Have you ever dug in the dirt for diamonds?
If you are anywhere near southwest Arkansas then chances are, you have. Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, is a mine that has been used as a tourist attraction for several decades and was purchased by the state of Arkansas in the 1970s to be converted to a state park. People from all over the region come to dig for diamonds here.
I’ve gone to the park since I was a child, and now we have started taking our kids there. Mainly, we’ve found quartz and other stones and haven’t hit a jackpot yet. But as a child, my family found a pretty little rock with amethyst and quartz mixed. When my husband was a child, his dig for diamonds resulted in a teeny one – a treasure none-the-less!
Of course, that is nothing compared to the diamond known as Uncle Sam found in 1924. It weighed in at a whopping 40.23 carats and a cut weight of 12.42 carats. That rock would be a little gaudy as a ring, but I would still wear it!!! LOL
So how do you find diamonds in the 37+ acres available to dig through?
#1. Prepare for a long day of getting to be a kid and playing in the dirt. Wear sunblock, a wide rimmed hat, tennis shoes, and comfortable clothes that are ok to get dirty. And don’t forget snacks and water; or purchase them at the concession stand.
#2. Check out the information in the Diamond Discovery Center. You have to pass through this anyway to enter the diamond mine so learn about the different types of diamonds that can be found. Look at the different examples of how they might look on the ground. And read about some interesting historical stuff.
#3. Bring or rent equipment for the job. Last time we were there, we had small shovels and a military folding shovel and also rented a bucket and a couple screens. All of these items are handy to dig for diamonds. These can be rented in the bottom part of the building you will walk past as you are about to step onto the treasure field.
#4. Keep looking down. Yep, silly I know. But I’ve heard of a diamond being found on a main walkway through the tilled up dirt. Just sitting right there in the open with plenty of people passing it by. It was a tiny thing, but still!
My kids had a blast digging and excavating and searching. I like going, but sometimes it’s fun just to sit there and watch the kids treat the place like a giant playground to be explored. Last time we were there, my job was to hold down the fort – aka hang out in one spot with the food so everyone could meet back up at some point. I didn’t spend time digging for diamonds but thoroughly enjoyed my mommy break and read a magazine. So even if you are not the budding geologist of your group, you can still have a nice quiet day out in nature.
Who knows you might get lucky and find a mate for Uncle Sam!