Crater of Diamonds State Park - 1990

Situated among the pine forests of southwest Arkansas near Murfreesboro is a
rare 40 acre field where diamonds can be found in their natural matrix.     
Visitors from around the world search for diamonds at this unique geologic  
occurrence. This field is the only diamond area in North America open to the
public. Over 70,000 diamonds have been found at the "Crater" (an eroded     
volcanic pipe) including such noted finds as the Uncle Sam (40.23 carats),  
Star of Murfreesboro (34.25 carats), Amarillo Starlight (16.37 carats), and 
the Star of Arkansas (15.33 carats). In June of 1981, the 8.82 carat Star of
Shreveport was added to the growing list of valuable stones picked up at the
Crater. An average of more than 600 diamonds is found each year.            

Although genuine diamonds are the chief attraction, other semi-precious gems
and minerals can also be found. Amethyst, agate, jasper, quartz, calcite,   
barite and many others, including over 40 different rocks and minerals, make
the area a rock-hound's delight.                                            


The first diamond was found here in 1906 by John Huddleston, who owned the  
property. The Crater of Diamonds has changed hands several times over the   
years and several unsuccessful attempts have been made at commercial mining.
All such ventures are shrouded in mystery; lawsuits, lack of money, and     
fires are only few of the reasons for failure. The mine was operated by     
private interests as a tourist attraction from 1952 to 1972 when it was     
purchased by the State for development as a state park.                     


 1. Look for a small, well-rounded crystal. A diamond weighing several      
    carats may be no larger than a marble.                                  

 2. Diamonds have an oily, slick outer surface that dirt or mud will not    
    stick to, so look for clean crystals.                                   

 3. If you think you have a diamond, hold it carefully in your hand.        
    Experience has shown once a diamond is dropped, it usually isn't found  
    again that day.                                                         

 4. Diamonds may be any of several colors. The most common found at the     
    Crater are clear white, yellow, and brown.                              

 5. Bring any stone you think may be a diamond to the Visitor Center for    
    free weight and certification. Anything you find is yours!              


This unique state park comprises 888 pine-covered acres along the banks of  
the Little Missouri River. Modern campgrounds, bath-houses, and picnic areas
are available to visitors. A gift shop, interpretive exhibits, audio-visual 
room, restrooms, and park offices are located in the Visitor Center, with a 
restaurant and picnic areas close by. Motels, hospitals, and other          
conveniences are a few minutes' drive way in nearby towns. The park is open 
year-round (hours change seasonally).                                       


Orientation programs are offered at the Visitor Center. During the summer   
months, evening programs covering a variety of subjects including nature,   
geology, diamond "mining" methods, and history are available to all park    
visitors. Organized groups may request special programs to meet specific    
interests, if scheduled in advance.                                         

The River Trail (1.3 miles) winds its way through the woods to the scenic   
Little Missouri River. It provides a relaxing 1-hour hike over level        


Mine Admission. A nominal entrance fee is charge to adults and children     
(6-12). Children under six may look for diamonds free if accompanied by an  

Group Rates. Any organized group of 20 or more may search for diamonds at   
one-half the regular fee. Advanced notice must be given to obtain reduced   
group rates.                                                                

NOTE: There are 60 campsites with water and electricity available. Campers  
"must" register at the Visitor Center "before" occupying a site. All sites  
are assigned; limited reservations available.                               


Two miles southeast of Murfreesboro on Arkansas Highway 301.                

For further information on park hours and fees, contact:                    

Crater of Diamonds State Park
Route 1, Box 364
Murfreesboro, AR 71958
Telephone: (501) 285-3113

Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism: Revised Fall 1990                   

Historical Book Publication: Crater of Diamonds: Jewel of Arkansas by Bobbie
Hendrix is available through the Pike County Archives and History Society   
(PCAHS), P.O. Box 875, Murfreesboro, AR 71958 for $6.00                     


Supplement of The Nashville News, Nashville,
Ark. (no date, originally published ca. 1912)

The Discovery of Diamonds Near Murfreesboro, Arkansas, By John
Wesley Huddleston While Searching for Gold in August, 1906

An August day in Murfreesboro (whose inhabitants are mostly engaged in      
agricultural pursuits) is not conducive to strenous exertion. The corn has  
been laid by with the last plowing of the whipporwill peas planted between  
its rows and the cotton is putting forth bolls remindful only of picking    
time for the group of negroes eating a luscious melon in the shade of a     
spreading oak on a side street with the ever present hog lingering near and 
greedily munching the rinds.                                                

In front of the merchant's store on the shady side of the "square" some     
goods boxes support a group of idlers lazily whittling the soft pine or     
notching their edges and discussing the advisability of sowing turnip seed  
for winter greens before the coming of the next rain.                       

John Wesley Huddleston, down on his farm, a mile or two away, was creeping  
along on his hands and knees searching some peculiar ground for gold. Specks
of mica and rock crystals glistened and flashed in the bright August        
sunshine which he well knew had no intrinsic value but the lustrous pebble  
before him was different and so he picked it up and an hour later found     
another equally as lustrous; these he carried to Murfreesboro and amazed its
Banker and other prominet citizens by declaring that in his belief they     
were REAL DIAMONDS.                                                         

Huddleston's earnestness finally convinced one of the citizens that his     
brilliant pebbles were worthy of more expert opinion and on his advice they 
were sent to a Little Rock Jeweler, of his acquaintance, who in turn        
forwarded them to New York experts where his own favorable judgements was   

The Huddleston Farm proves to be part of an eruptive
area, identical with the diamond bearing material of
South Africa known as Kimberlite.

The Huddleston farm was known at Murfreesboro and in the neighborhood as    
arid, rocky, wateland. Its gumbo soil in wet weather made the roadways      
almost impassable, but Huddleston wasn't a farmer; he believed the precious 
metals were plentiful and had purchased the farm expecting eventually to    
prove up a mine which would make him independently wealthy and never        
dreamed the mucky soil and black rocks represented the outcropping of a     
diamond mine.                                                               

Seventeen years (1889) before Huddleston made his "find" Dr. Branner, then  
State Geologist of Arkansas, had recorded the occurrence here of an area of 
eruptive rock, issued a comparitive analysis and definitely stated that     
"from its mineral composition and structure it belonged to that new type of 
the family of peridotites known as Kimberlite."                             

Kimberlite is the name of the mineral which, in Africa, had produced 98% of 
the world's diamonds for more than forty years.                             

Scientists are intensely interested and visit the
field of diamond finds and suggest the occurrence
of more diamond bearing mineral in the vicinity.

The importance to science of the diamond's discovery in a volcanic matrix   
of identical mineral, yielding it so plentifully in Africa, was too great to
be ignored, without even considering the commercial possibilities, and soon 
Murfreesboro was honored by the presence of many Savants personally         
inspecting the field of its occurrence.                                     

All Diamond Pipes occur in Groups.

These visiting Scientists emphasized the importance of the "finds" and      
suggested the probability of further discoveries of the diamond bearing     
mineral by pointing out the peculiarity of the African occurrence where     
exposures are always found occurring in groups.                             

Another Large diamond field is discovered two
miles northeast of the Huddleston Farm lying
more than two hundred feet higher.

The search following soon revealed another large area some two miles to the 
north and east of the Huddleston farm which prospecting discloses contains  
diamonds of a superior quality.                                             

The location of this outburst is the diamond bearing mineral lying more     
than two hundred feet above the level of the first discovery, together with 
other peculiar topographic features, denote that the volcanic phenomena was 
a great force and volume here.                                              

Erosive elements have not carried away the surface disintergration of the   
underlying harder mineral and the distinctive characteristics of the African
diamond bearing "Pipes" of ten to fifty feet by the blue ground and both    
intermixed with dikes and masses of "hardibank" duplicating the African     
mineral in mode of occurrence and the class of accessory inclusions which   
make the Kimberlite variety so distinct from all other known minerals.      

The two craters of diamond bearing mineral
are now in possession of four incorporated
companies and one private holding.

Three years have passed since the last discovery of the diamond bearing     
mineral. It is perhaps too modest a statement to make that every acre for   
miles around the two centers of volcanic activity have been carefully       
searched, often by trained geologists and mineralogists, without any further
outcropping being found, nor has there been any authentic finds of diamonds 
outside the known volcanic areas which are in the possession of four        
incorporated Companies and one private holding of limited extent.           

It is now practically certain that the areas of this diamond bearing        
Kimberlite occurring in Sections 14, 21, 28, as indicated on the map on the 
first page (Township 8S, Range 25W) represents two or more "Pipes" or       
"Vents" filled from the great depth of the earth's interior by volcanic     
action, somewhat resembling a "mud volcano"; in as much as little or no     
metamorphic effects are observable on the inclusions of the soft shales and 
other minerals that would naturally be partially or wholly destroyed if the 
great heat of flaming gases and molten lava characteristic of the volcanoes 
of the ordinary kind had been present. From this we reason, that while      
explosive vapors undoubtedly accompanied the eruption, the action was due to
hydrothermal rather than igneous agencies.                                  

Such a theroy is borne out by a close examination of all the Kimberlite     
vents of Africa, in many of which mining has now reached depths of several  
thousand feet. A longitudinal section representing such a "pipe" is shown   
by the sketch which appears in the lower corner of the first page of this   

David Kelley 2002