Crater of Diamonds State Park: Where Diamonds Are Found

Sep 26, 2006, 01:00 ET from Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

    MURFREESBORO, Ark., Sept. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Donald and Brenda Roden of
 Point, Texas, first visited the Crater of Diamonds State Park several years
 ago but did not find a diamond that time. They decided to pay the park a
 second visit this fall along with their son, daughter-in-law, and three
 grandchildren. This visit paid off for them in a big way.
     Where Diamonds are Found
     The couple was searching in the East Drain area when they spotted
 something shiny lying on top of the plowed dirt. Mr. Roden was not sure
 what the object was but his wife recognized it as a diamond. However, she
 did not accompany her husband to the park's Diamond Discovery Center
 ( ) for confirmation of the find
 because she wanted to keep searching for more diamonds.
     Brown Diamond: 6.35 Carats
     The first park employee to see the dark brown gem was a clerk who
 immediately knew that the couple had found a diamond of a significant size.
 The coffee color diamond weighed in at a whopping 6.35 carats making it the
 largest confirmed diamond find at the park since 1998.
     According to Park Superintendent Tom Stolarz, "The Rodens' gem is the
 eighth largest find of the 25,714 diamonds discovered since the Crater of
 Diamonds became an Arkansas state park in 1972." He noted that diamonds
 come in many different colors, but the three most common colors found at
 Arkansas's diamond site are white, brown and yellow, in that order. On
 average, between one and two diamonds are found each day at the park
 ( ).
     Park Interpreter Rachel Engebrecht said that it is "an imperfect, but
 certainly very attractive and interesting gem and is by far the largest
 diamond I have had the privilege to weigh and certify since I began working
 at the park three years ago."
     Tom Stolarz continued, "A total of 345 diamonds have been found by park
 visitors so far this year." The second largest of these was the 4.21-carat,
 flawless canary yellow diamond found on March 12 by Oklahoma State Highway
 Patrol trooper Marvin Culver of Nowata, Oklahoma. Culver and his gem named
 the Okie Dokie Diamond were featured on the NBC "Today Show" three days
     Publicly Operated Diamond Site
     Crater of Diamonds State Park is one of the 52 parks administered by
 the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
 ( ). The park is the
 world's only publicly-operated diamond site where the public is allowed to
 search and keep any gems found, regardless of value. Other semi-precious
 gems and minerals found here include amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate,
 calcite, barite and quartz. Over 40 different rocks and minerals are
 unearthed at the Crater making it a rock hound's delight.
     Over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the Crater since those
 first found in 1906 by John Huddleston, the farmer who at that time owned
 the land. The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was
 unearthed here in 1924. Named the Uncle Sam, this white diamond weighed
 40.23 carats.
     Crater of Diamonds State Park is open daily. The park staff provides
 free identification and certification of diamonds. For more information
 about the park, contact: Rachel Engebrecht, park interpreter, Crater of
 Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, AR 71958. Phone:
 (870) 285-3113. E-mail: . Web site: .

SOURCE Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism