Looking Forward to Spring at the Crater

By Waymon Cox, Park Interpreter II for Crater of Diamonds State Park


Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! With warmer temperatures in the forecast, it’s hard to believe we experienced record-breaking cold just last week. Ten inches of snow fell at the park, but not even that stopped a few hardy folks from trying their hardest to find a diamond. One visitor braved two of the coldest days to wet sift on the south end of the search area (no, we didn’t heat the water). I’m not sure if his efforts yielded any diamonds, but he may bring back some of his best finds once they thaw out!

Later in the week, a few more people came to dig patches of newly-exposed gravel. The snow had started to melt, but there was still enough left to occupy the kids with building snowmen and throwing snowballs.

With spring less than a month away, the park will be very busy in the coming weeks with spring break. We registered several large diamonds last year (including the largest in nearly 40 years), and most of us are ready to get outside and enjoy warm weather! Finding a good parking spot will be hard. We recommend arriving early and packing a lunch and plenty of bottled water to make the most of your visit.

This spring break will be a little different than in years past. Due to COVID-19 protocols, daily access to the diamond search area is currently limited to 1,500 people. If you plan to search for diamonds this spring, we recommend buying tickets through our website at www.CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com to ensure you can visit on the days you want.

We’re also unable to rent mining tools at this time, so we encourage you to bring your own. The park sells small hand shovels and buckets. Several businesses and private individuals also sell and rent tools near the park. Most are located along Highway 301 South, near the park entrance. Tools aren’t required to find diamonds, but many visitors use shovels, buckets, and sifting screens to make searching more productive.

There are several good resources to learn how to search for diamonds before you come to the park. You can watch instructional diamond searching videos on the Digging for Diamonds page on our website. An internet search for “diamond searching techniques” will yield plenty of viable results, as well. You can also check out informational panels that illustrate the wet sifting method at the park’s washing pavilions.

To see what you find during your visit to the Crater, stop by the Diamond Discovery Center and ask any of our friendly and helpful staff. If you have questions after leaving, take a few photos of your find beside a ruler or coin, and email them to CraterofDiamonds@arkansas.com. While we can’t register a diamond through email, we can tell you if something looks promising.

Due to cold weather and low visitation, February is historically one of the slowest months for diamond finds. However, March is one of the busiest! After a wet, snowy winter, we’re excited to see the beautiful diamonds that come out of the park this spring.

Search area last plowed: October 16, 2020

Most recent significant precipitation: 10” of snow the week of February 14, 2021

Diamond finds for the weeks of February 7 & 14, 2021 (100 points = 1 carat):

February 7 – James Bloxham, North Little Rock, AR, 62 pt. white
February 10 – Jason Rigdon, Freeburg, IL, 2 pt. white
February 14 – Brent Peterein, Godfrey, IL, 3 pt. white
No diamonds registered February 15 – February 20.

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