(MURFREESBORO, Ark.) – This month, guests at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park are invited to celebrate the park’s golden anniversary on April 22 and 23.
At 4 p.m. on Friday, April 22, retired Executive Director of Parks and Tourism Richard Davies and retired Park Superintendent Jim Cannon will speak on the early days of the park. Immediately following, the park will unveil a new wayside exhibit on the 8.52-carat Esperanza Diamond, discovered at the park in June 2015. Attendees may bring chairs or blankets to sit on during these activities.
On Saturday, April 23, the park will host its 26th Annual Prospector’s Treasure Hunt for painted bottles and rocks hidden throughout the diamond search area, redeemable for a variety of prizes from area businesses. Park staff will also host fun games during the day for visitors of all ages to play.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, park guests can meet Crater diamond finders and see dozens of beautiful diamonds during the 14th Annual Famous Crater Diamonds Exhibit in the Diamond Discovery Center classroom. The following exhibitors and collections at this year’s event:
- The Houran Diamond Collection – Private Collection
- The Esperanza Diamond – Presented by Loyd Stanley, retired jeweler and owner of Stanley Jewelers Gemologist, North Little Rock
- Dawn Barnes – Daughter of longtime park visitors and diamond finders Donald and Mollie Mayes, Springdale
- Sam Jones – Regular Crater diamond finder, Fayetteville
- Kevin Kinard – Finder of the 9.04-carat Kinard Friendship Diamond, Maumelle
- Scott Kreykes – Regular Crater diamond finder, Dierks
- Kenny and Melissa Oliver – Finders of many Crater diamonds, including the 2.44-carat Silver Moon Diamond in March 2011, Rosston
- Jason Rigdon – Regular park visitor and Crater diamond finder, Freeburg, IL
- Troy Savage – Regular park visitor and Crater diamond finder, Antlers, OK
- Louella Terrell – Collector of Crater diamonds, Murfreesboro
All event activities are free with the purchase of admission to the diamond search area ($10 for ages 13 & up; $6 for ages 6-12; ages 5 & under are free). For more information, contact Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113 or email CraterofDiamonds@arkansas.com.
Quick Facts about Crater of Diamonds State Park
Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow. The three most common colors found at Crater of Diamonds State Park are white, brown and yellow, in that order.
In total, more than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the Crater of Diamonds since the first diamonds were discovered in 1906 by John Huddleston, a farmer who owned the land long before it became an Arkansas State Park in 1972.
The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was unearthed here in 1924 during an early mining operation. Named the Uncle Sam, this white diamond with a pink cast weighed 40.23 carats. It was later cut into a 12.42-carat emerald shape and purchased by a private collector for $150,000 in 1971.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is located on Arkansas Highway 301 in Murfreesboro. It is one of 52 state parks administered by Arkansas State Parks, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism.
About Arkansas State Parks
Arkansas State Parks is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. Arkansas state parks and museums cover 54,400 acres of forest, wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation facilities, and unique historic and cultural resources. Established in 1923, Arkansas State Parks preserve special places for future generations, provide quality recreation and education opportunities, enhance the state’s economy through tourism, and provide leadership in resource conservation. Arkansas State Parks serves more than 9 million visitors annually. Connect with ASP on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and visit ArkansasStateParks.com and ArkansasStateParks.com/media to learn more.
About Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism
The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism has three major divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Tourism. Arkansas State Parks manages 52 state parks and promotes Arkansas as a tourist destination for people around the country. Arkansas Heritage preserves and promotes Arkansas’s natural and cultural history and heritage through four historic museums and four cultural preservation agencies. Arkansas Tourism improves the state’s economy by generating travel and enhancing the image of the state.