December 10, 2008 – Crater of Diamonds

We woke to a cold, cloudy day in Arkansas – 33 degrees and the forecast high was to be 40 degrees with on and off rain so we decided it would be maintenance day – laundry, cleaning, chopping wood, etc.

This afternoon, however, we went to the visitor center to learn about the park and how to search for diamonds.

A little history of the park:

The first diamond was found here in 1906 by John Huddleston, who owned the property. The property did change hands several times over the years and several unsuccessful attempts have been made at commercial mining. The mine was operated by private interests as a tourist attraction from 1952 to 1972 when it was purchased by the State for development as a state park.

Over 75,000 diamonds have been found at “the Crater” an eroded volcanic pipe. Over 25,000 diamonds have been found by park visitors since 1972. In 1924, the Uncle Sam Diamond was found here – at 40.23, it was the largest diamond found in North America (and that record still stands). Averages of 600 diamonds are found each year and there are over 900 that have been found for this year alone. (Maybe we will be one of them!)

Other semi-precious stones are also found here such as amethyst, agate, jasper, quartz, calcite and barite. Hey, if we can’t find diamonds, I would love to find amethyst.

So that ends the history lesson. Here is a picture of the field:
No campfire tonight – it is a raw cold outside. So we relaxed after gathering up our equipment for tomorrow. (We will only need to rent screens.)

Stay tuned…..

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