Where can diamonds be found? The answer might surprise you. Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park is one of the only diamond-producing site in the world where the public can search for diamonds in their original volcanic source. The policy here is “finders, keepers,” meaning the diamonds you find are yours to keep.
Visitors search for diamonds atop a 37 1/2-acre plowed field, the eroded surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcanic crater. Visitors access the diamond search area through the Diamond Discovery Center, an engaging interpretive center featuring exhibits and a pushbutton video kiosk which illustrates the three most popular methods of searching for diamonds. The park staff provides complementary identification and registration of diamonds found at the park.
A few facts about diamonds in Arkansas: The first diamond was found here in 1906 by John Huddleston, a farmer who owned a portion of the diamond-bearing crater at that time. The Crater of Diamonds has changed hands several times over the years and several companies made unsuccessful attempts at commercial diamond mining. Lawsuits, lack of profit, and fires are among the reasons suspected for these failures. From 1952 to 1972, this site was operated privately, as a tourist attraction. In 1972, the State of Arkansas purchased the Crater of Diamonds for development as a state park. The park is open throughout the year except for Thanksgiving Day, the last half of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Pets are allowed in all park facilities, with the exception of the park gift shop, Diamond Springs Water Park, and Kimberlite Cafe, as long as they remain on a leash under the owner’s control at all times.
The diamond search area is plowed periodically when weather allows to help loosen the surface soil and promote diamond finds. Plowing is unscheduled but generally takes place once a month during spring, summer, and fall. Historical structures, and mining equipment, washing pavilions, and sun shelters are located in the search area. Diamond mining tools are available for rent or purchase at the park.