The Best Diamond Mining in Arkansas

Arkansas, the Natural State, is known for its scenic beauty and abundant natural resources. Among its treasures, diamonds shine brightly, tucked beneath the Earth’s surface. Located in the southwest of the state, Crater of Diamonds State Park has earned a reputation as one of the best places for diamond mining in Arkansas. Since its establishment as a state park in 1972, visitors have uncovered more than 35,000 diamonds here. In this article, we will explore the best time of year to visit Crater of Diamonds State Park, the opportunities for free diamond mining in Arkansas, and the value of Arkansas diamonds.

the best diamond mining in arkansas
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Best Time of Year to Visit Crater of Diamonds State Park

When planning a visit to Crater of Diamonds State Park, timing is crucial for maximizing your chances of finding a precious diamond. The park is open throughout the year, but certain seasons offer more favorable conditions for diamond hunting. Here are the best times to visit Crater of Diamonds State Park:

  1. Spring: Spring, particularly April and May, is often considered the best time for diamond hunting. During these months, the weather is mild, and the soil is well-aerated, making it easier to dig and sift through the earth. The combination of these factors increases your chances of discovering diamonds.
  2. After Rainfall: Following a heavy rainfall, the chances of finding diamonds can significantly improve. Rain washes away dirt and mud, exposing new diamond-bearing material on the surface. A period of dry weather followed by a substantial downpour can create ideal conditions for diamond hunting.
  3. Early Morning or Late Evening: The park can get scorching during the midday hours, especially in the summer. To avoid the intense heat, consider arriving early in the morning or late in the evening. The cooler temperatures will make your visit more comfortable, and you can enjoy diamond mining with a more relaxed atmosphere.
  4. Weekdays: Weekends tend to be busier at the park, as more people visit during their days off. To have a more peaceful and productive experience, consider planning your visit on a weekday when there are fewer visitors.
  5. Winter: While winter can be a less popular time to visit due to colder temperatures, it has its own advantages. With fewer people around, you might have the park almost to yourself. Additionally, some believe that the lack of foliage and vegetation during the winter months makes it easier to spot diamonds on the surface.
  6. Avoid Extreme Heat: Summers in Arkansas can be sweltering, with temperatures often exceeding 90°F. Diamond hunting under such conditions can be exhausting, so it’s best to avoid extreme heat if you can. Make sure to stay hydrated and take necessary precautions to protect yourself from the sun.

Free Diamond Mining in Arkansas

One of the unique aspects of Crater of Diamonds State Park is that it allows visitors to search for diamonds and other gemstones free of charge. While the park offers equipment rentals for those who need them, you can also bring your own tools, making it a cost-effective adventure. Here’s how you can enjoy free diamond mining in Arkansas:

  1. Bring Your Own Tools: To save money, consider bringing your own tools for diamond hunting. A basic kit might include shovels, screens, buckets, and a small hand trowel for more precise digging. This way, you won’t need to rent equipment from the park, which can be an additional cost.
  2. Educate Yourself: Before visiting the park, take the time to educate yourself about the diamond mining process. Learn about the types of rocks and minerals in the area, as well as the signs that may indicate the presence of diamonds. The more you know, the better your chances of finding a diamond.
  3. Use a Wet Sifting Method: Many visitors to Crater of Diamonds State Park use a wet sifting method to search for diamonds. This involves digging up soil, placing it in a screen, and then washing it with water to separate heavier materials like diamonds from lighter ones. This technique is often more effective than dry sifting.
  4. Collaborate with Others: Consider going diamond hunting with friends or family members. More people mean more eyes on the ground, increasing the chances of finding a diamond. It can also be a fun and memorable experience to share with loved ones.
  5. Be Patient and Persistent: Diamond hunting can be a waiting game. It’s important to remain patient and persistent, as not every visit will result in a significant discovery. Many visitors return multiple times before they find their first diamond. Enjoy the process and the natural beauty of the park, regardless of your finds.

How Much Are Arkansas Diamonds?

The value of Arkansas diamonds can vary widely based on several factors. Here’s an overview of the pricing and valuation of these unique gemstones:

  1. Size: The size of a diamond is a major factor in determining its value. Larger diamonds are rarer and, therefore, more valuable. While many diamonds found at Crater of Diamonds State Park are small, some have been sizable, exceeding a carat in weight.
  2. Clarity: The clarity of a diamond refers to the presence of internal and external flaws, known as inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds with fewer imperfections are considered more valuable. Arkansas diamonds, like many diamonds found in nature, may have inclusions.
  3. Color: The color of a diamond is another significant factor. Diamonds are graded on a color scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). The closer a diamond is to colorless, the more valuable it is. Most Arkansas diamonds are typically white or colorless.
  4. Cut: The quality of the diamond’s cut affects its brilliance and overall appeal. A well-cut diamond will reflect light beautifully, enhancing its value. However, most diamonds found at the park are uncut, and their value may be limited until they are professionally cut and polished.
  5. Certification: To determine the value of an Arkansas diamond accurately, it’s essential to have it professionally evaluated and certified by a reputable gemological laboratory. The certification provides detailed information about the diamond’s attributes, including its size, color, clarity, and cut.
  6. Market Demand: The value of a diamond is also influenced by the demand for such gemstones in the market. High-quality Arkansas diamonds that are well-cut, colorless, and free of significant flaws can fetch a good price in the market.

It’s important to note that most diamonds found at Crater of Diamonds State Park are not of significant commercial value due to their small size and the rarity of finding larger, gem-quality diamonds. Nonetheless, they hold significant sentimental value for those who discover them and offer a unique and memorable experience.


Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas offers a fascinating opportunity for visitors to experience the thrill of diamond mining. With over 35,000 diamonds found since its establishment as a state park, it has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the best diamond mining destinations in the state. To make the most of your visit, consider the best times to go, use cost-effective strategies for free diamond mining, and understand the factors that influence the value of Arkansas diamonds.

While finding a significant, gem-quality diamond at the park may be rare, the journey of searching for these precious gems in the heart of Arkansas is an adventure in itself. So, don your digging gear, explore the park, and keep your eyes on the ground as you embark on your diamond mining journey at Crater of Diamonds State Park.