|Crater of Diamonds State Park|
Digging for diamonds, 2007
|Location||Murfreesboro, Pike, Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas, United States|
|Area||911 acres (369 ha)|
|Named for||Diamond mine|
|Governing body||Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism|
|Website||Crater of Diamonds State Park|
Crater of Diamonds State Park is a 911-acre (369 ha) Arkansas state park in Pike County, Arkansas, in the United States. The park features a 37.5-acre (15.2 ha) plowed field, the world's only diamond-bearing site accessible to the public. Diamonds have continuously been discovered in the field since 1906, including the Strawn-Wagner Diamond. The site became a state park in 1972 after the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism purchased the site from the Arkansas Diamond Company and Ozark Diamond Mines Corporation, who had operated the site as a tourist attraction previously.
Pike County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,291. The county seat is Murfreesboro. Pike County is Arkansas's 25th county, formed on November 1, 1833, and named for Lieutenant Zebulon Pike, the explorer who discovered Pikes Peak. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.
Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
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In August 1906, John Huddleston found two strange crystals on the surface of his 243-acre (98 ha) farm near Murfreesboro, Arkansas, and soon became known as the first person outside South Africa to find diamonds at their original source. The following month, Huddleston and his wife, Sarah, sold an option on the 243 acres (98 ha) to a group of Little Rock investors headed by banker-attorney Samuel F. (Sam) Reyburn, who undertook a careful, deliberate test of the property.
Murfreesboro is a city in, and the county seat of, Pike County, Arkansas, United States. Its population was 1,764 at the 2000 census. The city is known for the Crater of Diamonds State Park located south of the city.
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.
After 1906, several attempts at commercial diamond mining failed. The only significant yields came from the original surface layer, where erosion over a long period of time had concentrated diamonds. In the early period, 1907–1932, yields from this "black gumbo" surface material often exceeded thirty carats per hundred loads (50 mg/Mg) (standard 1600-pound tramload of the early period). Highest yields from the undisturbed subsurface material (described as kimberlite or volcanic breccia by the U.S. Geological Survey) were two carats per hundred loads (3.5 mg/Mg) in 1908 and about two carats per hundred short tons (4.4 mg/Mg) in 1943−1944.
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized package that is of economic interest to the miner.
The carat (ct), is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg and is used for measuring gemstones and pearls. The current definition, sometimes known as the metric carat, was adopted in 1907 at the Fourth General Conference on Weights and Measures, and soon afterwards in many countries around the world. The carat is divisible into one hundred points of two milligrams each. Other subdivisions, and slightly different mass values, have been used in the past in different locations.
Kimberlite is an igneous rock, which sometimes contains diamonds. It is named after the town of Kimberley in South Africa, where the discovery of an 83.5-carat (16.70 g) diamond called the Star of South Africa in 1869 spawned a diamond rush and the digging of the open-pit mine called the Big Hole. Previously, the term kimberlite has been applied to olivine lamproites as Kimberlite II, however this has been in error.
Because equipment of the early period usually included bottom screens with mesh larger than 1/16 inch (1.6 mm), thousands of smaller diamonds were allowed to pass through. The bulk of these ended up in drainage cuts of varying depths all over the field and in the big natural drains on the east and west edges of the diamond-bearing section of the volcanic deposit (approximately 35 acres (14 ha) of volcanic breccia on the east side of the 80-acre (32 ha) pipe). In recent decades, those small diamonds have been the bread-and-butter of recreational diamond digging.
Soon after the first diamond was found, a "diamond rush" created a boomtown atmosphere around Murfreesboro. According to old tales, hotels in Murfreesboro turned away 10,000 people in the space of a year. Supposedly, these aspiring diamond miners formed a tent city near the mine, which was named "Kimberly" in honor of the famous Kimberley diamond district in South Africa. On the other hand, all available evidence indicates that the Town of Kimberly originated as a land-development venture in 1909, initiated by Mallard M. Mauney and his oldest son, Walter, on their land immediately south of Murfreesboro. The project failed soon afterward as the speculative boom generated by the diamond discovery collapsed. Today, the Kimberly area is almost all cow pasture, owned by Mauney's descendants.
A diamond rush is a period of feverish migration of workers to an area that has had a discovery of diamonds. Major diamond rushes took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in South Africa and South-West Africa.
A boomtown is a community that undergoes sudden and rapid population and economic growth, or that is started from scratch. The growth is normally attributed to the nearby discovery of a precious resource such as gold, silver, or oil, although the term can also be applied to communities growing very rapidly for different reasons, such as a proximity to a major metropolitan area, huge construction project, or attractive climate.
A tent city is a temporary housing facility made using tents or other temporary structures. Informal tent cities may be set up without authorization by homeless people or protesters. As well, state governments or military organizations set up tent cities to house refugees, evacuees, or soldiers. Tent cities set up by homeless people may be similar to shanty towns, which are informal settlements in which the buildings are made from scrap building materials.
During the Second World War, the U.S. government took over the mine and granted a contract to Glen Martin to extract this rare war material. Although diamonds were obtained, and the concentration of diamonds similar to other producing mines, this was not fully successful as a venture due to the large costs involved with U.S. labor. After the war, the property was returned to the previous owners. From 1951 to 1972, the crater hosted several private tourist attractions. The first, The Diamond Preserve of the United States, lasted only about one year. In late 1951, Howard A. Millar stepped in and salvaged the infant tourist industry. In April 1952, Millar and his wife, Modean, launched their Crater of Diamonds attraction. Howard Millar, an accomplished writer and promoter, stirred unprecedented national publicity and drew enough visitors to sustain the operation. In March 1956, a visitor found the Star of Arkansas on the cleared surface. The rare beauty weighed 15.33 carats (3.066 g). Later, Roscoe Johnston opened a rival tourist attraction, the Arkansas Diamond Mine, on the main part of the diamond field.
The rivalry between the two tourist operations left both in a weakened position. In 1970, the entire volcanic formation was consolidated by a private partnership, which then reassigned the property to General Earth Minerals (GEM) of Dallas, Texas. GEM expected to turn the property over for a profit, but ended up heavily indebted to GF Industries (GFI) of Dallas. Upon default, GFI took the property in July 1971.
GEM consolidated the tourist operation as well as the property. GFI continued the attraction until it sold the 80-acre (32 ha) volcanic formation and some 800 acres (320 ha) to the State of Arkansas in March 1972 for $750,000. The tourist operation continued as the centerpiece of Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Due in part to the park, and also because Arkansas was the first place outside South Africa where diamonds were found at their original volcanic source, this special gem has come to be associated with the Natural State. A large diamond symbol has dominated the state flag since 1912. The Arkansas State Quarter, released in 2003, bears a diamond on its face.
The Crater of Diamonds volcanic pipe is part of a 95-million-year-old eroded volcano. The deeply sourced lamproite magma, from the upper mantle, brought the diamonds to the surface. The diamonds had crystallized in the cratonic root of the continent long before and were sampled by the magma as it rose to the surface.
The geology of the area and the diamond formation process itself were the subjects of the Ph.D. dissertation of Roland Everett Langford in 1973 from the University of Georgia; in it, he proposed a gas phase reaction from the reduction of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the upper mantle. The dissertation was on display at the state park for many years.
The lamproite diamond source is unusual, as almost all diamonds are mined from kimberlite and from alluvial deposits of diamonds weathered from kimberlite. The most prominent lamproite diamond source is the Argyle diamond mine in Australia.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is famous for the 37.5-acre (15.2 ha) plowed field on which visitors can hunt for diamonds and other semi-precious gems. On average, two diamonds are found per day by park visitors. A visitor center contains information about the geology of the park, a gift shop, and a cafe. Interested visitors can continue to the Diamond Discovery Center, which offers an interpretive look at prospecting for diamonds. The Diamond Springs aquatic playground, enclosed pavilion, trails, and picnic areas surround the diamond field. The park offers campers 47 Class AAA facilities near the Little Missouri River.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is situated over an eroded lamproite volcanic pipe. The park is open to the public and, for a small fee, rockhounds and visitors can dig for diamonds and other gemstones. Park visitors find more than 600 diamonds each year of all colors and grades.Over 29,000 diamonds have been found in the crater since it became a state park. Visitors may keep any gemstone they find regardless of its value.
In addition to diamonds, visitors may find semi-precious gems such as amethyst, agate, and jasper or approximately 40 other minerals such as garnet, phlogopite, quartz, baryte, and calcite.
|Year||Finder||Diamond Name||Weight (carat)||Weight (gram)||Color||Notes|
|1917||Lee J. Wagner of the Arkansas Diamond Company||17.86||3.572||canary yellow||on display in the National Museum of Natural History|
|1924||Wesley Oley Basham||Uncle Sam||40.23||8.046||largest diamond ever discovered in the United States|
|1964||John Pollock||Star of Murfreesboro||34.25||6.850|
|1975||W. W. Johnson||Amarillo Starlight||16.37||3.274||Largest found since 1972. Cut into a 7.54 carats (1.508 g) marquise|
|1977||George Stepp||Kahn Canary||4.25||0.850||canary yellow||Naturally flawless. Remains uncut in dodecahedral "pillow" shape|
|1978||Betty Lamle||Lamle Diamond||8.61||1.722||fourth largest found since 1972|
|1981||Carroll Blankenship||Star of Shreveport||8.82||1.764||second largest found since 1972|
|1990||Shirley Strawn||Strawn-Wagner Diamond||3.09||0.618||cut to 1.09 carats (218 mg) in 1997; graded a "perfect" 0/0/0 by the American Gem Society in 1998, making it the first diamond ever to receive such an AGS grading. Currently on exhibit at the park.|
|1991||Joe Fedzora||Bleeding Heart Diamond||6.23||1.246||brownish yellow|
|1997||Richard Cooper||Cooper Diamond||6.72||1.344||deep purplish-brown|
|1997||Richard Cooper||Cooper Diamond||6.00||1.200||brown/cognac||new owners from Florida since 2008|
|2006||Marvin Culver||Okie Dokie Diamond||4.21||0.842||deep canary yellow||Flawless. Seen on Today Show, MSNBC, Inside Edition and Travel Channel and published in Lost Treasure magazine (twice), Western and Eastern Treasures magazine, Mineralogical Record and Rocks & Minerals.|
|2006||Bob Wehle||Sunshine Diamond||5.47||1.094||deep canary yellow||flawless|
|2006||Donald and Brenda Roden||Roden Diamond||6.35||1.270||honey brown|
|2008||Denis Tyrrell||Kimberly Diamond||4.42||0.884|
|2008||Richard Burke||Sweet Caroline||4.68||0.936||white|
|2009||Glenn Worthington||Easter Sunrise Diamond||2.04||0.408||yellow|
|2010||Glenn Worthington||Brown Rice Diamond||2.13||0.426||light brown|
|2011||Beth Gilbertson||Illusion Diamond||8.66||1.732||white||third largest diamond found since 1972, and largest in almost 30 years|
|2013||Michael Detlaff||God’s Glory Diamond||5.16||1.032||honey brown|
|2013||Tana Clymer||God's Jewel||3.85||0.770||canary yellow|
|2014||Brandon Kalenda||Jax Diamond||2.89||0.578||white|
|2014||David Anderson||Limitless Diamond||6.19||1.238||white|
|2015||Susie Clark||Hallelujah Diamond||3.69||0.738||white|
|2015||Bobbie Oskarson||Esperanza Diamond||8.52||1.704||Type IIa, D IF||The fifth largest diamond found since 1972 and the first of the exceptional Arkansas diamonds to be cut and polished in Arkansas by Canadian master diamond cutter and educator- Mike Botha|
|2017||Kalel Langford||Superman's Diamond||7.44||1.488||dark brown|
Daisy State Park is a 276-acre (112 ha) Arkansas state park in Pike County, Arkansas in the United States. The park at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains features Lake Greeson, a 7,000-acre (2,800 ha) fishing lake constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1950. The park is surrounded by timberlands and is located near the Ouachita National Forest.
The Argyle Diamond Mine is a diamond mine located in the East Kimberley region in the remote north of Western Australia. Argyle is the largest diamond producer in the world by volume, although due to the low proportion of gem-quality diamonds it is set to close by 2020. It is the only known significant source of pink and red diamonds, producing over 90% of the world's supply. It additionally provides a large proportion of other naturally coloured diamonds, including champagne, cognac and rare blue diamonds. On June 21, 2015, after more than 11 years and 42 kilometres of tunnelling, the Argyle underground block cave development was officially completed. In 2013, Argyle is estimated to produce 10.2 million carats with an average per carat price of $25/carat.
The Ekati Diamond Mine ("Ekati") is Canada's first surface and underground diamond mine. It is located 310 km (190 mi) north-east of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and about 200 km (120 mi) south of the Arctic Circle, near Lac de Gras. Until 2014 Ekati was a joint venture between Dominion Diamond Mines (80%), and the two geologists who discovered kimberlite pipes north of Lac de Gras, Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blusson each holding a 10% stake in the mine, until Fipke sold his share to Dominion.
Ultramafic rocks are igneous and meta-igneous rocks with a very low silica content, generally >18% MgO, high FeO, low potassium, and are composed of usually greater than 90% mafic minerals. The Earth's mantle is composed of ultramafic rocks. Ultrabasic is a more inclusive term that includes igneous rocks with low silica content that may not be extremely enriched in Fe and Mg, such as carbonatites and ultrapotassic igneous rocks.
Lamproite is an ultrapotassic mantle-derived volcanic or subvolcanic rock. It has low CaO, Al2O3, Na2O, high K2O/Al2O3, a relatively high MgO content and extreme enrichment in incompatible elements.
The Williamson Diamond Mine is a diamond mine 23 kilometres (14 mi) northeast of Shinyanga in Tanzania; it became well known as the first significant diamond mine outside of South Africa. The mine was established in 1940 by Dr. John Williamson, a Canadian geologist, and has been continuous operation since then, making it one of the oldest continuously operating diamond mines in the world. Over its lifetime it has produced over 19 million carats (3,800 kg) of diamonds. The Williamson mine, once owned by its namesake Dr. Williamson and later nationalized by the government of Tanzania. Since February 2009 the mine is mostly owned by Petra Diamonds, with 75% ownership, the government of Tanzania owning the remaining 25%.
Haggertyite is a rare barium, iron, magnesium, titanate mineral: Ba(Fe2+6Ti5Mg)O19 first described in 1996 from the Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro in Pike County, Arkansas. The microscopic metallic mineral crystallizes in the hexagonal system and forms tiny hexagonal plates associated with richterite and serpentinitized olivine of mafic xenoliths in the lamproite host rock. It is an iron(II) rich member of the magnetoplumbite group. It is a light grey opaque mineral with calculated Mohs hardness of 5.
The Premier Rose Diamond was one of the large rare gems produced by Premier Mine, of De Beers in South Africa.
The incorporated town of Kimberly, a sparsely inhabited area on the south side of Murfreesboro, Arkansas, began in late 1908 as an ill-fated land-development project spanning almost 240 acres (0.97 km2). At the time, the recently discovered Arkansas diamond field was still generating a speculative heyday, and the enterprising property owner, Millard M. Mauney, envisioned a dynamic settlement based upon a future mining industry. His location was perfect. The diamond field lay only a half-mile away. The planned extension of a railroad into Murfreesboro from the southwest would cut through Kimberly, facilitating investments and development.
The Mir mine, also called the Mirny mine, is an open pit diamond mine located in Mirny, Sakha Republic, in the Siberian region of eastern Russia. The mine is >525 meters (1,722 ft) deep and has a diameter of 1,200 m (3,900 ft), and is one of the largest excavated holes in the world.
Uncle Sam is the nickname for the largest diamond ever discovered in the United States. It was found in 1924 in Murfreesboro, Arkansas at the Prairie Creek pipe mine, which later became known as the Crater of Diamonds State Park. The diamond was named "Uncle Sam" after the nickname of its finder, Wesley Oley Basham, a worker at the Arkansas Diamond Corporation.
The Star of Murfreesboro is a 34.25 carats (6.850 g) blue diamond that is eleven-sixteenths of an inch in diameter. The diamond was found by John Pollock at the Arkansas Diamond Mine near Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Pollock found the diamond on March 1, 1964. It is the largest diamond ever found by a tourist in the Arkansas area. It was valued at $15,000.00 in 1964. Using the Consumer Price Index, to adjust for inflation, the 2006, value would be $95,452.47.
Jagersfontein Mine is an abandoned open-pit mine in South Africa located close to the town of Jagersfontein and about 110 kilometres south-west of Bloemfontein. Since it was first established in 1870, two of the ten biggest diamonds ever discovered, the Excelsior and the Reitz, were mined from Jagersfontein. The term "Jagers" has since been coined to denote the distinctive faint bluish tint of the gems from this mine. Among geologists, Jagersfontein is known as a kimberlite pipe, and a prime locality for mantle xenoliths, some of which are believed to have come from depths of 300–500 km (190–310 mi).
Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine is a defunct diamond mine in Colorado, USA. It is located in the State Line Kimberlite District, near the Wyoming border, and consists of nine kimberlite volcanic pipes, of which two were open pit mined.
The Strawn-Wagner Diamond is one of a relatively few colorless, internally flawless diamonds found so far in the world, weighing 3.09 carat. It was found in 1990 by Shirley Strawn of Murfreesboro, Arkansas, in the Crater of Diamonds State Park public search field. It was cut to 1.09 carats in 1997, and graded a "perfect" 0/0/0 by the American Gem Society in 1998 and graded perfect by the Gemological Institute of America, making it the first diamond from Arkansas to receive such an AGS grading. The diamond is considered one-in-a-billion, according to Peter Yantzer, the AGS Laboratory Director.
Mike Botha is a master diamond cutter, with close to five decades in the profession, his training and subsequent career began in South Africa and has led him to Mauritius, Russia and Canada – from Vancouver to the Northwest Territories to Saskatchewan.
The Cempaka mine is one of the largest diamond mines in Indonesia and in the world. The mine is located in South Kalimantan, Borneo. The mine has estimated reserves of 32.9 million carats of diamonds.
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