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Old 04-19-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
6,101 posts, read 10,838,471 times
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Just posting this out of curiosity. My wife and I have been looking for places to go and see. We both think the Crater of Diamonds sounds interesting. I know we wouldn't find the Hope Diamond or anything huge, but are thinking about checking it out. Anybody been there? Good idea or bad? Plus, when we go, we're going to camp. The tourism book we got from the state says there is a campground there with tent camping sites.
I've got to give the Arkansas Tourism Department for showing off the state. My wife ordered a booklet online and we got 4 books (tour guide, adventure guide, calendar of events, and state parks guide) plus a state map. That's more than we've received from a few other states.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:10 PM
 
6,046 posts, read 5,381,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kygman View Post
Just posting this out of curiosity. My wife and I have been looking for places to go and see. We both think the Crater of Diamonds sounds interesting. I know we wouldn't find the Hope Diamond or anything huge, but are thinking about checking it out. Anybody been there? Good idea or bad? Plus, when we go, we're going to camp. The tourism book we got from the state says there is a campground there with tent camping sites.
I've got to give the Arkansas Tourism Department for showing off the state. My wife ordered a booklet online and we got 4 books (tour guide, adventure guide, calendar of events, and state parks guide) plus a state map. That's more than we've received from a few other states.
When do you plan to visit Arkansas? The Crater of Diamonds State Park is a wonderful place, with fascinating exhibits and helpful park guides, but the "diamond field" can be extremely hot in the summer - it's several acres of plowed ground, with no shade except around the edges.

Most visitors who are hunting diamonds bring garden tools along and dig, so if this fits your plan, you will be working hard physically. Wear comfortable, cool old clothes that it won't grieve you to get dirty, including a sun hat and flat shoes that won't come off easily, bring plenty of bottled water, something to go on the ground to sit on (newspaper will do), take it easy, and read up on what can be found at Crater of Diamonds - in addition to diamonds, there are a number of semi-precious stones which also occur here: quartz, agate, amethyst, and more. Diamonds are found weekly, and are of various sizes and colors. Well-worth a visit!

I last visited the Crater of Diamonds many years ago, during late childhood, but had a lot of fun, though my family and I didn't find any diamonds. I do still have a nice little cluster of quartz crystals, though. This was when the Crater was privately owned - it has been spruced up considerably since becoming a state park, I am told. The other Arkansas state parks I've visited have all been very well kept and are very worthy of visiting, with many amenities for visitors.

And speaking of quartz crystals: Arkansas is also famous for beautiful quartz crystals, which are found around Hot Springs, Mount Vernon, and in the many rock shops in this area. Advice is similar for crystal digging, with extra emphasis on wearing old clothes that can get dirty without causing problems - the quartz crystals are found in sticky orange clay!
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:31 PM
 
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Crater of Diamonds is interesting but it's more like a plowed field of grey-green dirt called "Kimberlite" which is the matrix in which diamonds are formed. I've been there a couple times, once as a kid and another time as an adult. If you go, you don't want to go in the dead of summer...it's just too darn hot. There is an interesting visitors center there that serves as an information / mini-museum of sorts. It's been years but I think you can rent a bucket and shovel and a screen to try your hand at finding diamonds on your own. It's a crapshoot. Some first-timers find diamonds on their first visit. The trick is to know what to look for...the park rangers will either tell you, show you examples or show pics of "diamonds in the rough".

Best time to go to find diamonds is a couple days after a rain. The water is useful in screening soil and many times diamonds have been found lying exposed due to the rain drainage. It's also the time when everybody wants to go (who is into diamond digging). Prepare to get dirty because you'll be digging or you'll get your shoes muddy if all you do is walk around. I'm not sure if they do demos or tours anymore as it's been years since I've been there.

They used to allow hard-core prospectors to come in and dig... I don't know if that's still the case but if they do, you'll recognize them as they're usually wearing hip-waders or knee-high rubber boots and carry a lot of plastic buckets. They'll dig these slit-trenches and pan the muddy grounds. Some actually make income this way, selling their diamonds to collectors, jewelers for the novelty. Some even sell to industrial bit makers as the Ark. Diamond is supposedly a lot harder than most African diamonds. It's not some cave or romantic-looking rock formation....it's a plowed field in Arkansas and not really close to much of anything. But there is some pretty country-side to drive through.

Good luck!
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,458 posts, read 5,383,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
When do you plan to visit Arkansas? The Crater of Diamonds State Park is a wonderful place, with fascinating exhibits and helpful park guides, but the "diamond field" can be extremely hot in the summer - it's several acres of plowed ground, with no shade except around the edges.

Most visitors who are hunting diamonds bring garden tools along and dig, so if this fits your plan, you will be working hard physically. Wear comfortable, cool old clothes that it won't grieve you to get dirty, including a sun hat and flat shoes that won't come off easily, bring plenty of bottled water, something to go on the ground to sit on (newspaper will do), take it easy, and read up on what can be found at Crater of Diamonds - in addition to diamonds, there are a number of semi-precious stones which also occur here: quartz, agate, amethyst, and more. Diamonds are found weekly, and are of various sizes and colors. Well-worth a visit!

I last visited the Crater of Diamonds many years ago, during late childhood, but had a lot of fun, though my family and I didn't find any diamonds. I do still have a nice little cluster of quartz crystals, though. This was when the Crater was privately owned - it has been spruced up considerably since becoming a state park, I am told. The other Arkansas state parks I've visited have all been very well kept and are very worthy of visiting, with many amenities for visitors.

And speaking of quartz crystals: Arkansas is also famous for beautiful quartz crystals, which are found around Hot Springs, Mount Vernon, and in the many rock shops in this area. Advice is similar for crystal digging, with extra emphasis on wearing old clothes that can get dirty without causing problems - the quartz crystals are found in sticky orange clay!
Craig, did you mean Mt IDA?
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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I have been there and get the biggest kick out of watching and listening to the visitors
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:27 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
6,101 posts, read 10,838,471 times
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We definitely won't go when it's hot. In hot weather my wife won't get more than 10 feet from the air conditioner. lol
Had a feeling it wouldn't be an easy job or everybody would be out there. Nothing set in stone for the visit yet. She's got the camping bug for the year and is trying to decide where to go. I know there will be a couple "warm up" camping trips to the Land Between the Lakes, 30 miles from here. lol Thanks for the info.
Craig, I wouldn't mind finding an amethyst or two. That's my birthstone.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:20 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
6,101 posts, read 10,838,471 times
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Read this one today.

KY man unearths 2.95-carat diamond at AR park - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:52 AM
 
3,781 posts, read 4,691,201 times
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I saw that on the news last night. He's been looking for 28 years....good for him!

Even if you don't find anything, the Crater of Diamonds is a very interesting place to go.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,458 posts, read 5,383,043 times
Reputation: 1772
I may have posted this before but I know a man who works on an off-shore oil rig X number of weeks and then gets the same number off, and while off, he comes home to Pike County and spends most of his time at the Crater. He has found so many diamonds (one was 2.67 carats) he is referred to as "Diamond Jim", and you can find him on Google as "Diamond Jim Gatliff".

Last edited by ArkansasSlim; 07-09-2013 at 07:49 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:34 AM
 
Location: MD/Arkansas
92 posts, read 151,639 times
Reputation: 93
My wife and I have been going to Arkansas for about a dozen years or so. We bought our retirement land over 7 years ago (3 years to go to retire there!). We usually visit both in the spring and fall. For the fall trip I take an extra day off of work to make our fall trip a little bit longer and we take a two night mini-trip each fall for a vacation within our fall vacation. We've visited all sorts of nice places over the years. This fall we'll be going to the Crater for the first time (and the first time south of Little Rock, our land is in Sharp County). So even though we've researched the Crater this string has been very timely and informative too!! We were told from a lady that has a shop in Euraka Springs last year about the clay and mud!!! So we plan on taking our farm/horse boots (we have three horses at home) and some trash bags to put in our dirty clothes once we're done stomping around!!!! We're used to getting dirty (part of being on a farm!) so we look forward to this trip!!! We're not worried about finding something (although it would be fun) but just love getting out and enjoying ourselves. We'll be staying at Nashville AR for the two nights, anything in addition to the Crater to check out, any good eating places, etc? Thanks
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