Thursday, October 18, 2012

Diamond Day 2 of 2

Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is a 911-acres. The park features a 37.5 acres  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 world's only perfect diamond everThe park became a part of the system in 1972 after the Arkansas Parks Dept. purchased the site from the Arkansas Diamond Company and Ozark Diamond Mines Corporation, who had operated the site as a tourist attraction previously

 The first diamond mine in North America was discovered in 1906 when John W. Huddleston found two diamonds on his farm just south of Murfreesboro  Arkansas. Experts soon confirmed that the diamond-bearing formation on which Huddleston made his discovery was the second largest of its kind and represented 25 percent of all known diamond-bearing areas in the world.  It is the 8th largest diamond mine in the world.

It's finder's keepers at the Crater of Diamonds State Park  . The only public diamond mine in the world, Crater of Diamonds offers you a one-of-a-kind adventure - the opportunity to hunt for real diamonds and to keep any you find.
We had over a 37-acre plowed field to search - the eroded surface of an ancient, gem-bearing volcanic pipe. We began our diamond hunting adventure at the visitor center featuring exhibits and an audio/visual program that explains the area's geology and offers tips on recognizing diamonds in the rough.

Since diamonds were first discovered on the site in 1906, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed. The Park offers 59 Class A campsites, picnic sites, a summertime café, laundry, gift shop, hiking trails, interpretive programs and Diamond Springs Water Park.

When John Huddleston plucked two diamonds from the greenish-colored dirt of his farm, a hysteria known as "diamond fever" ensued. Although the excitement has since waned, interest in Arkansas's diamond mine remains high. About 60,000 people come to Huddleston's old farm site, now the Crater of Diamonds State Park, each year to search for these precious gems. The crater is the only diamond mine in the world where the public can pay a fee to dig and keep any gems they find.

According to history, Huddleston discovered the Arkansas diamonds while he was spreading rock salt on his hog farm. He saw some shiny specks in the dirt that he thought might be gold. But instead of gold, he found two stones.
Huddleston declined an offer from the local bank cashier, who said he would pay Huddleston 50 cents for the stones. Eventually, the stones were sent to a gem expert in New York City and it was determined that the stones were indeed Arkansas diamonds. One was a 3-carat white diamond and the other was a 1.5-carat yellow diamond.

 The 4.25-carat "Kahn Canary" diamond was found here in 1977 and was worn by Hillary Clinton during the presidential inaugural balls as well as two gubernatorial inaugurations. The 3.03-carat "Strawn-Wagner Diamond," found in 1990 was cut to a 1.09-carat gem graded D-flawless 0/0/0 (the highest grade a diamond can achieve) by the American Gem Society.
You can see Rog out in the diamond field getting me a bucket of just the right dirt. LOL We went out today to find our fortune in diamonds.  After getting a lesson in mining diamonds and renting the equipment necessary for the job, we headed out to the diamond field with high hopes.

 You need a shovel for the digger in your mining operation and a bucket for your digger to put his payload in.  He brought it back to me and I placed a small amount of dirt in the boxes.  Notice there are two boxes.  The top box as 1/4 inch mesh and the bottom box is much smaller.  

 You place the larger mess box on top of the smaller mess and rinse the dirt from the top to the bottom boxes. Now you need to place the two boxes in water and "rinse" the dirt off the gravel that is in the dirt.  Larger rocks stays in the top box and the smaller silt and rocks stay in the bottom box.

You can see the results of the first rinsing of the soil from the field.  Now you will take the bottom box and rerinse it to find your diamond.  Of course we always look carefully in the larger pieces in the top box just in case you find the "big one".

  After rerinsing the bottom box and using a rocking motion you force the gravel to the center of your box.  Diamonds are the heaviest of you payload and will be on the bottom of this gravel mixture.  So you carefully flip the box like you would a cake so the diamonds are showing.   The last step is looking very carefully for that diamond.  We did not find any, but they posted on the board that 3 were found today.  They had someone there to tell you what kind of rocks you found.  It was a beautiful day and we had great fun outdoors.

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