Do you want to propose, but are short on cash to buy the engagement ring, namely that costly diamond? Have lots of time on your hands, and a belief in your own good luck?
Well then, you might want to make a pilgrimage to Crater of Diamonds State Park. Where is this, you ask? South Africa? Botswana? Russia?
Nope. Try, Arkansas.
That’s right, Murfreesboro, Arkansas is home to the world’s only publicly accessible diamond site.
For just a small daily fee, visitors can search through the park’s 37 1/2-acre plowed field. This unremarkable looking field is actually the eroded surface of an ancient, gem-bearing volcanic crater, the eighth largest in the world. If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, you can dig for diamonds there yourself. Whatever treasures you find are yours to keep.
(Photo by: Doug Wertman)
The first diamond was found here in 1906 by the farmer who owned the land. It was turned into a state park in 1972. Throughout the years many sizable, high-quality diamonds have been unearthed here, including these below:
An assortment of raw diamonds in their natural state.
Found in 2011, the 2.44 carat raw diamond was cut into this 1.06 carat, D color, VVS2 pear shaped stone worth over $21,000.
The largest diamond ever discovered at the site. It was 40.23 carats when found, and cut into this emerald shaped stone weighing 12.42 carats.
(Photos courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism)
You can keep track of the latest diamond finds (there seem to be at least one a day) on the park’s website. Or better yet, go try your luck yourself.