Hunting for diamonds is great outdoor fun, but keeping found treasures is even more thrilling.
When entering the lush forest of Crater of Diamonds State Park in
Murfreesboro, Arkansas, one would never suspect that tucked inside is an
expansive open field full of buried treasure just waiting to be excavated. It is
the most preserved site of diamond mining history in North America.
Crater of Diamonds Offers Real Buried Treasure
At Crater of Diamonds, people of all ages can prospect for real diamonds,
amethyst, quartz, hematite and more than thirty-five other rocks and minerals
that occur naturally in the mine.
Though digging and screening is the most common method used to find
desirable stones, diamonds are sometimes found by simply walking the rows of
the 37-acre plowed mine field. Scanning the ground for a sparkle in the sunlight
can trigger a great find. "Finders Keepers" is a Crater of Diamonds rule. Unlike at
other USA diamond mines, natural treasures found at Crater of Diamonds belongs to the finder. Not every excursion will produce a diamond find, but other beautiful rocks and minerals can provide just as much discovery excitement.
The park staff will identify any stone and provide free certification of diamonds. The largest diamond ever found at the park was 16.37 carats, and a large find occurred in September of 2008 when a diamond totaling 4.68 carats was discovered on the ground surface. More than 75,000 diamonds have been found at the mine since its inception in 1906.
Diamond Digging Tools
Visitors can bring their own chairs, garden trowel, shovel, sifting screen and bucket, or
they can take advantage of the parks inexpensive tool rental service. Supplies must be
hand carried. With the exception of wheelchairs, the park does not allow anything with a
battery, motor or wheels to enter the mine area.
Appropriate dress is anything one might wear to work in a garden - comfortable
shoes, loose clothing, sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. After a rain, the field may be
muddy, and boots are recommended. Rainfall is beneficial to diamond hunting for it washes
away mud and exposes diamonds on the surface of the ground.
Pet Friendly Vacation
For families traveling with their dogs, Crater of Diamonds is the perfect vacation destination. Leashed dogs are allowed anywhere in the park except the cafe and the water park recreation area. It is not uncommon to see dogs in the diamond field.
Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their leashed pets, but there are no other restrictions. Fido can help dig if he so chooses.
The Best Time to Hunt for Diamonds
Crater of Diamonds is open year-round except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Hours vary according to season, and the water park has a more limited yearly schedule. Information on hours and entrance fees is available on the Crater of Diamonds State Park website.
Spring is an excellent time to visit, for the hot days have not yet arrived, the rains have kept the field in motion, and the crowds are smaller than those of summer and fall.
Crater of Diamonds is a Cheap Family Vacation with Big Rewards
Family bonding, healthy outdoor activity, and the thrill of discovery, make a vacation to Crater of Diamonds State Park unforgettable. The cost for park fees, restaurants and lodging in the area is modest, and the landscape is picturesque. There is much to appreciate, and the welcome bonus not offered by many family vacation destinations is the inclusion of the family dogs.
Whether the find of the day is a diamond worth thousands, or a stone worth only a memory, the Crater of Diamonds adventure is a joyful and enriching experience not to be missed.