If you’ve got an appetite for treasure hunting, this might just be for you.
Ever wanted to dig for your own diamonds? And keep them? There is apparently only one public place in the world that offers individuals the ability to do this. Its policy? ‘Finders, keepers.’ That’s right – if you find it, you get to keep it. The diamonds are located in a 37 ½-acre ploughed field in Arkansas’ Crate of Diamonds State Park, initially a privately owned property belonging to farmer John Huddleston, who happened to discover the first diamond on-site in 1906. In 1972, after falling into the hands of a series of proprietors, the State of Arkansas was able to purchase the Crate of Diamonds and transform it into a state park. 100 million years ago, a once massive volcano brought diamonds to the surface.
Today, Crate of Diamonds State Park is the only diamond-producing area in North America and is one of the eighth largest diamond-bearing deposits in the world. More than 75,000 diamonds have been discovered at ‘the Crater’, with an average of at least 700 dia
monds found yearly. So what does one need for a diamond hunt? Digging tools aren’t all that necessary, as one can discover diamonds atop the soil. However, what’s a treasure hunt without the digging? Visitors are allowed to bring their own tools or rent tools from the park. It is highly recommended to wear rubber boots for trudging through the mud as well as a hat and sunscreen during the summer.
How one locates a diamond depends on weather conditions and how much time one allocates to the search, but, according to Crater of Diamonds State Park, there are three ways: surface searching, digging and screening, and deep digging with several rounds of screening. It is suggested that one look for well-rounded clean crystals, paying attention to their weight – a diamond that weighs several carats may be smaller than a marble.
Also, diamonds have an oily, slippery outer surface that dirt will not stick to, with varying colours: white, yellow and brown. The search can be time-consuming and might involve hard work, but it can be really rewarding, too. For instance, a ‘D Flawless 0/0/0’ perfect diamond weighing 1.09 carats was found in Crater of Diamonds State Park in 1998. Besides being a hunting ground for diamonds, the park is also a camping ground with 47 Class AAA campsites.
So, what are you waiting for? Get those digging tools out and begin the treasure hunt of a lifetime!