The Most Colorful Time of the Year


-By Waymon Cox, Park Interpreter II;
Crater of Diamonds State Park

Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! Over the next few weeks, visitors will travel to Arkansas to enjoy cooler weather and beautiful fall foliage. Though the colors of autumn are fleeting, you can collect many colorful minerals at Crater of Diamonds State Park to enjoy all year long!

One of the most vibrant and abundant minerals found at the park is jasper. Most jasper appears red, orange, or brown, due to iron inclusions. It may also contain manganese, turning it gray or black. Many other materials enter jasper during formation, creating a multitude of patterns and varieties. This earthy, multihued mineral resembles the changing leaves of the season. It can be cut or tumble polished to create colorful fall jewelry or décor.

Olivine is another mineral commonly found at the Crater. Its brownish-green color, caused by traces of nickel, brings to mind the evergreen pines and cedars that stand out against a colorful background this time of year. Olivine is very brittle and breaks down relatively quickly, leaving behind white or yellowish specks in the volcanic soil. Gem-quality olivine is called peridot and is very popular in jewelry.

Barite is a third outstanding mineral that many park visitors like to collect. Its characteristic blue-gray color is caused by irradiation and is reminiscent of a cloudy sky on a crisp fall morning. Though naturally soft, barite is sometimes used in jewelry. It is also heavy for its size and often found in areas good for diamond searching at the park, since diamonds are heavy, too.

Fall is one of the best times to visit the Crater of Diamonds. Mild temperatures and beautiful natural surroundings make for a memorable diamond searching experience. The other colorful minerals you can find here are a bonus!

Search area last plowed: October 8, 2020
Most recent significant rain: September 27, 2020

Diamond finds for the week of September 27, 2020 (100 points = 1 carat):

  • September 28 – Mark & Liz Nelson, Pulaski, TN, 13 pt. white
  • September 29 – Mark & Liz Nelson, Pulaski, TN, 15 pt. white; Jason Ivins, Saint Jo, TX, 42 pt. white, 42 pt. white; Creston Kinsey, Tremont, IL, 1.10 ct. white
  • October 3 – Trey & Rheaba Wilson, Valley View, TX, 2 pt. yellow, 14 pt. brown.
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