14 pt. white typical Crater diamond--shiny, rounded, and should be able to see into it.
Identifying your “possible” diamond
By Margi Jenks
Crater of Diamonds State Park is a unique park for more than the fact that we let any of our visitors who find a diamond keep that diamond. Another odd rule here at the diamond mine is that we let each visitor, each day they come to the mine, take home up to a 5 gallon bucket of screened and/or washed gravel or pretty rocks. To be perfectly clear, visitors are not allowed to take the unscreened and unwashed dirt home with them. If we find someone taking the dirt out to their car, we ask them (nicely) to please return the dirt out to the search field.
When I tell people about the washed gravel rule, I can just see them thinking “Why does this crazy lady want me to take gravel home with me. I have plenty of gravel at home in my driveway or yard.” The answer is pretty straightforward—somewhere between one half and two-thirds of our registered diamonds are found at home. Yes, people find diamonds on their dining room tables when they carefully search through the washed gravels that they have let dry out.
If the wet sluicing/washing method is correctly performed, the heavier rocks and minerals are concentrated next to screen and on the bottom of the other rocks and minerals. Since diamonds are a little bit heavy, they will end up with those heavier rocks and minerals. When you turn the screen over onto one of the wash pavilion tables, that layer of heavy minerals will be on the top of the pile. So, if you take just that concentrated heavy material layer home to dry out and then search, those rocks and minerals have a chance of also containing a diamond.
But, many of our visitors are from out of state, and have driven many miles or flown in, to come to our unique park. What do they do when a possible diamond ends up in their sorted rocks and minerals? Most of the time those carefully sorted out “possible” diamonds are rounded and shiny minerals and rocks.
Those shiny rounded rocks can be one of four other different minerals and rocks besides diamonds that are commonly found on our search area and end up in the heavy washed gravels. First, we do have broken glass on our field, and our visitors often bring those pieces in to the identification desk hoping that they might be a diamond. However, glass usually has sharp edges and is completely clear. Diamonds are rounded and clear, but they don’t look clear because of the natural shine that they have. So, you should be able to see into diamonds, but not all the way through them, like a piece of glass.
Next, we have quartz crystals in the field's dirt. They also look shiny and clear, like glass, and they also have sharp edges and points. Also, if you look at the faces/facets on quartz crystals with a magnifying glass, you will see little parallel lines marching up some crystal faces. Those lines are the "growth rings" of quartz crystals and are not found on diamonds. Then, we have lots of rounded jasper stones out on our search field. Everyone hopes that these stones are diamonds, because they are rounded, but you won’t be able to see into them because they are not at all transparent. Finally, we have some clear calcite crystals. Anything metal, like a pocket knife, will scratch a white powder off of the calcite crystals, or with a little more pressure will break them.
If these simple tests still leave visitors wondering about whether they have a diamond or not, they can send us a close-up, clearly lighted and focused picture taken against a colored or white background. We will try to give a more definitive answer. However, the only way to be sure that you have a Crater diamond is to bring it back for positive identification and registration on your next trip to the diamond mine.
Search area last plowed: part of the field the early part of last week; Most recent significant rainstorms: 1.5” July 17, and 1” July30
Total diamonds found in 2014: 344
Diamonds registered for July 27 to August 2, 2014 (100 points = 1 carat):
July 27 – No diamonds were registered
July 28 – Matt Keck, Neenah, WI, 21 pt. brown, 50 pt. white; Adam Hardin, Murfreesboro, AR, 2 pt. white; Adam & Kimberly Hardin, Murfreesboro, AR, 7 pt. brown
July 29 – Jack Pearadin, Jefferson City, MO, 10 pt. yellow; Gerri Scheider, Freeport, IL, 3 pt. white; Lynn Aviles, Roscoe, IL, 4 pt. white
July 30 – Adam & Kimberly Hardin, Murfreesboro, AR, 5 pt. white, 15 pt. yellow; Matt Keck, Neenah, WI, 3 pt. white, 11 pt. yellow, 12 pt. brown; Jerry Gullett, Piketon, OH, 6 pt. white, 10 pt. white
July 31 – Lori Hicks, Collinsville, IL, 1.26 carat yellow
August 1 – Matt Keck, Neenah WI, 73 pt. yellow
August 2 – Richard Meador, Midland, AR, 2 pt. white; Jascha Parkington, Watertown, MA, 2 pt. white