March 24-26—SPOKANE, WASHINGTON: 58th Annual Gem, Jewelry and Mineral Show; Rock Rollers of Spokane WA, Spokane County Fair and Expo Center; Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-4
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 Post subject: Crater of Diamonds State Park - Arkansas
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:32 pm 
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Lorrie and I went to Crater of Diamonds last weekend. We saw, it kicked our butts.

Did not find any, but we knew going, that was what the odds were.

Lessons learned:

1) There is about nothing anywhere near there. A Sonic in town, and some saver style grocery, so plan accordingly.

2) There are some small motels, but camping is actually more plentiful (disclosure, we stayed in Hot Springs)

3) Summer hunting is a killer. The darker soil and being near Texas is a hot combination. By 1 o'clock, the temps are in the mid 90's and the soil temp is radiating at 110. Even without rain, like any open pit mines or dump piles, there is hot humidity coming up.

4) The sun will move to your left as you enter the crater. So if you wash dirt, get to the right side or middle to stay in the shade during the day.

5) There is an equipment wash place on the way out. You can clean your gear with clean water.

6) The overflow lot is actually the best parking. If you park on the pavilion side of the lot, the spots are shaded in the afternoon and even in the morning close to the little foot bridge.

7) If you go to Hot Springs, when you get to the first twisty part in the road, slow to 45. The first twisties sneak up on you and I don't remember they were marked.

8) You can fit Keene Eng. classifiers and a Saruca in Costco wheeled duffles. Had kneepads, shoes, ho-mis, and the rest of the lot in 1 suitcase.

9) If you decide that you like it hot, GLOVES! The surface temp was broiling through mine while doing the crawl. And when it is hot, do the Ellis crawl into the wind. It is much more refreshing that way.

According to the park, the best diamonds work their way to the surface. Diamonds and water don't mix, so with water and the traffic, I think I can see that. They say the deeper diamonds don't match the quality... but they have to come from somewhere, so not sure I buy it totally. Their info says the diamond layer only goes to 40' down.

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 Post subject: Re: Crater of Diamonds State Park - Arkansas
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:23 pm 
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Just what is the "Ellis crawl"? 8)

I'm hoping to go diamond hunting one of these days. Now I know to go in spring or fall :P .

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 Post subject: Re: Crater of Diamonds State Park - Arkansas
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:40 pm 
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Barbara O. Ellis wrote:
Just what is the "Ellis crawl"? 8)

I'm hoping to go diamond hunting one of these days. Now I know to go in spring or fall :P .

Someone previously on this board and the MAGMA club named it after me. Gel kneepads, padded gloves (the $10-15 dollar double leather kind), and a hand tool (I always use a ho-mi). Down low and crawling along the site. Works miracles and I even produce looking in the walking paths under everyone's feet. I would say about 50% of my gem aqua, and my emeralds have come from it. People always kept saying how kids found the best stuff low to the ground and then complained about bending over and their back. So, I decided, graceful or not (not), that was a major tactic.

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 Post subject: Re: Crater of Diamonds State Park - Arkansas
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:48 pm 
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I have witnessed the "Ellis crawl", and can attest to the efficiency of the procedure :)


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 Post subject: Re: Crater of Diamonds State Park - Arkansas
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:01 pm 
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Well, with my acquired last name, I shall try to remember to use the crawl when (if) I make it to the Crater of Diamonds :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Crater of Diamonds State Park - Arkansas
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:22 pm 
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I have been there 2 times and camped close, i never found anything during the day light hours. This is not to say i did not find a diamond. i have found a few there, the one i keep in my personal collection is a 0.45ct octahedral light fancy yellow. found at night with a LW/SW (black light) looking in the stream beds or gravel by the roadside. this is the only sample from the area i have found that was gem quality so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Crater of Diamonds State Park - Arkansas
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:25 pm 
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The G_Madison post above is one of the most interesting tips I've ever seen on this forum, very cool.

The dirt in the park is going to be well washed, so your odds are as abysmal as the lottery.

The guys I saw actually finding stones, back in '92, were standing in big holes.

So if you're going to do the park, and want to do it hard, start digging. Make life easier; bring a tarp and a misting system to stay cool.

But really, the black light and searching nearby streams and gravels... that is an awesome idea. Get topo maps and learn how erosion over millenia moves heavy minerals. It's how they tracked down the Canadian kimberlite pipes, though to be precise that was glacial erosion.

Try panning and keeping all your concentrates, and bear in mind that diamonds stick to grease.


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 Post subject: Re: Crater of Diamonds State Park - Arkansas
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:59 pm 
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Is this a good family trip or too boring for kids?

- Jake Lauser
Central Pennsylvania


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 Post subject: Re: Crater of Diamonds State Park - Arkansas
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:26 pm 
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Far from the most exciting spot in my opinion. There are much better options if you're going to travel cross-country.


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 Post subject: Re: Crater of Diamonds State Park - Arkansas
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:43 am 
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If you're going to go through Arkansas, I wonder if you could go to a Quartz crystal fee site instead?
Might be much more fun, and you'll actually find something...


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