Could there actually be a much more exciting name for a tourist attraction than “Crater of Diamonds State Park”? It evokes visions of walls of rock from which there are diamonds the size of grapes just waiting to be plucked. In reality, this is the only diamond site in the world where you can pluck and keep whatever you find, and yes, that does include real diamonds. Anyone interested in gemology or that just wants to have an adventure with the family should not miss out on visiting the Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Located in the southern area of Murfreesboro, Arkansas, this land was originally a farm owned by a man named John Huddleston. He found the first diamond on the property way back in 1906. Over the years there were many attempts to turn the farm into a private mining facility, but finally in 1972 the state of Arkansas purchased the property and turned it into the Crater of Diamonds State Park. It is open to the public for tours or for the real reason many come to see it – mining for diamonds.
The park is about 37 acres large and is plowed regularly although not on a particular schedule. This plowing allows for new earth to be overturned so that more tourists can try their luck at finding real gemstones when visiting Crater of Diamonds State Park. It is also quite a historical attraction, with old structures, equipment, out of date diamond washing pavilions, and other features left intact.
If you do decide to visit Crater of Diamonds State Park, don’t worry about what to bring. You can rent or purchase diamond mining tool there onsite. Of course, you can bring digging tools from home if you like; some tourists simply walk up and down the park, looking for diamonds while others prefer to dig. They also have what’s called a Diamond Discovery Center to identify diamonds and other gemstones you may find without charge.
Your first question when considering whether or not to visit Crater of Diamonds State Park – if you’re not out the door and on your way to Arkansas already – is whether or not the diamonds you find there are actually valuable. It’s important to remember that a diamond is not truly valuable until it has been cut by a diamond cutter or jeweler; some diamonds are so small that they simply cannot be cut. There have been some larger diamonds found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park and were cut even up to D Flawless, some of the most valuable diamonds there are. However, most are just about the right size for a souvenir and can be mounted in jewelry on their own for a great keepsake.
It’s important to remember that none of the staff at Crater of Diamonds State Park can cut a diamond or rate it for you; they can only certify that the stone actually is a diamond. So you may not get rich there, but it is a great place to visit and learn about diamond mining.