Exploring the Rainbow at Crater of Diamonds State Park

By: Tayler Markham


Greetings from the Crater of Diamonds State Park! While diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow, diamonds found at the Crater of Diamonds are white, brown, or yellow. More than 60% of Crater diamonds are white, 20% are brown, and less than 20% are yellow. A diamond’s color is influenced by its journey from deep within the earth to the surface.

While all diamonds are made from carbon, white (or clear) diamonds are closest to a pure carbon crystal. In a white diamond, tiny inclusions scatter the light passing through the gem causing it to appear opalescent. The largest white diamond found at the Crater of Diamonds, was the 40.23-carat Uncle Sam Diamond, discovered in 1924. It was cut in a 12.42-carat, emerald-cut diamond and is now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Brown diamonds from the Crater are the result of plastic deformation, a structural defect that occurs during formation. This event creates holes in the crystal lattice that affect the way light is absorbed by the diamond. Brown diamonds absorb all colors except red and green wavelengths, making them appear brown. In 2020, Arkansas native Kevin Kinard found the largest brown diamond in the park’s history, a 9.07-carat brandy brown gem he named the Kinard Friendship Diamond.

Yellow diamonds are created when nitrogen is absorbed into the crystal structure during formation. Nitrogen impurities absorb blue light and reflect yellow wavelengths, giving the diamond a yellow hue. The intensity of the yellow depends on the amount of nitrogen. One of the most famous yellow diamonds discovered at the park is the 4.25-carat Kahn Canary Diamond. The Kahn Canary was left uncut and placed in a ring, worn by First Lady Hillary Clinton at her husband’s Presidential Inaugural Galas in 1993 and 1997.

Crater diamonds may not come in all colors of the rainbow, but the many other colorful rocks and minerals found at Crater of Diamonds State Park can help you complete the rainbow! We look forward to helping you explore the different hues of nature found at this unique park. For more information, visit www.CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com, call 870-285-3113, or email CraterofDiamonds@arkansas.com.

Search area last plowed: September 27, 2022

Most recent significant rainfall: March 23, 2023

Diamond highlights (100 points = 1 carat):

Mar 15 Sophia Eastman, Stillwater, OK, 1.39 ct. white
Mar 17 – Noah Sanford, Van Buren, AR, 1.35 ct. white
Mar 18 – Hana Smith, Cave City, AR, 47 pt. yellow
Mar 21 – Nelson Sheets, Nashville, AR, 11 pt. white
Mar 22 – Jason Rigdon, Freeburg, IL, 2 pt. brown

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