Crater of Diamonds

posted in: Gems of Wisdom | 0

The ultimate do-it-yourself jewelry project begins with a trip just 382 miles from downtown Rolla, Missouri. Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, is the only place in the world where, for just a small entrance fee, you can search for diamonds and keep all that you find! Over 30,000 gems have been found over the last 40 years including one weighing over 16 carats. Last year alone, thirty diamonds over one carat were unearthed in the park.

One can hardly imagine a more romantic anniversary destination than Crater of Diamonds State Park. Sweetheart, here lies nearly 40 acres of diamond bearing volcanic soil!  I gently whisper in her ear,  Here’s your shovel and bucket.…………….

After recovering from a spade to the back of the head I explain how rewarding it would be to find our own diamond, have it cut and mounted in a custom designed setting. Making little progress, I point out the 50 state-of-the-art camping sites, the Diamond Discovery Center, Diamond Springs Water Park and the Kimberlite Café. She seems to be warming up to the idea a little.

In 1972 the state of Arkansas purchased the mine site to develop as a public park. With over 100,000 visitors per year this popular destination is closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days. In July of this year, after only 10 minutes of digging, a 12-year-old boy discovered a shiny, metallic looking pebble that turned out to be a 5.16 carat diamond! When cut and polished it may be worth as much as $15,000, a nice start to his college fund. Of course, not everyone is this lucky, but just the adventure makes for great family fun and has great appeal to many.

So as I dig for my wife’s next piece of custom jewelry, she is lounging by the pool and checking out the gift shops….. Whose idea was this anyway?

For more on this adventure go to

Send your gem and jewelry questions to Kent Bagnall is the owner of Kent Jewelry in Downtown Rolla, Missouri,