Wintertime Diamond Mining
Make the Most of Wintertime Diamond Mining
by Waymon Cox
Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! While summer is the most popular season to search for diamonds in Arkansas, winter definitely has its perks. Those who travel this time of year can enjoy the natural surroundings of the Crater during a quieter, more serene diamond search. Winter rains also cause lots of erosion in the park’s plowed search area, creating a better opportunity to find a diamond. Also, just because it’s winter doesn’t mean it’s always cold. We’ve had more than ten days of spring-like temperatures already this year! However, when planning a trip to the Crater of Diamonds in winter, it’s best to be prepared for any type of weather.
One important item that many park visitors forget about this time of year is proper footwear. Winter is usually one of the rainiest seasons at the park, and the search area is often very muddy and difficult to navigate. Without the right shoes, an exciting day of diamond searching can quickly give you cold (and wet) feet. The best way to keep your feet warm and dry is to pack waterproof boots and thick socks. A hiking stick or long-handle shovel can also help you keep your balance while walking through muddy areas.
You’ll obviously want to bundle up when it’s cold out, but wind is another consideration. Even on a mild day, a strong breeze can chap your skin and make temperatures feel much colder. The diamond search area is fairly flat and has very few trees to block wind gusts. In addition to a coat or jacket, wear a face mask and gloves to protect your face and hands.
Gloves are also handy for another important reason. Each year, around 70% of our diamonds are found by sifting dirt with water. However, wet sifting during winter can be very uncomfortable without something to protect your hands. Wearing a pair of rubber gloves over cloth gloves can keep your hands warmer in cold water and greatly improve your chances of finding a diamond!
You may also bring a bucket or other container to carry sifted gravel home and search for diamonds later. About half of all diamonds registered at the park are found by visitors who have taken their gravel with them!
The park is currently open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Whether you come see us in the cold of winter or the heat of summer, we hope you’ll have an outstanding experience and make lifelong memories at Crater of Diamonds State Park!
Most recent significant precipitation:
January 22, 2017
Diamond finds for the weeks of January 22, 2017
(100 points=1 carat):
January 23 – Clifford Hoover, Murfreesboro, AR, 19 pt. white
January 24 – Martha McAdams, Mountain View, MO, 3 pt. white, 3 pt. white, 4 pt. yellow, 77 pt. white; George Worthington, Concord, VT, 1.40 ct. white
January 25 – Martha McAdams, Mountain View, MO, 6 pt. white
January 26 – Camille Danna, Hainesville, LA, 5 pt. white
January 27 – Martha McAdams, Mountain View, MO, 9 pt. white; Adam Hardin, Murfreesboro, AR, 13 pt. white