What is a Diamond Worth?
Our first-time visitors often ask whether diamonds found here are worth anything. While it seems like a simple question, the answer can be complicated. Employees of Crater of Diamonds State Park are not trained to grade or appraise diamonds or other rocks and minerals. When it comes to diamonds from the Crater, our primary goals are to properly identify and register the gems. We sometimes share information about Crater diamonds that have been appraised or sold, but the value of one diamond does not guarantee that a similar quality gem will be worth the same at a later time.
Diamonds are graded by the 4 Cs: Color, Carat weight, Clarity, and Cut. Although most visitors who find diamonds at the Crater keep them uncut, many of the park’s larger gems have been cut, graded, and appraised. For example, the 8.52-carat white Esperanza Diamond, found in June 2015, was cut into a 4.6-carat triolette shape and graded internally flawless and “D” color (the highest color grade a diamond can achieve) by the American Gem Society. The current value of this diamond has been reported at around $1 million.
The Strawn-Wagner Diamond, found at the park in 1990, was cut from a 3.03-carat white diamond into a 1.09-carat round brilliant gem in 1997. Also graded as a “perfect” diamond, the Strawn-Wagner was mounted in a gold and platinum ring and purchased by the State of Arkansas through private donations for $36,000.
While most Crater diamonds are never sold or appraised, the idea of “value” reaches well beyond monetary importance. As human beings, we can also appreciate beauty, usefulness, and accomplishment, in addition to many other areas. The same notion applies to diamonds and other rocks and minerals found at the Crater; if they are important to you, then they are very valuable!
Waymon Cox has been a park interpreter at Crater of Diamonds State Park since 2008. Beginning in 2004 he worked as a clerk, seasonal park interpreter, and seasonal guide at Crater of Diamonds State Park and Historic Washington State Park. Waymon enjoys photography, writing, crochet, and traveling around Arkansas with his family. He has found three of his own diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park and helps thousands of park visitors learn how to search for their own diamonds each year.