Crater of Diamonds State Park


Useful Information

Location: Murfreesboro.
I30 exit Prescott north, take Hwy 19 north, after 19km turn left on hwy 29, after 1km again left on Hwy 301, 25km to the Park.
(34° 1'55.46"N, 93°40'23.16"W)
Open: Memorial Day to Labor Day 8-20.
Labor Day to Memorial Day 8-17.
Closed 01-JAN, Thanksgiving Day, 25-DEC.
[2007]
Fee: Adults USD 6.50, Children (6-12) USD 3.50, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (15+): Adults USD 3.25, Children (3-18) USD 1.75.
[2007]
Classification:  Diamond Mine
Light: n/a.
Dimension: Ar=15ha.
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Crater of Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, AR 71958, Tel: +1-870-285-3113 E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:59:01 $

History

 
1889State Geologist John Branner searched an area of peridotite soil but did not find diamonds.
1906first diamond found by John Wesley Huddleston, the farmer who owned the property.
1952opened as a tourist attraction.
1972purchased by the State of Arkansas for development as a state park.

Geology

This is the eroded remains of a 95 million years old volcanic pipe. The pipe contains diamonds in a small amount, and the erosion destryed the rocks around the gemstones, but was not able to alter them because of their hardness. There are also other minerals in the sediment, some different sorts of semi-precious gems.

The diamonds were formed about 3Ga ago in the mantle, 100km to 160km below the surface. Under the extrem pressure and temperature carbon was transformed into diamond. Only 100Ma ago the Prairie Creek diatreme formed, a volcanic vent which brought fragments of mantle, crystal rocks, and minerals to the surface. The explosion of the vent created an 34ha funnel-shaped crater. The sides were sloping inward at about 45°. The material thrown out by the explosion mostly fell back into the crater. Now erosion started, and during the last 100Ma about 50m of the surface and the vent eroded. As a result the sediments on the surface contain all diamonds which formerly were in the 50m long vent.


Description

Crater of Diamonds State Park is a unique site, both from the geologic and from the social view. So we listed this site, although it is not really underground, nor is it a mine.

The geologic uniqueness is the existence of diamonds. The number of diamond deposits on earth is rather small, even smaller if you take in account that many diamond deposits are sediments which contain diamonds from a single eroded pipe. Even many diamonds in South Amerika originate from the same pipes at Kimberly where most of the African diamonds originate. The pipe was eroded before the continents split, and so today the same diamonds are found on opposite sides of the ocean. The existence of this pipe in the U.S.A. is extraordinary.

Where diamonds are found, soon people start to fight. As a result generally the owners try to secure their property with fences, dogs, security guards and weaponry. This is how it is in Africa, South America, and also a little bit in Australia. Many countries have laws about taking a rock away, which is called mineral collecting, fossicking or whatever. But this place is different: it is called finder's keepers, and the only diamond producing site open to the public in the world. This means if you find a diamond you may keep it.

The diamonds were discovered by the farmer who owned this property, John Wesley Huddleston, in 1906. The area was sold several times, and most of the owners planned to mine the diamonds. Unfortunately the number of diamonds is too small to allow commercial mining. And so all attempts failed to open a commercial mine.

The chance to find a diamond are rather good. During the last decades between 400 and 1,200 diamonds have been found every year. So at least daily a diamond is found. Nevertheless, nobody will become rich with the diamonds. If you really want to try it, you should take old clothes, wellingtons if it is raining, and probably shovels and buckets as you prefer. Nevertheless, many people just find the diamonds by walking up and down and carefully searching the floor. We recommend a hat, sun protection and a cooler for hot summer days.


See also


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