The U.S. Park Where You Can Find Big Diamonds

Photo (cc) by Kim Alaniz

A 3.69-carat white diamond is the latest noteworthy find at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, the state park service reports.

Susie Clark nicknamed her find the Hallelujah diamond because the Arkansas resident unearthed it shortly after praying about finding a diamond on her last day of searching.

The rock, about the size of a pinto bean, is the largest of 122 diamonds found at the park so far this year — and the largest found there since the 6.19-carat white Limitless diamond was unearthed in April 2014, according to park interpreter Waymon Cox.

In addition to more standard park features like a water park and camping and fishing, Crater of Diamonds has a 37.5-acre plowed field that is the eroded surface of the eighth-largest diamond-bearing deposit in the world by surface area. It is the only diamond-producing site open to the public, according to the state park service.

Other noteworthy finds include:

  • The Strawn-Wagner diamond (3.03 carat rough weight, 1.09 carat cut weight) discovered in 1990 is the most perfect diamond ever certified by the American Gem Society’s lab.
  • The Uncle Sam diamond (40.23 carats rough, 12.42 carats cut) discovered in 1924 is the largest ever found at Crater of Diamonds.
  • The Illusion diamond (8.66 carats rough) discovered in 2011 is the third-largest ever found at the park.

Last year, a teenager sold a 3.85-carat diamond she found at the park for $20,000, but Susie Clark might not be that lucky.

The Rapaport Melee Diamond Index was down by 4 percent in the first quarter of this year and down 9.5 percent compared to March 2014, according to a recent press release.

Ezi Rapaport, the director of global trading for the Rapaport Group, says in a statement:

The diamond industry is continuing to face challenging times and serious liquidity constraints as dealers struggle to operate profitably in an extended weak market… There is uncertainty as to how long current conditions will last, with hesitation as to whether the market has hit bottom or if it will continue to spiral downward.

According to the park’s website, the cost to search for diamonds in the rough at Crater of Diamonds is $8 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12 and free for kids under 6. And it’s all finders keepers.

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