The temperature dropped quite a bit last night so that will make for a chilly morning at the mine. It is weird calling it a mine or a crater. Neither seems to fit. Field would be the best description but who would pay money to visit the Diamond Field State Park ... a lot of people I would guess. The word Diamond tends to get people excited.
We layered up and headed for the park.
The crater is a completely eroded ancient volcano. Lava and other material was ejected bringing with it the diamonds from a source many miles below the surface. Over the years, the crater completely dispersed. Today, we can not even see any evidence that a crater ever existed.
The first diamond was found in the "crater" in 1906. The land was known to be a possible source of diamonds since at least the 1870s but none were found.
For years after the initial discovery, the property was a commercial diamond operation and many diamonds were found. The largest diamond found in the US was a 40.23-carat pink named "Uncle Sam" found at the crater. Most of the mining operations failed. The land changed hands several times until the State purchased it and created the State Park in the early 1970s.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only diamond mine open to the public and there is no charge for material removed including diamonds.
Just inside the entrance is an example of what had been found in the park.
The diamond was found in 1990 and weighed 3.03 carats. After being cut it was 1.09 carats. In 1997 it was valued at $36,000. No telling what it is worth today.
An average of one diamond per day is reported to the park. Almost all are under 1 carat but as many as once a week a larger diamond is found. The largest diamond found this year was over 4 carats.
It is known that many of the "professional" diamond miners do not report. Hum, I wonder why someone would not report a large diamond to a state park? Maybe to keep the IRS from finding out. Just guessing.
The park does have some signs showing so much information.
Like I said earlier the park is just looks like a plowed field.
The park has two wash stations. They are large bins full of water under a shade cover. Last night was pretty chilly so the water was cold.
The way we were taught to sift involves some splashing so getting damp is guaranteed. Good thing we wore older clothes and shoes. After working through several buckets of dirt, we ended up getting the sifting correct. Our goal is to get the heaviest material concentrated in the center.
After several hours of digging, hauling buckets, and sifting we ended up with a few pretty stones but no diamonds. We did have fun.
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