State Park.

It has been estimated that over 100,000 diamonds have been recovered from the 35 acre plowed field. This site holds the record for the two largest diamonds found in North America; The Uncle Sam (40.23 carats rough) and the Star of Murfreesboro (34.25 carats rough). Since it became a state park in 1972 over 20,000 stones have been recovered by tourists and local diggers.

Recently, there has been renewed interest in commercial mining in the Crater of Diamonds area.  North Star Diamonds is considering Arkansas for further exploration opportunities.  Company president Walter Stunder traveled to Arkansas in February and to look at the potential diamond-bearing locations and acquired right to first refusal on 120 acres of land in Arkansas, near Murfreesboro.  Samples are now in Vancouver, British Columbia, for testing on diamond and indicator mineral results..  From past experience, Stunder feels there should be other craters in the area besides the Crater of Diamonds, as lamproite pipes are normally spread over a large area.

In early March, North Star hired Kings Consulting of Winslow, Arkansas to consult on an exploration program.  Jack and Maria King have performed geological work for several diamond exploration companies but are especially well suited for this project because Jack grew up in Murfreesboro, the area now being targeted.

1.22 carat diamond in Arkansas park

It might be a hobby, but Steve Lee really knows how to spot a diamond in the rough. Lee's most recent find -- a 1.22 carat, gem-quality diamond -- turned up during a recent visit to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro.

Sign up for: Globe Headlines e-mail | Breaking News Alerts He said he hadn't been able to hunt for diamonds in more than two years because a disability forced him to use crutches. Lee returned this year after friends persuaded him to take up the hobby again.

"It's a real thrill to find one this nice," he said Tuesday. "Even if you can't get around good, you can still do it."

Crater of Diamonds Superintendent Tom Stolarz said the size of the find isn't necessarily unusual for the park, but the quality of the diamond is exceptional. The state park is the only diamond mine in North America in which the public can dig.

Read the rest of the story at http://www.boston.com/news/odd/articles/2005/08/31/ark_man_finds_122_carat_diamond_in_park/


The latest improvement at Arkansas's diamond site, the Crater of Diamonds State Park, is a new 3,900-square-foot Diamond Discovery Center, a US$965,069 structure that now serves as the gateway to the park’s 37½-acre diamond search area and an in-depth introduction to the adventure of searching for diamonds. The Diamond Discovery Center is a diamond search area-based, interpretive facility that is designed to enhance the visitor experience at the park by helping park visitors understand diamonds and how to search for them at the site.

The exhibits include the diamond hunters’ hall of fame, and feature information about the many notable diamonds that have been unearthed here since those first diamond discoveries in 1906. Along with the exhibit gallery, the two level barrier-free building features a refreshment facility, digging equipment rental, restrooms/bathhouse/changing rooms, office, and storage on the lower level. The building’s upper level features a 1,600-square-foot classroom. The building sports an architectural design reminiscent of old mining buildings. This mining-theme is carried into the interior with the look of the exhibits and furnishings.

Located in southwest Arkansas, the park is the world's only publicly operated diamond site where the public is allowed to search and keep any gems found, regardless of value. Visitors search over a plowed field, the eroded surface of the earth’s eighth largest diamond-bearing deposit in surface area. Other semi-precious gems and minerals found here include amethyst, garnet, peridot, jasper, agate, calcite, barite and quartz. The park staff provides free identification and certification of diamonds. Park interpretive programs and the exhibit gallery in the park visitor center explain the site’s geology and history and offer tips on recognizing diamonds in the rough.