The US, a country rich with almost every natural resource, has no active commercial diamond mines. Throughout history, only two locations evolved into commercially viable mines – the Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine in Colorado, opened from 1996 to 2002, now defunct; and a mine near Murfreesboro, Arkansas, which operated in the early 1900s. Today, the Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only “pay-to-dig” mine in the world, inviting visitors to look for diamonds and keep their finds.
The 37½-acre plowed field has been a hugely successful tourist attraction since its official opening in 1972. The three colors found at the park are white, brown and yellow diamonds – prevalent in that order. Amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, quartz, and more rocks and minerals may also be found at the site.
According to Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, over 31,476 diamonds have been found in the crater since 1972, with a total carat weight of 6,294.20. Over 3,300,000 visitors looked for diamonds in the park since it opened.
The largest diamond found since 1972 is a 16.37-carat white diamond, found in 1975. In 2015, an impressive 8.52-carat white stone was found – the fifth largest diamond ever found at the park. The latest recorded finds occurred on November 30, 2015 – quite a luck day for visitors in the park – when three diamonds were found, two white and one yellow.