Dig For Your Diamonds

28 Mar

Dig For Your Diamonds

Often when most people think of diamonds, they picture a huge mining operation in some country like Africa. But believe it or not, not all mines are owned by large organizations. In fact, a few mines are still open for public digging and that includes a diamond mine located in southwestern Arkansas.

From the Chicago Tribune: "The first diamonds were found here [Crater of Diamonds State Park] in 1906 when then-landowner John Huddleston, slopping his hogs, noticed some glitter in the Barnyard. Having prospected elsewhere, Huddleston knew when he saw the pair of silvery, oily-surfaced stones among the pig droppings that he'd struck it rich. One diamond weighed three carats, the other more than four.

Huddleston took his stones to the bank at Murfreesboro and, because nobody believed they were really diamonds, was offered 50 cents for the two. Huddleston turned down the offer and dug up more stones; skeptics became believers, and his mine became famous. He later sold his 160 acres to a Little Rock banker for $36,000.

The land changed hands several more times before it was bought by General Earth Minerals of Dallas. That firm mined it for three years, then sold it to the state of Arkansas for $750,000 in 1972. Other land was acquired, and that same year Crater of Diamonds State Park–which to the untrained eye doesn't remotely resemble a volcano–was created. Today the park sprawls across 880 acres.

Since then more than 85,000 diamonds have been plucked from a 37-acre tract of decomposed kimberlite or lamproite (as geologists are now calling it) diamond-bearing igneous rock, according to Bill Henderson, park assistant superintendent."

Related posts:

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  3. Diamonds Get an “A”
  4. Dazzling Diamonds from Christie’s
  5. Tony Danza’s Dazzling Diamonds

No Responses to “Dig For Your Diamonds”

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  2. Sandy March 29, 2006 at 10:39 pm #

    It would be so cool to find a real diamond! Maybe we can take the kids diamond hunting this summer!

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  3. Susanna March 28, 2006 at 1:04 pm #

    Very neat family vacation idea! The history on what diamonds have been found in Arkansas is fascinating. I think HRC (jr senator from NY) often wore one of the bigger ones to certain events when she was First Lady of Arkansas and First Lady of the United States.

  4. Tammy March 28, 2006 at 5:49 pm #

    That would be fun. I used to go rock collecting on our family vacations – no diamonds of course – but that’s what started my interest in jewelry.

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