A Diamond is formed when extreme heat (temperatures of 2200 degrees Fahrenheit) and extreme pressure cause carbon atoms to crystallize forming diamonds approximately ninety miles under the earth's surface. The Arkansas Diamonds reached the surface of the earth via volcanic pipes. When a volcano erupts diamonds are also deposited on, or near, the surface. Some of the host rock might be washed away by streams and rivers. Diamonds are therefore found in areas where there have been volcanic activity or erosion and where natural elements such as streams, rivers and even glaciers might have taken them. 100 million years ago a volcanic explosion blasted the Murfreesboro area in Arkansas and created a massive crater. It has taken all this time for diamonds to develop and surface at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. There is still an estimated 80 million tons of diamond bearing rock to sort through and Arkansas diamond finds are made on a regular basis (about 600 diamonds every year).
Diamonds are Forever...
Arkansas Diamond Mine
- The Crater of Diamonds State Park
Arkansas Diamond Mine
- Searching for Diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park
of the Arkansas Diamond Mine
Diamonds at the Arkansas Diamond Mine have taken over 100 million years to reach the diamond field
1906: A farmer called John Wesley Huddleston found two stones on his land and sent the stones to a jeweller in Little Rock called Charles S. Stifft to verify they were genuine
1906: Further verification was requested and the stones were sent to New York where "…after subjecting them to every test they were pronounced diamonds of fine grade."
1906: In 1906 John Huddleston sold his 160 acre diamond-bearing land for $36,000 to a group of men who began the Arkansas Diamond Company.
1906: M.M. Mauney, a farmer who owned the Arkansas site's remaining 40 acres and charged visitors 50 cents for ice cream and the exclusive chance to hunt for free diamonds
1907: The publicity attracted by the idea of finding free diamonds led to the Arkansas Diamond Rush
1909: In 1909 a former South African diamond mine operator tested the Arkansas site. His findings confirmed that diamonds were found throughout the depths of a 205-foot test shaft
1910: Mr Mauney sold most of his land to Horace Bemis who formed the Ozark Diamond Corporation. Mr Mauney then leased the remaining 10 acres to Austin Millar.
1910 - 1919: Austin Millar was an excellent businessman and recovered lots of diamonds. The Arkansas land bought by Bemis was sold to the Millar family. Mr. Mauney wanted to break the lease and take over operation of one plant, but Austin Millar refused which led to over 30 lawsuits
1919: In 1919 there was a huge fire and all three of Mr. Millar's plants burned down. Arson was strongly suspected but never proved
1924: In 1924 the Uncle Sam diamond was discovered by W. O. Bassum who was a worker at the Arkansas Diamond Corporation. The stone weighed 40.23 carats as a rough diamond crystal, was colored white and was the biggest diamond ever found in the US.
1949: In 1949 a major attempt was made by the Millars to open the diamond deposit to the public.
1951: The Millars opened in 1951 as the Diamond Preserve of the United States
1951: The adjacent property had passed through various owners and was in the hands of Mrs. Ethel Wilkinson of Logansport, Indiana. She opened the Arkansas Diamond Company to the public as The Big Mine
1952: Austin Millar's son, Howard, renamed the Diamond Preserve of the United States as the "Crater of Diamonds."
1956: In 1956 the "Star of Arkansas", a white 15.33-carat crystal was found at the Crater of Diamonds
1964 and 1968: Roscoe Johnston leased the land previously owned by the Arkansas Diamond Company and operated it as a tourist attraction under the name: "Arkansas Diamond Mine" or the Big Mine. It was during this time that the "Star of Murfreesboro" and the "Phillips 66" diamonds were found.
1967: The 1967 Arkansas General Assembly passed legislation (Act 128) designating the diamond as the official gem of the State.
1969: The Arkansas diamond-bearing site came under single ownership when it was purchased in 1969 by General Earth Minerals of Dallas, Texas who continued to run the land as tourist attractions until 1972
1972: 1972 when the State Of Arkansas bought the land for $750,000. It is called the Crater of Diamonds State Park of Arkansas.
1975: In 1975 the white “Amarillo Starlight” weighing 16.37 carats was discovered by W. W. Johnson of Amarillo, Texas. The stone was cut to a 7.54-carat marquise-shaped gem, valued at $160,000.
1975: In 1975 the 6.75 carat brown Dunn diamond was discovered
1977: In 1977 the yellow 4.25 carat “Kahn Canary” was discovered
1978: In 1978 the brown 8.61 carat Lamle diamond was discovered
1978 - 1979: Campsites, a visitor center, a gift shop, and other amenities were built during 1978 and 1979
1981: In 1981 the 8.82 carat white “ Star of Shreveport” was discovered
1986: In 1986 the 7.95 carat white Connell diamond was discovered
1990: In 1990 the white Strawn-Wagner Diamond weighing 3.03 carats) was discovered by park visitor Shirley Strawn of Murfreesboro, Arkansas
1994: The "Star of Arkansas" was auctioned at Christie's of New York for $145,000.
1997: In 1997 the brown Cooper Diamonds weighing 6.72 and 6.0 carats were found
1998: In 1998 the yellow Stevens/Dickenson diamond weighing 7.28 carats was discovered
2006: June 9, 2006 a 1.11-Carat, Flawless White Diamond was found by nine-year-old Courtney Conder from Illinois. She named her diamond 'The Sparkles Diamond'
2006: This October
14 2006 5.47-carat canary diamond found by Bob Wehle of
Arkansas Diamond Mine