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NEWS RELEASE: 10/20/2013

Fourteen-year-old Girl from Oklahoma Finds 3.85-carat Diamond at Arkansas's Crater of Diamonds State Park


(MURFREESBORO, Ark.)–After hearing about the 5.16-carat, honey brown diamond found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park on July 31 by 12-year-old Michael Dettlaff of Apex, North Carolina, 14-year-old Tana Clymer and her family from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, decided to experience Arkansas’s diamond site for themselves. During their first visit to the Crater of Diamonds this week, Tana found a beautiful, 3.85-carat canary diamond yesterday while surface searching over the park’s 37 ½-acre search area. The yellow diamond is teardrop shaped and about the size of a jellybean.

According to Tana, she’d been digging and sifting in the dirt for about two hours, then surface searching for 10 minutes, when she noticed the diamond on the surface of the search field. “I thought it was a piece of paper or foil from a candy wrapper," she said. "Then, when I touched it, I thought it was a marble.” Tana told park officials, “I think God pointed me to it. I was about to sprint to join my family, and God told me to slow down and look. Then, I found the diamond!” Tana said a prayer of thanks, and in His grace, named her beautiful canary gem the God’s Jewel diamond.

Assistant Park Superintendent Bill Henderson said, “This canary diamond is very similar to the gem-quality, 4.21-carat canary diamond found at the Crater of Diamonds by Oklahoma State Trooper Marvin Culver of Nowata, Oklahoma, on March 12, 2006, a gem he named the Okie Dokie Diamond.” Henderson said, “And now, we’re celebrating another canary diamond find by another Oklahoman!” He noted that Marvin Culver’s diamond was a beautiful representation of the high quality of diamonds that can be found at the Crater of Diamonds. “Tana’s diamond is, too,” he emphasized.

Marvin Culver’s 4.21-carat canary diamond was egg shaped and Tana’s 3.85-carat canary diamond is more of a teardrop shape. Her gem is the 396th diamond found so far this year. On average, two diamonds are found a day by park visitors. The colors of diamonds found at the park are white, brown, and yellow, in that order.

Henderson continued, “No two diamonds are alike, and each diamond finder’s story is unique, too. What an experience for Tana to remember the rest of her life! Tana told me that she was so excited, she couldn’t sleep last night. She’s either going to keep the diamond for a ring, or, if it’s worth a lot, she’ll want that for college.”

Henderson noted that with this diamond, the current trend continues of visitors finding diamonds on the surface of the search field. Due to good rains this spring, and some especially hard rains this summer, many of the recent large diamonds were found right on the surface. Diamonds are a bit heavy for their size, so a good downpour will wash the dirt away, leaving the diamond exposed.

The search area at the Crater of Diamonds is a 37 ½-acre plowed field that is the eroded surface of the eighth largest diamond-bearing deposit in the world, in surface area. It is the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public. In addition to diamonds, semi-precious gems and minerals are found in the park’s search area including amethyst, garnet, peridot, jasper, agate, calcite, barite, and quartz. Over 40 different rocks and minerals are unearthed at the Crater making it a rock hound's delight.

The park’s policy is finder-keepers. What park visitors find is theirs to keep. The park staff provides free identification and registration of diamonds. Park interpretive programs and exhibits explain the site’s geology and history, and offer tips on recognizing diamonds in the rough.

Many factors help visitors who like to surface search for diamonds at the park. Park personnel regularly plow the diamond search area to bring fresh, eroded diamond ore to the surface. Then, erosion from heavy rains concentrates the heavy rocks and minerals, like diamonds, in the low-lying parts of the search area.

In total, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at Arkansas’s diamond site since the first diamonds found in 1906 by John Huddleston, the farmer who at that time owned the land, long before the site 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. Notable diamonds found by park visitors since the state park was established at the site include the Amarillo Starlight, a 16.37-carat white diamond discovered in 1975 which ranks as the largest diamond ever found by a park visitor. The second largest find by a park visitor is the Star of Shreveport, an 8.82-carat white gem unearthed in 1981. In 2011, a visitor from Colorado found an 8.66-carat white diamond she named the Illusion Diamond, which is the third-largest gem registered here since the Crater of Diamonds State Park was established in 1972.

Another notable diamond from the Crater of Diamonds that has received much national attention is the 1.09-carat D-flawless Strawn-Wagner Diamond. Discovered in 1990 by park visitor Shirley Strawn of Murfreesboro, this white gem weighed 3.03 carats in the rough before being cut to perfection in 1997 by the renowned diamond firm Lazare Kaplan International of New York. The gem is the most perfect diamond ever certified in the laboratory of the American Gem Society. It is on display in a special exhibit in the Crater of Diamonds State Park visitor center.

Another gem from the Crater is the flawless 4.25-carat Kahn Canary diamond that was discovered at the park in 1977. This uncut, triangular-shape gem has been on exhibit at many cities around the U.S. and overseas. It was featured in an illustrious jewelry exhibition in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1997 that included precious stones from throughout the world including the Kremlin collection, the Vatican, Cartier, and Christies. And, in late 1997, the Kahn Canary was featured in another prestigious exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York entitled “The Nature of Diamonds.” Former First Lady Hillary Clinton borrowed the Kahn Canary from its owner, Stan Kahn of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and wore it in a special, Arkansas-inspired ring setting designed by Henry Dunay of New York as a special way to represent Arkansas’s diamond site at the galas celebrating both of Bill Clinton’s presidential inaugurals.
 
Crater of Diamonds State Park is on Ark. 301 at Murfreesboro. It is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

For more information, contact: Bill Henderson, assistant park superintendent, Crater of Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, AR 71958. Phone: 870-285-3113. Email: bill.henderson@arkansas.gov or visit craterofdiamondsstatepark.com. 

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NEWS RELEASE: 1/31/2012

Crater of Diamonds State Park Celebrates 40 Years


* * * * * *

Zoie Clift, travel writer

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

North America’s largest diamond and more than 75,000 other diamonds have been found in a field southeast of Murfreesboro since farmer John Huddleston discovered the first gems in the field in 1906. Since 1972, the site has been preserved as Crater of Diamonds State Park.
 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the park.

 

Park Superintendent Justin Dorsey says special programs will be held on March 15th, the anniversary date of the park’s creation. “We’ll be doing programs on the history of the park and how it has changed over the past 40 years,” he said. “Because the anniversary falls on a Thursday, we’ll continue the special programming over the weekend and through the next week, which is Spring Break.”

 

Many are surprised to learn there is a place in Arkansas where one can go and dig for diamonds. The park, the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public, is located above an eroded volcanic pipe. For a small fee, visitors can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep what they find.

 

The search area at the park is a 37 1/2 acre plowed field on the eroded surface of the eighth largest diamond-bearing deposit in the world (in surface area). More than 500 diamonds were found at the park last year.

 

“It was a record year for large diamonds,” said Dorsey. “We registered 30 diamonds over one carat.” He added that two of them, the 8.66 ct Illusion Diamond (3rd) and the 6.67 ct Teamwork Diamond (9th), are among the ten top diamond finds at the park in the past 40 years. “I hope to see this trend continue into 2012,” he said. “We are also nearing the milestone 30,000th diamond mark (as of January 20, the mark was at 29,933). I expect it to be found this year.”

 

What sets Crater diamonds apart are color (the vast majority of diamonds found here are white, brown and yellow), luster (many look like small pieces of metal) and shape (if not broken they are usually very smooth and well rounded). The largest diamond discovered by visitors since the site became an Arkansas state park was the 16.37-carat Amarillo Starlight found in 1975.

 

It is stories like these that park interpreters enjoy sharing. “Every day we meet people who have just learned about our park,” said Waymon Cox, who has worked as a park interpreter at Crater of Diamonds for four years. “They don’t realize the state park has been here for 40 years now, and they haven’t heard of the many fascinating discoveries folks just like them have made over the years. It’s always a lot of fun to share some of the park’s best stories with someone new.”

 

March also marks the start of a new program series at the park called Visit with an Expert Miner. The program (scheduled for March 14, 24, June 2, and October 6) offers visitors a chance to meet the park’s regular diamond prospectors.

 

The idea started after a similar scenario was filmed as part of a reality show demo this past summer. “People really enjoyed the opportunity to hear from some of the ‘regulars’ that search here almost every day,” said Dorsey. “They have a chance to interact and ask questions that only they can answer. The miners are equally excited to share their story with hopeful visitors.”

 

More than 106,000 visitors came through the park last year. “My favorite aspect of this job is the visitors,” said Cox. “Every time I do a demonstration, I ask where people are visiting from. It’s fascinating to hear all the different states people name off. I also love pointing out the social aspect of this park. While searching for diamonds, visitors will often talk to each other and make connections with people from all over the country. Not only might someone from Michigan be working right next to someone from California, but as they talk they often find they either know the same person or once lived in the same area. It’s a visitor experience not often found at other parks.”

 

Dorsey said he is honored to be a part of the park staff that will be celebrating this landmark year. “Over the past 40 years we have had a number of special people work here, and the current staff and I continue that legacy,” he said. “We realize this park will be here for visitors to enjoy for many more years after we are all gone. And as we celebrate how far we’ve come, we remember that we are charged with ensuring future generations the same experience.”

 

Crater of Diamonds State Park is located two miles southeast of downtown Murfreesboro. For more information contact Justin Dorsey, park superintendent, Crater of Diamonds State Park, at 870-285-3113, or email him at justin.dorsey@arkansas.gov. Crater of Diamonds State Park is located at 209 State Park Road in Murfreesboro.

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Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-682-7606
E-mail: info@arkansas.com
 
May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"

 




NEWS RELEASE: 1/25/2012

Who will find the 30,000th diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park?


Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro is set to celebrate two big milestones this year.  March 15th marks 40 years since the site’s creation as an Arkansas state park... and sometime soon, the 30,000th diamond found since the park’s opening will be unearthed.

The latest count of diamonds found at the park is 29,934 -- just 66 short of 30,000.  The park plans to commemorate the find.

Last year, 106,524 people visited Crater of Diamonds State Park.  It was a record year for diamond finds, with more than 500 dug up by visitors.  30 of those diamonds were over one carat in weight.

The search area at the park is a 37 1/2 acre plowed field on the eroded surface of the eighth largest diamond-bearing deposit in the world (in surface area).  Crater of Diamonds State Park is the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public.

Crater of Diamonds State Park is located two miles southeast of downtown Murfreesboro. For more information contact Justin Dorsey, park superintendent, Crater of Diamonds State Park, at 870-285-3113, or email him at justin.dorsey@arkansas.gov. Crater of Diamonds State Park is located at 209 State Park Road in Murfreesboro.

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Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-682-7606
E-mail: info@arkansas.com

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"


Kat Robinson
Communications Manager, Tourism Division
Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
1 Capitol Mall, Rm4A-900
Little Rock, AR  72201
www.Arkansas.com
phone 501-682-7606
fax  501-682-2523

Mission Statement of the Communications Section:
“To increase visitation to Arkansas by portraying a positive image of the state through visual, electronic and editorial communications”
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Crater of Diamonds State Park
209 State Park Road
Murfreesboro, AR 71958
Email: craterofdiamonds@arkansas.com
Phone: (870) 285-3113