Uncovering Garnets at Crater of Diamonds

By Ashlyn Newton


Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! Rockhounds from all over the world visit the world-famous diamond search area to search for diamonds in their original volcanic source. The crater is famous for diamonds, but many other rocks and minerals can be found here, too. Amethyst, spinel, peridot, and garnet are just a few of the unique minerals guests can dig up and keep. One special stone among those is garnet, garnet can be known for being more than just a unique mineral.

Garnet symbolizes different things to different people. It gets its name from the Latin word “Garanatus,” meaning seedlike, as it resembles pomegranate seeds when clustered. In medieval times, garnet was thought to cure depression, protect against bad dreams, and relieve diseases of the liver. Garnet is the January birthstone and symbolizes protection, friendship, trust, commitment, and love. It is often associated with the heart, blood, inner fire, and life force. It is also said to keep one safe during travel by lighting up the night and providing protection from nightmares and accidents.

The name garnet refers to a family of ten minerals with the same chemical structure. They vary in different colors, including red, orange, yellow, green, brown, violet, pink, and black. The differences lie in slight variations of color, density, and refractive index, which makes garnets challenging for geologists. Different types of garnets, including almandine, andradite, and pyrope, can all be found at the park.

Garnet is usually found at Crater of Diamonds State Park in smaller pieces. Garnets found in the search area are usually red and slightly transparent. It is a silicate mineral that has a vitreous, or glassy, luster. Garnet’s hardness ranges from 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. At

Garnet is considered special for many reasons, but at Crater, it can be special as it is often a diamond indicator mineral, specifically the Pyrope variety found at the park. The best way to find a garnet is usually by wet sifting. They are dense minerals and will usually move to the bottom center of the screen when wet sifting.

As you travel to Crater of Diamonds State Park, add garnet to the list of interesting stones to search for, for a second anniversary or safe travels. With some hard work and luck, you may find one of these unique gems!

Search area last plowed: March 2, 2024

Most recent significant rain: April 10, 2024

Recent diamond finds (100 points = 1 carat):

April 13 – Chris Gann & Patrick Shay, Wright City, MO, 8 pt. white; Lonnie V. LaCroix III, Calhoun, LA, 21 pt. white

April 14 – Susie Mendez, DeQueen, AR, 10 pt. yellow; Brad & Kathy Newton, Pearcy, AR, 1 pt. white, David Anderson, Murfreesboro, AR, 4 pt. brown & 4 pt. white

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