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  • Writer's pictureChristina Trotter

Crater of Diamonds State Park Diamond Hunting Tips [2023]

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Are you interested in mining for diamonds in Arkansas but wondering if the odds are worth it? Are you wondering how to do it and what gear is needed?


Perhaps you wonder if this is something left to adults or fun for the whole family. Read on to find the most up-to-date information and best tips!



Table of Contents:



What sort of diamonds can you find at Crater of Diamonds State Park?

Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas is the only place in the world where you can look for natural diamonds and keep what you find. And these diamonds are legit. In 2018, a 2.63-carat diamond was found that was designated as flawless. The diamonds found here can be clear, yellow, or brown and on average, at least two visitors find one each day.


How did diamonds form here and what is the history of Crater of Diamonds State Park?

A volcanic eruption over 100 million years ago is responsible for bringing rocks from the earth’s mantle to the surface here.

White, yellow and brown diamonds resting in a hand.
Look at that diamond bling! Photo credit: arkansasstateparks.com

In 1906, landowner John Huddleston found the first diamonds on the 37-acre property. Over the years, various efforts were made to make this a profitable mine, but they never came to fruition. Finally, in 1972, the property was purchased by the Arkansas state park system and it was opened to the public. Since then, over 33,000 diamonds have been found on the property including some real gems (ya’ll know that I love puns). Yes, there is really a diamond mine in Arkansas!


How do you get tickets to the Arkansas diamond mine and what is important information to know before you go?

  • Visitors are capped at 1,500 people per day

  • You can often buy tickets just days in advance, but not always on the actual day that you want to visit. So plan at least a few days ahead.

  • Hours change, but as of press time, the hours were 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and they will start announcing closing starting at 3 p.m. every 15 minutes until they actually close. They may think this is a nice thing to do, but it’s really stressful when you are 15 minutes away from closing and haven’t found the diamond that’s going to take you straight to retirement.

How much does diamond hunting at the Arkansas mine cost?

In 2023, it costs $13 for adults and $6 for kids.


When is a good time to go to Crater of Diamonds?

I purchased our tickets on Sunday leading into our Spring Break week. I looked at the weather forecast, and it looked good all week temperature-wise: in the mid to high 60s with rain on Wednesday. I’d heard that post-rain is an ideal condition to dig, so I opted to buy tickets for Thursday, the second to last day of our trip, and the day after a planned downpour.


This being our second time to the diamond mine, I knew that there was no way that our kids were going to be willing to do two days of digging. I knew I had one shot and I wanted the conditions to be perfect. Unfortunately, the weather took a turn on us, and it was cold and windy on our day to dig. Lesson learned: don’t wait for perfect, just go when it’s nice out. We waited for the weather to improve and ended up with only an hour to dig.


I will forewarn you: it is a plowed field with dirt. Period. If you like rocks, you will be happy but if that doesn’t appeal to you, then this is not the place for you. There is nothing else to see. It looks like a farm that's been plowed with no seeds planted yet.

iew of the field (in the background) from the lower level of the ramp
View of the field (in the background) from the lower level of the ramp

What is the plow schedule for Crater of Diamonds State Park?

The plow schedule is not published for the general public. It is done once a month during summer, spring and fall. On average, they do it about 6-8 times a year. The park service tries to follow the natural drainage.


Obviously a newly-plowed field is a better opportunity to find a diamond in the turned soil. There are a lot of Facebook groups dedicated to the park that have locals that are active on it. That's a good way to find out if it's happened near a visit.



What do you need to bring to dig for diamonds and other gems at Crater of Diamonds?

Affiliate Disclosure: I may get a small commission at no additional cost to you for clicking one of the links below.


For a successful dig, you will need the following materials:


Note: You are not allowed to bring any sort of metal detector or anything with batteries to search.


How to Look for and Sift for Diamonds and Other Minerals

There are three ways to look for diamonds: dry sifting, wet sifting and just walking along and looking down. This wikiHow article will show you how to do each method, noting that wet sifting provides the best odds.


Some of the most common gems that can be found here include amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, and quartz.


Remember how I said that we only had an hour to look? That was too long for half our party (the kids) and not long enough for the rest of the party (the adults). Because I am competitive and hadn’t found a diamond, Bill finally just took the kids and left me on the field as last calls were being made.

Me in the empty field still searching for diamonds
That jerk - Bill found it hilarious that I was the last person and took this picture unbeknownst to me

Can You Take Any Diamonds or Minerals That You Find?

You are allowed to take 1 5-gallon bucket of sifted gravel when you leave the Arkansas diamond mine per person. That’s a lot to take but also a lot of work to process. We ended up leaving with about a quarter of one of our buckets filled. We are hoping that there is a diamond in there that we somehow missed.


The verdict? This is our second time there and Bill and I really enjoy the hunt. There are a lot of places that fabricate a treasure hunt experience but not many can deliver on a real experience with diamonds that have never been seen or touched by another human. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.





Do Kids Like Crater of Diamonds?

But then there are the kids. They should love to do this: our daughter loves rocks and our son loves to dig. Unfortunately, both wanted to leave almost immediately. We witnessed kids totally into it and others less so. In hindsight, I think I would mention to the kids the diamonds, but focus on learning how to identify the other types of rocks that there are there. If you know what you are looking at, there are lots of cool things to find. And that’s not just for the kids. I had a lot of fun looking for rocks that I recognized from books even though I didn’t know the name. Time to get out the rock tumbler and polish these babies up!




Mining for Quartz and Other Options with Kids

Two other mines came highly recommended from the Crater of Diamonds Facebook page (which I highly recommend joining in advance of any trip there): Ron Coleman Mining (which also has zip lines) and Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines. Both allow visitors to search for quartz and also take anything that they find. Because they are very plentiful and easy to find, many people swear by these places for kids, often over Crater of Diamonds.




Next time, I'll teach my kids more about what else they might find but still go to Crater. We may add in one of the other mines as well for fun but limit the time.


How much does it cost to go to the diamond mine in Arkansas?

As of January 2023, the price to go into the park is $13 per adult and $6 per child with a service fee between $1.30-$1.50 per ticket.


What city in Arkansas can you dig for diamonds?

The park is located in Murfreesboro, Arkansas.


Where can you go diamond hunting in Arkansas?

Crater of Diamonds State Park.


What are the odds of finding a diamond at crater of diamonds, i.e., How often are diamonds found at Crater of Diamonds?

There are usually one to two diamonds found on average per day. Every few years someone tends to find a really large one.


Can you sell diamonds found at Crater of Diamonds?

Yes, you can! They are yours to keep or sell.


Crater of Diamonds Tips

  • Your best chances are after a rainstorm or after they have plowed. Since the plow schedule is not posted, your best bet is to check the weather.

  • Many diamonds are found on the surface (i.e., without digging) on a sunny day 2-3 days after rainfall

  • You are also better off wet-sifting to search through what you find.

  • Bring your own set of sarucas or borrow one from the park.


Is Crater of Diamonds worth it?

Absolutely! It's a lot of fun although as previously mentioned, it is not particularly scenic. If the thrill of the hunt is enough for you, you will enjoy your time.


Park Location

Crater of Diamonds State Park is just 3 hours and 45 minutes northeast of Dallas in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. The State Park has RV and tent sites.


Crater of Diamonds Accommodations

There are also hiking trails and a water park that is open in the summertime. We took our camping trailer to nearby Daisy State Park and camped there - they even have yurts that are simple, yet clean and very close to Crater of Diamonds.


The Codex - Parker Creek Bend Cabins offers a delightful and secluded getaway in the heart of Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Tucked away in a serene natural setting, these 2 charming cabins provide a perfect retreat for nature enthusiasts and those seeking relaxation.

The cabins at The Codex - Parker Creek Bend Cabins are beautifully designed and thoughtfully furnished to create a cozy and comfortable ambiance. Each cabin features rustic decor, modern amenities, and a private porch where guests can unwind and enjoy the picturesque views of the surrounding countryside. Whether you're traveling as a couple, a family, or a group of friends, the cabins offer various sizes and layouts to accommodate different needs.


Diamonds Old West Cabins is a perfect option if you are traveling with kids or planning a family reunion. There are tons of outdoor games for everyone including a playground tetherball, archery, pedal car track, horseshoes and more. They even have a general store!


Samantha's Timber Inn is a unique 5-room hotel in Murfreesboro. Each room has a unique theme: trucks, Coca-Cola, and more. Guests love the comfortable beds and the family-friendly atmosphere.



Happy travels,

Chrissy



9 Comments


Guest
Jun 20, 2023

I’ve been several times and didn’t find a diamond, but had fun playing in the dirt. check out their website for search methods. Have fun, stay cool.

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Guest
Mar 23, 2023

Did anyone find one now how does it work just start digging I heard the dirt is excavated and checked for diamonds before turning the dirt over to visitors to go through.

I wonder if they let me bring power washer with me.

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Guest
Jan 10
Replying to

The rules states, no tools battery operated or with motor allowed.

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Guest
Mar 13, 2023

We're going to that park soon we've been waiting 3 years to go to that park and we're hoping that we find a diamond or two :)



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Christina Trotter
Christina Trotter
Apr 18, 2023
Replying to

I wish you luck! It's fun even if you don't find one.

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Ana McKinney
Ana McKinney
Mar 23, 2021

Oh, my brother-in-law and his family were there a few years back! We have to check it out.

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Christina Trotter
Christina Trotter
Mar 23, 2021
Replying to

It’s a lot of fun. I went through the rest of our gravel today and so far, no diamond. I’m still having fun looking though. And I’m still alone. Hahahahhaa


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