Crater of Diamonds
Last Post 12 Aug 2016 07:19 PM by ROBERT HOBDY. 18 Replies.
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SCOTT SPRAGUEUser is Offline
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Posts:7



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05 Apr 2014 04:34 AM

    If you are passing through or planning a special trip, Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas is always fun.  Whether you surface search or dig deep, the likelihood of finding a diamond is actually pretty good.  Here are a few that I found.

     

    I usually try to dig deep, wash a lot of gravel and take my concentrates home for further inspection.

     

     

    "The golden part of prospecting isn't always in your pan."
    GARY BRANDSENUser is Offline
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    05 Apr 2014 05:49 AM
      was just there a week ago , no luck -just a muddy wet clay field     was fun watching the kids get dirty though , too  much of a theme park for me
    TIM LEIBELUser is Offline
    Buzzard
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    05 Apr 2014 06:36 AM
    I was there in early March, Spent 4 hours and met some nice people from all over. I think the prospecting is mostly about that. Lets face it, unless we get very lucky, none of us are going to get rich prospecting. It about the time outdoors with family and friends and the little finds we make.
    ROBERT SCARBOROUGHUser is Offline
    Sluicer
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    22 Apr 2014 01:44 PM
    Hey, Scott is that a smile or a smirk on your face there? Either one says you are having way too much fun!
    I went there back before it became a state park.
    My grand parents lived nearby and they said it was always muddy in the morning at the crater.
    And it was worse when they came out with tractor and turned the field over with a disc and harrow.
    Oh joy. Fresh Mud!
    Then the sun came out and baked all the mud into a solid mass on your shoes.
    But, I was 13 and my folks just paid for me to play in the mud!
    My dad did find a 1/2 carat black diamond that day.
    My brother and sister and I found a lot of pretty rocks.
    I understand that there are several people that make a living(?) by prospecting full time out there.
    It is definitely some place to put on a prospectors "Bucket List".
    Robert J. Scarborough
    RANDY MASTUser is Offline
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    24 Jun 2014 02:37 PM
    I went a couple years ago. The lady geologists at the Crater center mineral check, said a more recent geological survey was done. There were 2 smaller pipes found which got formed from after eruptions. I found some really huge crystalline lamproite specimens.
    JOSH HALEUser is Offline
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    24 Jun 2014 08:25 PM
    I went twice in 2013, spent 3 days both times digging. Didnt find anything but I do still have 3 five gallon buckets of material to search thru. It was alot of fun, and im told the best time to search is when its muddy, just after it rains.
    RANDY MASTUser is Offline
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    25 Jun 2014 01:19 PM
    I talked to some regulars there, most seem to like the SW corner for digging their buckets.
    JO ANN RODRIGUESUser is Offline
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    25 Jun 2014 02:49 PM
    How cool! Looks like a lot fun and exciting.
    LEO LORENZUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
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    29 Jun 2014 05:08 PM
    Can a person dig really deep while in the area? I am thinking they till the upper surface, but in reality, more could be found by going down unconventionally deeper. Do they limit your activity? What about on the outskirts of the main areas, are they open to prospecting at all? I would think most people follow each other into the over picked areas.
    Leo
    RANDY MASTUser is Offline
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    29 Jun 2014 05:49 PM
    You can dig deep, but all holes must be filled in when done. The mine field area is where the ash fell, along with rocks blown out by the eruptions. The volcanic pipe area is the hill off to the west, it is not open to mining or searching. The SW corner of the field I'm told was extended, as once had water which is now drained. Going over a geological map with the lady geologists, I got her to admit there is a spot a vein like part of the diamond pipe enters the mine field (nowhere else though).
    LEO LORENZUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
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    29 Jun 2014 07:12 PM
    Who owns the volcanic pipe off to the west? Is that part of the park? Really I wonder....how do they really know "where" the ash actually fell? This event happened eons ago.... I would think that these eruptions would have covered miles and who knows if sediments over the years is currently covering other "fields" too. That maybe this particular one was just shallower than the others? 
    Leo
    RANDY MASTUser is Offline
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    30 Jun 2014 04:45 PM
    The diamond pipe hill area is owned by the park. I think the name of the trail you hike around it is called "prospector trail" but no mining allowed. The ash fell and formed a type of rock. I have a large flat piece, it is so evenly flat like a poured tile you buy for landscaping. It makes me wonder if some ash might have fallen on ice or in water to form this way.
    PAUL BLACKUser is Offline
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    30 May 2015 06:58 PM
    Congrats, Scott. I'm planning a trip there (and a dozen places between here and there). But diggers should be prepared to put in their time as the official park stats show that only one diamond is found about every day and a half. Move that dirt.
    ROBERT SCARBOROUGHUser is Offline
    Sluicer
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    01 Jun 2015 08:04 AM
    There was some news about kimberlite pipes found on the Colorado/Wyoming border.
    Apparently the early prospectors avoided the area because it was mainly made of granite
    which is not a normal gold bearing material and the area only got noticed recently during some
    exploration for oil and pipeline right of ways.
    Several mining companies are now doing some serious exploration and hope to develop the area
    into something like the Diamond mines up in Canada near the Great Bear Lake.
    Maybe Colorado will have a Crater of Diamonds or Hillside of Diamonds park one day?

    The diamonds are created way down in the Earths mantle and are brought up through
    the Earth's crust in the Kimberlite pipes. Kimberlite does not create the diamonds.
    It is just a medium that carries the diamonds to the surface.
    Kimberlite is one of the oldest materials found on Earth.

    Happy Trails and Kind Regards !
    Bob Scarborough - P O R (Press On Regardless)
    Robert J. Scarborough
    Richard AtkinsonUser is Offline
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    09 Nov 2015 06:29 AM

    Here is a very interesting blog about the diamonds

     

    http://sloan-kimberlite.blogspot.com/

     

    Sloan Ranch diamondiferous kimberlites - Kimberlites at the Sloan Ranch in Colorado are diamond-bearing and occur within the State Line district. Two of the Sloan group (1 and 2) have produced some of the better kimberlite specimens in the world.

     

    According to my maps, most of the State Line District is not in the Rocky Mountains National Park, but on both private and public lands, part of which may be in the Roosevelt National Forest. Metal detecting and gem and gold mining are allowed in national forests. Regretfully, power equipment is not allowed. The following is a PDF from the Forest Service which says exactly what is and is not allowed. The key phrase that I found is "low impact" which is why power equipment is not allowed.

     

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...261774.pdf

     

    As a side note: I am taking my brother to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas in December to see if we can have any luck. Since we've never been there I am not sure how rocky the ground is. However, I went ahead and fabricated the following boring tools (has to be hand operated - again, no power tools). As constructed they can bore down 4-6 feet, but with the extensions that I also cut and threaded we should be able to reach as much as 12 feet down. Others have probable tried it, but I didn't find any info on the hand boring so very interested to see how it works.

     

     

    I also built the following classifier holder so I can stack my classifier trays and rinse the concentrates to see if we can find any diamonds. It holds the standard stackable 13-1/4 inch classifiers. The 3 inch PVC pipes are used both as handles and as pontoons to hold the weight of the 2-3 three classifier trays without sinking or tipping.

     

    Richard "Dixie" Atkinson • http://www.photographsbydixie.com • "To be successful in life, sometimes you need to go through the mud to get to the gold." - Ed Sykes
    Vince EmeryUser is Offline
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    10 Nov 2015 05:54 AM

    Good stuff there Richard. I think you're going to have a productive trip.
    We've been there 4 times. Camped each time in a pop-up we had then.  Great place and lots of fun. Didn't find any diamonds
    but not for lack of trying.  Met a full-timer there who had a small fenced in section. Later, couple years later, we seen him
    on the Discovery Channel. Nice clean camp ground. Lots of atv trails around the area. Albert Pike is a nice area also.



    Posted By Richard Atkinson on 09 Nov 2015 06:29 AM

    Here is a very interesting blog about the diamonds

     

    http://sloan-kimberlite.blogspot.com/

     

    Sloan Ranch diamondiferous kimberlites - Kimberlites at the Sloan Ranch in Colorado are diamond-bearing and occur within the State Line district. Two of the Sloan group (1 and 2) have produced some of the better kimberlite specimens in the world.

     

    According to my maps, most of the State Line District is not in the Rocky Mountains National Park, but on both private and public lands, part of which may be in the Roosevelt National Forest. Metal detecting and gem and gold mining are allowed in national forests. Regretfully, power equipment is not allowed. The following is a PDF from the Forest Service which says exactly what is and is not allowed. The key phrase that I found is "low impact" which is why power equipment is not allowed.

     

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5261774.pdf

     

    As a side note: I am taking my brother to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas in December to see if we can have any luck. Since we've never been there I am not sure how rocky the ground is. However, I went ahead and fabricated the following boring tools (has to be hand operated - again, no power tools). As constructed they can bore down 4-6 feet, but with the extensions that I also cut and threaded we should be able to reach as much as 12 feet down. Others have probable tried it, but I didn't find any info on the hand boring so very interested to see how it works.

     

     

    I also built the following classifier holder so I can stack my classifier trays and rinse the concentrates to see if we can find any diamonds. It holds the standard stackable 13-1/4 inch classifiers. The 3 inch PVC pipes are used both as handles and as pontoons to hold the weight of the 2-3 three classifier trays without sinking or tipping.

     



    Vince EmeryUser is Offline
    Dredger
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    10 Nov 2015 05:56 AM
    Hey Scot, nice stones. Congrats!! Is that a picture of you standing in a hole that you dug? DANG!!!!

    thanks for the pics.
    Richard AtkinsonUser is Offline
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    10 Nov 2015 07:21 PM

    Vince, don't know how productive, but we are really looking forward to a great time. Since it is December, we didn't want to take a chance with the weather so we are staying closer to Hot Springs. We got good rates there since I am retired military so we were able to get a space-A time share for a week for only $299 through the Armed Forces Vacation Club (no membership fees, etc. - just have to be active duty are retired military). We are only doing 2-3 days at Crater and then checking out other attractions in the Hot Springs area. Thanks for the info on Albert Pike - we will have to check into it.

    Dixie

     

    Posted By Vince Emery on 10 Nov 2015 05:54 AM







    Good stuff there Richard. I think you're going to have a productive trip.
    We've been there 4 times. Camped each time in a pop-up we had then.  Great place and lots of fun. Didn't find any diamonds
    but not for lack of trying.  Met a full-timer there who had a small fenced in section. Later, couple years later, we seen him
    on the Discovery Channel. Nice clean camp ground. Lots of atv trails around the area. Albert Pike is a nice area also.






    Richard "Dixie" Atkinson • http://www.photographsbydixie.com • "To be successful in life, sometimes you need to go through the mud to get to the gold." - Ed Sykes
    ROBERT HOBDYUser is Offline
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    12 Aug 2016 07:19 PM

    Been to Crater of Diamonds several times.  Best time to go is spring or fall.  Summer is way too hot!!!  Like 97-99 degrees, very humid and no/little rain.  Its cooler in off season and fewer people there, plus you get back to rainy season.  Take a day off after heavy rain from digging and surface search.  Diamonds are heavy and dirt washes off them easily, leaving them behind on the surface.  

    As to digging, I have found out that both the SW area and SE area to be productive.  Think back to when this pipe erupted in a shallow sea bed.  The natural direction of water current would be going to the east, pushed along by prevailing winds.  Likewise for any material ejected into the air.  Now search for ancient stream flows in the park...these are found by digging.  When you find an area which results in a lot of white quartz ring in your Saruca pancake center, stay in that area and work it.  You have better chance to find diamond there because it settled out much like gold does due to its high specific gravity relative to surrounding material.  On average, you should find a diamond for about every 80-90 buckets of dirt you process, which equals about 1 per every 3-4 days.  I bring a large tired garden wagon for hauling (it hauls 4 full buckets) and use classifiers to reduce material before finishing with a  Saruca (a screen like classifier used much like a gold pan) to find my diamonds.

    I have also been to the State Line district, where I have been very lucky in finding diamonds.  Spent 2 days looking around for likely areas, due to mishmash of private land, NF land, BLM land, and railroad land.  3rd day I actually sluiced and classified a creek.  With a thunderstorm chasing me out of the highlands, stopped at a washout next to the road (on right of way) and scooped up 3 buckets of gravel to pan later.  A major flood had gouged a hole in the stream bed at a bend, and had thrown the gravel up on the shore.  A week later, I panned it out while camping at Myrtle Beach S.C. and found 32 little diamonds and 1 monster.  That big one was 4.92 cts flawless white.  It earned me a spot in history as the 2nd largest diamond ever panned in Colorado.  Be careful and do your research, a lot of the private land was bought from the railroad, and the railroad retained all the mineral rights.  The HOA's up there won't let you prospect on the private lands due to the possibility that the railroads would take legal action against them if it became known.  The NF is strictly shovel and pan, which isn't bad...that is how I do it most of the time in the NF.  Fish Creek, Rabbit Creek, Georges Creek, and the Poudres River are good locations to prospect after you do your research on what is open and not private land.  Especially...leave the land in better shape than you found it.  Several previous prospectors have earned us a dirty name!!!!!and violated/trespassed private property and were caught.  Out west, you still might encounter Colt Law.

    You also might check out numerous areas in Wyoming for diamonds also.

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