Situated among the rolling Ouachita Mountains lies a one-of-a-kind state park where over 600 diamonds are plucked from the dirt each year, free for the taking. This real-life gem mine goes by the name Crater of Diamonds State Park – the world’s only diamond-bearing site open to the public.
The legend began in 1906 when an Arkansas farmer stumbled upon two sparkling crystals on his land near Murfreesboro. Soon, the “Diamond Rush” was on as thousands descended, seeking fortune and adventure panning the rich volcanic soil. Though commercial mining attempts eventually went bust, the decommissioned mine site became Crater of Diamonds State Park in 1972, so modern-day prospectors could savor its 37 diamond-studded acres.
These days, park visitors equip themselves with sifting screens, knee pads, and luck before stepping into the legendary diamond field to hunt for hidden gems. Since operations began, over 75,000 diamonds have been plucked from the earth, totaling nearly 6,500 carats. The most significant discovery came in 1924 when an Uncle Sam diamond weighing over 40 carats emerged – it remains the largest diamond ever unearthed in North America!
Under park rules, all diamonds and minerals found in their volcanic source belong to the visitors who unearth them, regardless of size or value. Beyond the excitement of finding a free sparkling souvenir, the family-friendly park offers camping, hiking trails, a swimming pool, and diamond mining education.
So whether you fancy yourself the next great prospector or simply want to sift through a piece of diamond history, Crater of Diamonds State Park makes for a gleaming Arkansas adventure that’s truly one in a million.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is located in Murfreesboro at 209 State Park Road. Camping and other accommodations are available at Crater of Diamonds State Park. For the most current hours and park admission please visit here.
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