Are Arkansas Diamonds Real Diamonds? Unveiling the Truth

Arkansas diamonds, found in the Crater of Diamonds State Park, are indeed real diamonds.

These precious stones are a result of a unique geological formation that dates back more than three billion years.

The park allows visitors to mine for diamonds, making it a popular destination for diamond enthusiasts and treasure hunters alike.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park is not only home to diamonds, but also other semi-precious gemstones such as garnets, jaspers, and amethysts.

Although the majority of diamonds found in the park are small, some noteworthy discoveries have made headlines in the past.

With its fascinating geology and rich history, Arkansas diamonds offer a rare and exciting experience for those who venture to the state park.

Key Takeaways

  • Arkansas diamonds are genuine diamonds found at Crater of Diamonds State Park
  • The park offers visitors a unique diamond mining experience
  • Some notable finds have been discovered in the park throughout its history

Arkansas Diamonds: Origin and Formation

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park, located near Murfreesboro, Arkansas, is a unique geological formation that serves as a popular attraction for diamond seekers. In August 1906, diamonds were discovered by a farmer named John Wesley Huddleston, who found a “glittering pebble” on his property 1.

Since then, the park has provided the public with the opportunity to search for these precious stones and has become the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public 2.

Nestled in the Ouachita Mountains, Crater of Diamonds State Park covers a vast area that includes a volcanic crater with a unique geological past.

The crater spans more than 37 acres and offers visitors the chance to search for diamonds amidst the park’s beautiful natural surroundings 3.


At the heart of Crater of Diamonds State Park lies a unique volcanic formation over three billion years old. The diamonds found within the park are formed from a rare volcanic rock called lamproite 4. Lamproite is a fascinating material, as it serves as a direct source of diamonds.

These diamonds form deep within the Earth’s mantle and are later brought to the surface by the volcanic activity that creates the lamproite deposits 5.

In the case of the Crater of Diamonds, this volcanic activity occurred almost 100 million years ago, leading to the formation of diamond-bearing lamproite pipes 6.

These pipes are responsible for supplying the park’s diamonds, making it one of the most unique diamond-producing locations in the world.


While lamproite is the primary source of diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park, it is not the only rock formation known to contain diamonds. Kimberlite, another volcanic rock, is also associated with diamond formations around the world.

However, unlike lamproite, kimberlite has not been found to yield any significant diamond deposits within the park 7.

Both lamproite and kimberlite pipes originate from deep within the Earth and have played crucial roles in the formation and discovery of diamond deposits across the globe.

While the Crater of Diamonds State Park may be most well-known for its lamproite pipes, the presence of kimberlite just beyond its boundaries serves as a reminder of the incredible geological forces that formed these rare and precious stones 8.

The Diamond Mining Experience

Diamond Discovery Center

At the heart of the Crater of Diamonds State Park lies the Diamond Discovery Center. Here, visitors can learn about the fascinating history of the park, the various gemstones found in the region, and the geological aspects that contribute to the formation of these precious stones. The center also provides useful information on how to search for diamonds and other gemstones successfully.

Public Search and Mining Process

Crater of Diamonds State Park is a unique 911-acre facility, as it is the only diamond mine in the United States that is accessible to the general public. As a visitor, you get the opportunity to search for diamonds in a 37.5-acre plowed field, which has yielded more than 35,000 diamonds so far, including the famous Uncle Sam Diamond. The park operates on a “finders keepers” policy, allowing visitors to keep any diamonds or gemstones they may unearth. Alongside diamonds, other gemstones like amethyst, agate, jasper, garnet, and peridot are also found at the site.

Tools and Techniques

To increase your chances of finding diamonds, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the proper tools and techniques. At the Crater of Diamonds State Park, you can either bring your own tools or rent some from the park’s gift shop. Some commonly used tools for diamond mining include shovels, buckets, screens, and trowels.

The process of mining diamonds typically involves searching the soil, gravel, and sand for gemstones. It is helpful to know that diamonds and other heavy minerals are often found in the park’s volcanic soil. Start by selecting an area to dig and then sift through the collected gravel to separate the heavier minerals from the lighter sand. Pay close attention to areas where water may have naturally washed away the volcanic soil, as these places are more likely to contain diamonds.

Remember that patience, persistence, and keen observation prevail as crucial factors for success in diamond hunting at Crater of Diamonds State Park. So, gear up and enjoy an unforgettable diamond mining experience that is truly one-of-a-kind!

Notable Arkansas Diamond Finds

Strawn-Wagner Diamond

The Strawn-Wagner Diamond is one of the most famous diamonds discovered in the Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas. The diamond was found by Shirley Strawn in 1990 and weighed 3.03 carats in its rough state. after being cut and polished, the Strawn-Wagner Diamond weighed 1.09 carats and received the highest possible grade for a diamond from the American Gem Society. It is also one of the rare diamonds with a perfect 0/0/0 rating, making it a true testament to the quality of Arkansas diamonds.

Amarillo Starlight Diamond

The Amarillo Starlight Diamond was discovered by W. W. Johnson of Amarillo, Texas in 1975. This remarkable find weighed 16.37 carats in its rough form, making it the largest diamond found by a park visitor since the Crater of Diamonds State Park’s establishment in 1972. The diamond was later cut into a 7.54-carat marquise shape, showcasing its beautiful white color and brilliance. Like the other notable discoveries, the Amarillo Starlight Diamond highlights the potential for finding valuable gems in Arkansas.

Esperanza Diamond

The Esperanza Diamond ranks among the most significant treasures unearthed in the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Discovered in 2015, this extraordinary stone weighed 8.52 carats in its rough state, exhibiting a stunning icicle shape. After being expertly cut and polished, the Esperanza Diamond revealed a fascinating teardrop shape weighing 4.64 carats. Its rare D-color and internally flawless clarity make it one of the most exceptional diamonds discovered on public land.

Visitors to the Crater of Diamonds State Park have access to a unique “finders keepers” policy, allowing them to keep any stones they find. These famous diamonds attest to the rich provenance and diamond prospecting opportunities in Arkansas. The diverse range of colors and qualities found within Arkansas diamonds allows visitors to imagine the possibilities while diamond digging in this historic site.

Interesting Facts and Statistics

Frequency of Discoveries

Over the past few years, tourists have pulled more than 1,000 precious stones from the ground at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. Park officials report that on average, 258 diamonds are discovered each year by park visitors. The largest diamond of the year is usually a notable find, such as a pinto-bean-sized brown diamond found by a Colorado woman in the past.

At Crater of Diamonds State Park, genuine Arkansas minerals can be found in the park’s 37.5-acre plowed field, which contains volcanic rocks, including lamproite. The field is plowed periodically to facilitate surface searching, and visitors employ techniques like wet sifting and searching tailings to increase their odds of discovering diamonds. It’s worth noting that finding diamonds at the park is a combination of luck, patience, and persistence.

Worldwide Comparisons

The formation of diamonds in Arkansas is connected to the unique geological features of the region, namely the volcanic pipe called the “Prairie Creek” diatreme. This diatreme, which originated from the Earth’s mantle, rose rapidly and carried fragments of mantle and crustal rocks and minerals to the surface (Arkansas State Parks). The volcanic pipe is responsible for the occurrence of diamonds, unlike the kimberlite pipes often found in countries like South Africa, known for its Kimberley region with rich diamond deposits.

Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only active diamond mine in the US where the public can search for diamonds in their original volcanic source. This pay-to-prospect mine is open to all, with a registration process for park visitors, and allows prospectors to bring their mining equipment and sun shelters, as well as their pets.

Arkansas diamonds are not only real diamonds but are also often found in their rough and uncut form. They have been compared to diamonds from other regions, such as South Africa, in terms of their carat weight and overall quality. Well-known diamonds found at the Crater of Diamonds in Arkansas include the 15.33-carat Star of Arkansas, the 6.42-carat Gary Moore diamond, and the 34.25-carat Star of Murfreesboro (Encyclopedia of Arkansas).

Visitors can also find other minerals in the park, such as hematite, which gives Arkansas diamonds a unique combination of geological interest and worldwide comparisons to other diamond-rich regions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Worth of Arkansas diamonds

Arkansas diamonds, like all diamonds, have varying values based on their size, clarity, and color. While diamonds found at Crater of Diamonds State Park may not be as valuable as those mined commercially, they still have significant worth. Some diamonds have been appraised for thousands of dollars, but keep in mind that each diamond’s value will differ.

Odds of finding diamonds

The odds of finding a diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park are not guaranteed, but people have been successful in discovering them. Over 35,000 diamonds have been found by park visitors since it opened. While it’s not easy, with patience and dedication, you could potentially find a diamond yourself.

Best places to dig

At the Crater of Diamonds State Park, there are a variety of locations where you can search for diamonds. Many opt to search the plowed fields, as these areas can often have exposed diamonds on the surface. Others choose to dig deeper in the search of rare gems. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and many factors play a role in where diamonds may be found.

Largest diamond found

The largest diamond ever found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park is the Uncle Sam Diamond, discovered in 1924. It weighed an impressive 40.23 carats before cutting and was subsequently cut to 12.42 carats. The Uncle Sam Diamond remains the largest diamond ever discovered in the United States.

Best month to dig

There isn’t a specific “best” month to dig for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park; however, some months may have certain advantages. For instance, after heavy rains, it might be easier to spot exposed diamonds on the surface. Visiting during the offseason (fall and winter) can also provide a less crowded experience, increasing your chances of finding a diamond.

Keep or sell found diamonds

Diamonds found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park are yours to keep or sell. Whether you decide to keep it as a memento, have it appraised and cut into a piece of jewelry, or sell it for profit is entirely up to you. It’s essential to consider the emotional and monetary value of the diamond before making a decision.


  1. Smithsonian Magazine
  2. Arkansas State Parks
  4. Encyclopedia of Arkansas
  5. Arkansas State Parks
  6. Encyclopedia of Arkansas

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