Man finds 9 carat diamond at state park

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/28/man-finds-9-carat-diamond-at-state-park.html

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Note that there is absolutely not a similar policy at Virgin Islands National Park.

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I went there on family vacation way back when I was around 8 or 9 years old.

It’s nothing but a huge empty field that you can dig around in the dirt hoping to find something. They till it up periodically to turn the soil over.

Fun for an hour or so but not something I would go back to over and over again.

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DeBeers lobbied Congress to have that site designated a park. They were afraid if mined it could hurt the diamond trade.

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I went there in 2013, dug around a lot, found nothing of any value.

Good for him, nice to see someone finds something there.

The only thing I remember otherwise about Arkansas was how few roads there were through the state and how their cops will pull you over for going 2 mph over the speed limit, which is arbitrarily low everywhere.

No desire to return.

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At least according to the park’s website, it’s only the 4th largest to be found there:

More than 33,100 diamonds have been found by park visitors since the Crater of Diamonds became an Arkansas state park in 1972. Notable diamonds found at the Crater include the 40.23-carat Uncle Sam, the largest diamond ever unearthed in the U.S.; the 16.37-carat Amarillo Starlight; the 15.33-carat Star of Arkansas; and the 8.52-carat Esperanza.

ETA: I think someone really messed up by not naming their stone “The Arkanstone”

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I took my teen daughter there a few weeks ago. Despite being a fully-functional young adult, she takes delight in near OCD behavior when it comes to sorting through small rocks in search of fossils and other items of interest. I can confirm that it is naught more than a plowed-up 40-arce patch of dirt in the middle of a forest. What were you expecting - something out of Snow White replete with industrious dwarves?

What really amazed me is how (aside from a handful hard-core rockhounds that looked like there were there on a regular basis) utterly unprepared people were to spend perhaps hours in 90+ degree heat. Families (often with toddlers) having little or no water and toiling like their rent depended on it. Mercifully, at regular intervals the park would announce how to be safe in the extreme temperatures, but much of it fell on deaf ears.

We had done our homework and had made screen sets, and hauled-in chairs, sunblock umbrellas and 5 gallons of water. Despite it being our first time at the park, it looked like we knew what we were doing and fielded many questions from other guests. The most common: “What should we be doing?” Correct answer: “Having fun!” Most often I’d tell them to take their family to a patch of shade at the edge of the field, and tell their kids was without a doubt the most absolutely best-est place to look for diamonds. Hell, if I had young kids, I probably would have salted the site with crystals I purchased at the gift shop so they would definitely find something.

Go the Crater of Diamonds for the allure of the promise of instant wealth, but stay for the amazing state park, lakes and eastern woodland forest. We were extremely pleased with the condition/upkeep/staff during our visit. We plan on returning to the area, but have no intentions of spending any more time in the mine.

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Finders keepers! Yesterday I went shopping for food & gave the storekeeper exact change, including three pennies. He glanced at one & said, “Read me the date on that!” We finally asked someone younger to read it for us. It was a 1943 penny & looked like copper – verdigris & all. If so, it’s worth $30,000-$60,000.

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Neat. I want to go, but first I am taking the kiddo to one of the various quartz mines. I think they will be way more excited if we find some nice points vs a sliver of low grade diamond. (Though I would still like to get one for my collection.)

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Your most arduous efforts at the Crater of Diamonds will have scant reward. There are gemstones other than diamonds to be found, but they are about as scarce. Hope your kid likes the color Grey. An interesting daytrip (not counting the drive) is the Strataca salt mine museum in Hutchinson KS. If you don’t like small spaces, I cant recommend the elevator ride though. Not much of a mineral discovery experience unless you really like salt. For fundraisers they host 5 and 10k races 650 feet below the ground, as well as an annual bike tour.

You have some quartz mines to recommend?

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I have been meaning to take her to the salt mines in Hutch. I finally got her to the space museum last year. I used to work there, but wow, has it grown.

I can not recommend a quartz mine by experience. I know there are several in the area of the diamond crater. There are tailings you can sift through for a cheaper price, and the more active mine - when we say mine, I think its all outside, not like in a literal mine. I saw a video of about an 8" point that was super clear, and I’d love to find something like that. But even some nice large white ones would be cool.

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It is easy to search for quartz, but you know you’ve hit it big when you can measure your find in galleons.

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I don’t know why people need to be such fucking loud mouths. Find your diamond. Don’t tell anyone, you big dumbass.

A 1943 copper penny, you say? Pics or it didn’t happen! Also, many steel ones have been coated to scam unwittings out of their 30 to 60k…

I bought nice crystals in Mena AR but skipped the diamond park because lazy. Mena’s crystal shops badly deteriorated between 1995-2015 so I’d only return for the scenery, not stones. Well, the thrift shop in Mena wasn’t bad.

Pro tip: Real diamonds lose value. Avoid retail.

This was my thought. My wife really wants to go (even though she’s already gotten bored really quickly looking for tourmalines a bit south of here, and looking for gold a bit north of here), but my thought was “Hmmm… Arkansas… no thank you.” One of my childhood friend’s family was from Arkansas, and thoroughly schooled me on why they were happy to have left.

How would Congress declare it an Arkansas state park? BS detector is tingling.

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