Visit the Crater this spring!
Tips for spring break diamond mining
by Waymon Cox
Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! Spring break is just around the corner, and lots of families will be visiting the Crater of Diamonds in the next few weeks. If you’re preparing for a diamond mining excursion this spring, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your experience.
While many of us like to sleep in and take our time on vacation, we recommend that you arrive at the park early during spring break for the best parking and to find the perfect spot to search for your diamond. The park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily during spring, and the parking area at the Crater fills fast when the weather is nice.
If you arrive in town the evening before you plan to search, consider making a short “introductory visit” to the park. From now through Memorial Day Weekend, all admission purchased after 4 p.m. is also good for the next day. Take a little time to familiarize yourself with the park and be prepared to mine the next day!
Another way to get a quicker start on diamond searching is to bring your own tools. The park rents equipment and sells small hand tools for diamond searching, but many visitors like to bring buckets, shovels, and screens from home. If you plan to build screens to sift dirt at the park, we recommend using 1/16” aluminum or steel mesh to catch smaller diamonds while removing dirt. No battery-operated or motor-driven mining equipment is allowed in the search area.
For a better chance of finding a diamond, pack what you need to spend more time in the search area. Bring a cooler with food and drinks (water is encouraged), and enjoy a spring picnic at the park. Picnic tables are located in several different areas around the park. Drinks and snacks are also available for sale in the gift shop.
Remember that diamond searching is a lot of fun, but it is also hard work! You can bring a tent or canopy into the diamond search area, but it must be secured to the ground and removed daily. Wear a hat and sunscreen to protect your skin, and take regular breaks to relax and cool off. Also, don’t forget a few toys or games to keep kids entertained while taking a break from looking for diamonds.
While spring break is only one week long, the best way to continue the excitement of diamond searching and improve your chances of finding a diamond is to take gravel home from the search area! Each visitor may take up to five gallons of sifted gravel from the park per day. Although you cannot take dirt out of the park, about half of all diamonds registered at the Crater of Diamonds are found by visitors who have taken their sifted gravel home!
We hope that everyone visiting the park in the coming weeks will have a great experience. For more ideas to help you prepare for spring break at the Crater of Diamonds, check out our website.
Most recent significant precipitation: March 7, 2017
Diamond finds for the week of February 26, 2017 (100 points=1 carat):
February 27 – Adam Hardin, Murfreesboro, AR, 3 pt. white
February 28 – Martha McAdams, Mountain View, MO, 45 pt. brown
March 1 – Dana Howerton, Wagoner, OK, 62 pt. yellow
March 2 – Steven Arkos, Hot Springs, AR, 19 pt. yellow
March 3 – Curtis Baisden, Fate, TX, 46 pt. yellow
March 4 – Adam Hardin, Murfreesboro, AR, 2 pt. white, 5 pt. white; Maggie Machella, Little Rock, AR, 11 pt. white; Mike Sloan, Murfreesboro, AR, 15 pt. white