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Crater of Diamonds State Park is a place where you literally play the fun and exciting game of“finders, keepers.” The prize here being diamonds! In the middle of nowhere Arkansas(a.k.a. the town of Murfreesboro) is a field of 37 acres where for $10/day you can dig to your hearts’ content looking for diamonds making this the only diamond mine in the world open to the public. And don’t think this is a gimmick. Over 75,000 diamonds have been found in the“Crater” with an average of 600/year. The largest diamond found in North America was found at Crater of Diamonds topping out at 40.23 carats. In 1998, the Strawn-Wagner Diamond weighing 1.09 carats was graded by the American Gem Society as a 0/0/0“D” Flawless perfect diamond– a“one in a billion diamond”– and found right here in Arkansas.
The park was established in 1972 “to responsibly manage and interpret this unique site and to provide a meaningful diamond mining experience for all guests and future generations.” We find that pretty funny because we have never come across a state park whose intent is to provide a meaningful diamond mining experience mission. All the more reason we wanted to go! The parks campground is set among beautiful pine trees and offers full hook-up sites large enough to fit our 45’ RV without a problem. The campground has 47 nicely shaded RV sites with water/electric/sewer hookup(many of which have tent pads and five walk-in tent sites. The campground has two modern bathhouse with hot showers; one bathhouse includes a laundry and both were very clean and cared for all day long. If you need a dump station one is conveniently located as you leave the campground. There is also free Wi-Fi in the campground. There is a nice hiking trail that leaves from the campground and loops back around after venturing through the forest and along a river. It is not a long trail but a nice walk and we never saw anybody on it while we were there. Now back to diamond hunting. The“crater” is essentially a plowed field that is the eroded surface of a volcanic crater containing a variety of rocks, crystals, and gemstones. The field is plowed periodically to expose underlying layers of dirt and gems. The visitor center has interactive exhibits highlighting the unique history of the park and geology of Arkansas diamonds. They also tempt you with pictures of diamonds that have been found in the park. At the Diamond Discovery Center visitors learn about diamonds, but more importantly, techniques on how to find them.
Once you have rented (or brought your own) diamond digging equipment like trowels, shovels, buckets, sifting screens, etc. then it is time to head out into the crater. The techniques vary widely from walking along looking for smooth shiny diamonds (because dirt and mud don’t stick to the smooth surface of diamonds) to digging up a bucket full of dirt and sifting through water like gold mining. We talked to one man who uses a paint brush to lightly brush away loose dirt to reveal the diamonds. Diamonds come in a rainbow of colors but the predominant colors found here are white, brown, and yellow. If you think you found a precious stone, staff is on hand to positively identify it for you. And if you want it, you keep it! No matter what it is.
Will be back again really enjoyed stay.
I am currently staying at the Horseshoe Bend campground in Rogers, AR on site 158. I reported to the gate keepers yesterday that the 20amp GFCI circuit was tripped and wouldn’t reset. The gentleman who was at the gate told me he would go down and take a look at it. I was concerned because as I was explaining it to him he asked me if I meant the“little one”. I told him yes. I was headed back to work and told him I would be back out that evening. When I returned at 9:00pm, I noticed that my camper was dark and that my exterior light was off. I checked and sure enough he had turned off the 30amp breaker to my camper. I turned it back on and went inside. Sure enough it had been off all day and my fridge in turn was off. My freezer was defrosting and the bag of ice I had in it had leaked all over the floor and carpet. I went back to ask him why he had turned off the breaker and he told me that he hadn’t. That it must have tripped. I informed him that there is a difference in a tripped breaker and a turned off breaker because you have to reset a tripped breaker. I am in the construction trade and used to be an electrician by trade before I became a general contractor. I could see the look on his face that he knew he had forgotten to turn it back on. He then proceeded to tell me that I would need to plug into the other pole because that one wasn’t working. My cord wouldn’t come close to reaching. I then asked him if he turned it off because it wasn’t working and he said yes. So I asked him that if that was the case then why did he lie earlier when he said he didn’t and that it must have tripped. Needless to say I was pretty aggravated last night. I had to run back to town to get my shop vac so I could suck up the water and a fan to help dry out the carpet. Then I asked him if he had shut it down then why didn’t he call me since they have my phone number in the system when I checked in. He just said he was sorry and closed the door. I am a bit frustrated at all that. He has no business working on an electrical service if he isn’t licensed and is obviously incompetent if he wouldn’t even bother to call me after turning off my campers service knowing that people have fridges full of food in them.