56-year-old woman Beatrice Watkins of Mena found a 2.23-carat diamond at Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro.

I've made this trip a couple of times and haven't had any luck, so I'm thrilled to see some folks are still finding jewels at this really cool park. If you want to try it, take note some changes are in place because of COVID-19.

There are 800 tickets daily to access the diamond search field. They do sell out, so plan ahead. There are other restrictions during this health emergency. Get the details on the digging for diamonds page.

Arkansas State Parks
Arkansas State Parks

Tickets for Saturday, June 27th are already sold out.

The statewide health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will require that the following rules be followed:

No diamond-mining tool rentals at this time.
Hand sanitizer will be available for guests in the Visitor Center.
Face coverings are required for all persons present in the following park facilities:

  • Visitor Center
  • Diamond Discovery Center
  • North & South Pavilions

In a park news release, Watkins told park staff she was sifting soil near the center of the park’s diamond search area when she found a shiny, dark brown gem the size of a pea. “I thought it was shiny but had no idea it was a diamond!” Watkins said. “My daughter googled similar-looking stones and thought it might have been iron pyrite, so I stuck it in my sack and kept sifting.” A park staffer later told Watkins’s her “iron pyrite” was actually a brown diamond weighing more than two carats. “I was so excited, I just couldn’t believe it,” Watkins said. “I still can’t believe it!”

Watkins’s is the largest gem found at the park since October 2019 when a Jacksonville woman found a 3.29-carat crater diamond. Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said that Watkins found her diamond by dry sifting.

Watkins named the diamond Lady Beatrice. She told park staff she will probably keep the stone as an inheritance for her kids and grandkids.

More than 33,100 diamonds have been found by park visitors since the Crater of Diamonds became an Arkansas state park in 1972. Notable diamonds found at the Crater include the 40.23-carat Uncle Sam, the largest diamond ever unearthed in the U.S.; the 16.37-carat Amarillo Starlight; the 15.33-carat Star of Arkansas; and the 8.52-carat Esperanza.

Battle of Okinawa, April 1 to June 22, 1945

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