Adam Hardin is a regular visitor to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. The diamond-hunter has been visiting the park for over 10 years and unearthed his largest find, a 2.38 carat diamond in April.
Adam Hardin is a regular visitor at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. He's been sifting through the 37.5-acre eroded volcanic crater for more than 10 years and has collected hundreds of diamonds.
On April 10, Hardin found his first diamond weighing over two carats: 2.38-carats to be exact. He was wet-sifting at the park's south washing pavilion when he discovered it.
"He said his first response was, 'Wow, that's a big diamond,'" Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said with a laugh.
Cox described the round diamond as coffee-color brown with cracks along the surface, which he described as "character."
According to an Arkansas State Parks news release, after his discovery, Hardin carried the diamond in a pill bottle to the park's Diamond Discovery Center, where it was registered.
When registering diamonds at the park, guests receive a card of authenticity. Cox said guests do not have to register found diamonds at the discovery center, but diamond buyers often prefer authenticated gemstones.
Hardin plans to sell his 2.38-carat find, which he named "Frankenstone," as he typically sells his diamonds locally, the news release states.
As of Tuesday, 260 diamonds had been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park this year, with a total weight over 44 carats.
The park promotes three techniques for finding diamonds: wet-sifting, dry-sifting and simply searching for diamonds laying on the surface of the ground. Cox said wet-sifting is the most successful, with 60 percent of diamonds found this way.
Wet-sifting requires the use of two sifting screens to separate gravel by size, using water to wash the gravel. Smaller gravel is separated by weight so larger minerals — diamonds, the sifters hope — are easier to see. Shovels for digging dirt, buckets for transportation from the field to washing pavilions and screens are all available to rent from the park. Guests can also bring their own gear.
Crater of Diamonds State Park celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
The first diamonds were discovered on the land in 1906 by John Huddleston, more than 60 years before the area became a state park. The largest diamond found, which weighed 40.23 carats, was unearthed in 1924 during a mining operation. It's known as "The Uncle Sam."
Crater of Diamonds State Park is located on Arkansas Highway 301 in Murfreesboro. One-day tickets to the park's diamond search can be purchased in person or online at crater-of-diamonds-state-park.ticketleap.com/. Adult tickets are $10 and children (ages 6-12) tickets are $6.