January (2012) was a great start to the Crater of Diamonds 40th year as an Arkansas State Park, with more than 1,600 people visiting and 37 diamonds certified during the month.
Visitation rose nearly 60% over totals from last January, and four additional diamonds were registered, according to news release.
Arkansans residents registered 28 diamonds in January, while visitors from Michigan, Minnesota, California, Ontario, and Taiwan registered nine diamonds. The 22 white, eight brown, and seven yellow gems weighed a total of 3.14 carats.
Mild winter temperatures in January may account for increased park visitation, while many days of heavy rain left the search area eroded to help increase the number of diamonds found, according to a state park spokesperson.
Crater of Diamonds is currently experiencing their first real cold weather of the winter, with a possibility of freezing rain and snow.
Hopefully temperatures will soon moderate so that more people may enjoy searching for diamonds this winter, as Crater of Diamonds State Park turns 40.
What is a Carat?
A caret is a unit of weight for precious stones, equal to 200 milligrams. It is thought that the name carat was derived from the carob tree. Carob trees are native to the Old World (Asia, Africa, and Europe) and are known for their uniformly-sized seeds. Gemstones, including diamonds were weighed for years against these seeds.
A diamond weighing less than one carat would be measured in points.
One hundred points equal one carat.
A diamond weighing more than one carat would be listed as the whole carat number, plus the number of points. For example, a diamond that was one carat and 25 points would be listed as 1.25 carats.
Diamond finds for January 29–February 4, 2012
- No diamonds found January 29
- January 30 – David Anderson, Murfreesboro, Arkansas, 18 pt. white, 25 pt. brown; Gerald Weitzel, Albert Lea, Minnesota, 0.5 pt. white
- February 4 – Joe & Dana Swann, Gadsten, Alabama, 22 pt. yellow
Diamond finds for February 5–February 11, 2012
- February 5 – Kenny & Melissa Oliver, Rosston, Arkansas, 14 pt. white, 26 pt. yellow, 29 pt. white; Garnet Pierce, Gonzales, Louisiana, 12 pt. yellow
- February 10 – Gerald Weitzel, Albert Lea, Minnesota, 16 pt. white
- February 11 – Kenneth Shoemaker, Murfreesboro, Arkansas, 6 pt. brown
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Crater of Diamonds State Park is located two miles southeast of downtown Murfreesboro. It is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.
Search area last plowed: January 30, 2011
Most recent heavy rain: February 13, 2012
Total diamonds found in 2012: 44
Operating Hours: Visitor Center/Diamond Discovery Center is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., extended summer hours
Admission: $7; Children ages 6-12, $4; children under 6 years, free; admission is good for the entire day—you may come and go throughout the day on the same admission fee
Location: From Murfreesboro, take Arkansas 301 and go 2.5 miles southwest to the park
Address: 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, AR 71958
Phone: (870) 285-3113
Please Note: This is the seventh in an on-going series of stories on Crater of Diamonds, an Arkansas State Park
Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever.
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