Greetings from the Crater of Diamonds State Park! Last year was a special one for the Crater. Not only did the park celebrate its 50th anniversary, but more diamonds were registered in 2022 than the previous two years combined! The following is a recap of diamond finds and other significant events during 2022.
A total of 758 diamonds were registered by visitors from 35 states and one U.S. territory, weighing over 117 carats. Visitors from Arkansas registered 383 diamonds, while out of state visitors registered 375 diamonds.
Seventeen diamonds over one carat were found, including two weighing over two carats; 34 diamonds were found on the surface last year, making up approximately four percent of all diamonds registered. Most diamonds were uncovered by methods like dry sifting and wet sifting, which tend to be more productive but require specific techniques.
2022 started off strong, with 180 diamonds registered by the end of March. Ninety-one diamonds were registered in February alone, making it the most successful month of the entire year! While February is usually one of the coldest winter months at the park, last February was unusually warm, with an average high of almost 60 degrees. This, along with increased visitation, likely contributed to more diamond finds.
In April the Crater of Diamonds celebrated its 50th anniversary as an Arkansas State Park with a two-day event featuring guest speakers, a special exhibition of Crater diamonds and the unveiling of a new display commemorating the Esperanza Diamond. The second-largest diamond of the year was also found in April by Adam Hardin, a Murfreesboro resident. Hardin named the 2.38-carat brown gem “Frankenstone,” due to its shiny but pitted appearance.
During the first six months of the year, seven lucky visitors from four states and one U.S. Territory found a total of eight diamonds weighing over one carat each. Two more one-carat-plus diamonds were found in July, bringing the large diamond count for the year to 11. By the end of summer, the diamond count was up to 480, that's more diamonds than were found in all of 2021.
September was an exciting month, as we celebrated the 35,000th diamond registered since the Crater of Diamonds opened as a state park in 1972. Scott Kreykes, of Dierks, Arkansas, registered the milestone gem, his 50th diamond of the year, on September 6.
On September 23, Jessica and Seth Erickson, of Chatfield, Minnesota, visited the park as part of their 10th-anniversary road trip and celebrated with an exciting discovery. After about an hour of wet sifting, the couple spotted the third-largest find of the year, a 1.9-carat brown diamond they named HIMO, after their children’s initials.
Between October and December, 211 more diamonds were found, including six weighing over one carat. On November 6, a Texas couple found the largest diamond of the year, a 2.85-carat brown, after about 30 minutes of surface searching. The large metallic diamond was about the size of a jellybean.
Of all diamonds found last year, 509 were white, 141 brown and 108 yellow. February held the record for the most diamonds (91), as well as the most brown diamonds (22). Most white diamonds were found in April (66) and October and November were tied for the most yellow diamonds (17).
Crater of Diamonds State Park staff is looking forward to a new year of diamond finds, stories and celebrations! 2023 will be another special year, as Arkansas State Parks kicks off its Centennial. To join us in celebrating 100 years of Arkansas State Parks, keep an eye on the Events tab at CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com and ArkansasStateParks.com.
Search area last plowed: September 27, 2022
Last recent significant rain: January 30, 2023
Recent diamond finds (100 points = 1 carat):
January 28- Ken Simpson, Dequincy, LA, 4 pt. white
January 29-David Anderson, Murfreesboro, AR, 26 pt. white