With 2015 underway, it’s time to look back at another fantastic year of diamond finds at the Crater. By the close of business on December 31, 2014, 585 diamonds had officially been registered in 2014, weighing a total of 121.02 carats. That’s 130 more diamonds and nearly 25 more carats than the total registered in 2013!
Arkansans were responsible for 213 of last year’s diamonds, while visitors from 36 other states and five foreign countries registered 372 diamonds during the year. 346 diamonds were registered as white, 135 were brown, and 104 were yellow. 81 diamonds, about one in every seven, were found on the surface of the search area during the year, including many of the largest finds of 2014!
The first two-carat-plus diamond of 2014 was discovered on March 6 by Brandon Kalenda, of Maurepas, Louisiana. A regular viewer of Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush,” Kalenda figured diamond hunting was like gold panning, and that a diamond would be in a pocket of little rocks. After digging for about 20 minutes in a drainage ditch near the entrance to the search area, Kalenda found a 2.89-carat white diamond about the size of an English pea, the second-largest of the year. He named his stone the Jax Diamond after his infant son, Jackson.
As rainstorms moved through the park in early spring, visitors found more diamonds on the surface of the park’s search area. On April 15, David Anderson, of Murfreesboro, Arkansas, found a 6.19-carat white gem after more than four inches of rain fell on the park. It was the largest diamond found in 2014 and the 9th-largest white diamond since the Crater of Diamonds became an Arkansas State Park in 1972. Anderson named his marquise-shape gem the Limitless Diamond, after the 2014 motto for the charitable organization Speed the Light.
Visitors found more than 300 diamonds during the spring and summer months, including eight weighing over carat, but the year’s third-largest diamond would not be discovered until fall. On October 19, Jerry Gullett, of Piketon, Ohio, found a 2.78-carat light yellow, egg-shaped diamond while wet sifting soil from the East Drain of the diamond search area.
We appreciate everyone who visited Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2014 and are excited to meet those who come to the park this year. We are looking forward to many more diamond searching adventures in 2015 and hope you’ll be a part of it!
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Most recent significant precipitation: January 3, 2015
Diamond finds for the week of December 28, 2014 (100 points = one carat):
No diamonds registered December 28.
December 29 – Adam Hardin, Murfreesboro, AR, 3 pt. white, 33 pt. white; Michael Green, Springdale, AR, 4 pt. white; Dorothy Cargill, Waxahachie, TX, 12 pt. brown; Joanne & Scott Sprague, Annapolis, MD, 16 pt. white
December 31 – Donald Russell, McAlester, OK, 10 pt. yellow
January 2 – Adam Hardin, Murfreesboro, AR, 6 pt. white, 11 pt. white
January 3 – Kenny & Melissa Oliver, Rosston, AR, 2 pt. white, 12 pt. white