About Crater of Diamonds State Park

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we take food and drinks into the diamond search area? 
Yes, food and drinks are allowed in the diamond search area. Picnic tables are located throughout the diamond search area and near the parking area. During the summer we also encourage visitors to bring plenty of water to drink during the day, due to extremely high temperatures in the diamond search area.

Can I take dirt home from the diamond search area? 
Unsifted dirt may not be removed from the diamond search area. However, up to five gallons of sifted gravel may be taken home from the diamond search area per person, per day. Many diamonds registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park have been found by visitors who take their sifted gravel home.

Where’s the best place to search for diamonds? 
Most diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park are either found on top of the ground, by surface searching, or by digging in ravines between the plowed rows of the diamond search area, where water washes and concentrates heavy rocks and minerals. Diamonds are a bit heavy for their size, so they are often found near other heavy rocks and minerals.

Where can I find amethyst? 
Most amethyst is found in the southwest corner of the diamond search area, in a section known as Canary Hill. Unlike diamonds, amethyst runs in veins, and several pieces of amethyst can usually be found in the same location.

Is my admission ticket good for all day? 
Admission to the diamond search area is good for all day. Please keep your receipt, in case you are asked for proof of payment by park staff. Visitors to Diamond Springs Water Park must wear the wrist ticket issued to them at the ticket booth for same-day reentry.

What is a saruca? 
A saruca is a round, often bowl-shaped screen with a fine mesh, used to resift gravel in the wet sifting method.

Can I bring a canopy or tent into the diamond search area? 
Tents, umbrellas, canopies, or other temporary shelters may be erected in the diamond search area and must be removed daily. All temporary shelters must be properly and safely secured.

How do I search for diamonds? 
Crater of Diamonds State Park promotes three methods used to search for diamonds.

  • Surface searching is a method in which visitors walk the plowed diamond search area and scan the surface for the bright, metallic luster of a diamond. Some visitors also choose to use a small hand tool to carefully rake back loose soil on the surface and watch for the diamond’s luster. 
  • Dry sifting is a method in which visitors use a small-mesh screen to sift small amounts of dry, loose soil in the search area and check the remaining gravel for a diamond’s bright, metallic luster. This method may only be used when the soil is dry. 
  • Wet sifting is a method in which visitors dig a bucket of dirt from low-lying parts of the diamond search area and wash the dirt in water through a screen set. A screen set consists of a large-mesh screen on top of a small-mesh screen that helps sort gravel by size, making diamond searching more productive.

What are the basic kit and advanced kit? 
A basic kit consists of a bucket, shovel, and screen set and is primarily used for wet sifting. One basic kit provides enough equipment for two to three people to use. An advanced kit consists of the same tools as a basic kit, in addition to a saruca. A saruca is a round, often bowl-shaped screen with a fine mesh, used to resift gravel. One advanced kit provides enough equipment for three to four people to use.

Can we bring our pets? 
Your pet is welcome anywhere in the park, except for the gift shop area of the visitor center, the park restaurant, the water park, and the bathhouses. Also, the pet must remain under physical control of the owner at all times. (i.e. a leash, it cannot be tied up to a tree) Please DO NOT leave your pets in your vehicle. Many people become concerned when they see a pet in a hot vehicle.

Where can I have my rocks and minerals identified? 
Park staff at the Diamond Discovery Center identifies rocks and minerals and certify diamonds for park visitors. Informational panels located at the washing pavilions in the diamond search area also help identify many rocks and minerals found at the park.

Where can I wet sift for diamonds? 
The park has two large, covered pavilions in the diamond search area, featuring water troughs and tables for visitors who choose to wet sift. Open sluice boxes with hand-operated water pumps are also located at the north and south ends of the diamond search area.

Can I rent tools to search for diamonds? 
Yes, the park rents mining equipment at the Diamond Discovery Center. Visitors may also bring their own equipment to the park to search for diamonds with (battery-powered and motor-operated mining tools are not allowed at the park).
How can I rent tools to search for diamonds? 
A rental fee and deposit must be paid for each piece of equipment rented. We accept cash, major credit card, and check payments for equipment rentals. A receipt will be issued with each tool rented and must be returned with all equipment in order for rental deposits to be refunded. Equipment is rented on a daily basis and must be returned before the park closes each day.

  • Cash security deposits will be refunded with cash, when all equipment is returned with the rental receipt on the same day of rental. 
  • Credit card security deposits must be refunded to the same credit card they were charged to. The park will issue a refund receipt for all credit card security deposits refunded; however, the time taken for refunds to process and appear on your account may vary, depending on the issuing bank and/or billing cycle. Identification is required for all credit card purchases or rentals at the park. 
  • If renting by check, two checks are needed: one for the rental fee and one for the security deposit fee. The check for the security deposit will be voided and returned to you when equipment is returned before the park facilities close each day. 

What is the specific gravity of a diamond? 
3.52

What are carats and points? 
Carats and points relate to the weight of a diamond or other gemstone. One hundred points make up one carat. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams in weight. The average diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park weighs 25 points, or one-quarter of a carat.

Where are park restrooms located? 
Restroom facilities near the diamond search area are located in the Diamond Discovery Center and visitor center. Additional restrooms are located at Kimberlite Café, Diamond Springs Water Park. Our campground also features two bathhouses with restrooms for park guests staying in the campground.

What is a screen set? 
A screen set consists of a large-mesh screen stacked on top of a small-mesh screen, used to sort gravel by size when wet sifting.

Does Diamond Springs Water Park have lifeguards? 
Diamond Springs Water Park has several lifeguards on staff. However, park rules state that children ages 10 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. Children under the age of 5 years are required to have a supervising adult with them at all times, including while in the water.

What is a box screen? 
A box screen is a square, small-mesh screen used primarily for the dry sifting method.

Is the park handicap accessible? 
All park facilities are handicap accessible. However, due to the natural conditions of the diamond search area, ease of access depends on weather conditions at the park.