Murfreesboro, Arkansas: Crater of Diamonds State ParkThousands of real diamonds have been dug up in these regularly plowed fields of dirt, including the 40.23-carat "Uncle Sam." It's the only place in the world where the public can search for diamonds and keep what they find.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
- 209 State Park Rd, Murfreesboro, AR
- Two miles southeast of Murfreesboro on Hwy 301. Bring an extra set of clothes and sunscreen; you'll get dirty and wet, and the crater has no shade.
- Summer daily 8-8, off-season 8-5 (Call to verify)
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Visitor Tips and News About Crater of Diamonds State Park
Crater of Diamonds
Mining for diamonds is not what I'd expected. It turns out that the Crater is not an actual crater but an open field of very hard dirt that is plowed up every few months. I didn't have any luck, found nothing of value after digging in 103 degrees heat for two hours. However, there is a water park on site to enjoy after getting down and dirty.[Vicki Stevison, 08/12/2014]
We visited here after I heard about the park on the Duggars TV show several years ago. I knew my son would love to dig in the dirt and look for hidden treasures. We brought our own shovel, buckets and garden tools. We also brought a lawn chair and I was so glad we did. We intended to use one of the buckets to sit on, but instead put sifted dirt in one and rocks in the other. We rented a sifter and some knee pads (next time we will bring our own knee pads).
We spent five hours out on the 37-acre field, and would go back in a heartbeat. We only found jasper, no diamonds, but our memories are priceless.[Mrs. C, 11/01/2010]
Don't bother with the 8 min. film -- it doesn't go into much detail. It is worth your while to check out the displays in the second section, just before the crater. An interactive area shows you how to dry and wet hunt, and other displays show what diamonds in the rough look like (you will be surprised by some).
There are also other semiprecious stones to be found, such as amethyst, agate, jasper, quartz, and peridot. You can rent or buy equipment to help with your quest, such as sifting screens and five gallon buckets. I recommend trying to bring your own things such as small garden trowels and claw diggers, knee pads, cushions (for sitting in dirt), and definitely gloves. It is hard work to hunt for diamonds.
After you are done, bring your finds to the desk at the entrance to the crater and a park interpreter will tell you what your "finds" are. The most you can take out of the park is a five gallon bucket of stones. The best times to hunt are after a really good hard rain and just after they've plowed the area. Good luck![Amanda Connell, 06/15/2006]
On June 8, 2006, a flawless 1.11 carat white diamond was found in Park by a 9-year old tourist girl from Illinois. According to a press release from Crater of Diamonds State Park, it's the 218th diamond dug up by a visitor. Courtney Conder discovered it near the spot where "Uncle Sam" was dug up in 1924 -- the largest diamond ever found in the US.
The only place on the North American continent where you can dig for diamonds for a small fee and keep what you find. Some of the more notable diamonds found include: the 40.23-carat "Uncle Sam"--the largest diamond ever unearthed in the United States. Only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public, stands out as a unique geological "gem" for you to explore and enjoy.[Millie Thompson, 04/20/2005]
The Arkansas State Parks Department wants $4 million to turn Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro -- the only place in America where you can hunt for diamonds -- into what they consider a "national tourist attraction." What, exactly, they mean is unclear, since C of D has been a national attraction since 1986, when Roadside America brought it to national attention. We suspect it has something to do with the larger visitors center and "water play area for children" that they want to build, although why you'd want your kids splashing in water when they could be out hunting for diamonds is beyond us.... [11/22/1998] Complete News Story