Every trip has a silver lining. And in this case, it’s a diamond.
Visitors to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas just might strike it rich: For the price of admission, they get to dig in a field that’s the eroded surface of a large diamond-bearing volcanic crater ― and they have the potential to unearth diamonds worth thousands of dollars.
Last week, a father-daughter duo found a 2.03-carat white diamond just sitting on top of the soil. They don’t know how much it’s worth yet, but for reference, another visitor sold her 3.85-carat find from the park for $20,000 in 2014.
Admission to the state park is just $8 per day, so clearly, this park could be the most lucrative road trip stop of your life.
Experts say Crater of Diamonds formed when a volcanic vent exploded near the Earth’s surface millions of years ago, unleashing a flurry of perfect diamonds in the soil. Mining them via a private company would be too costly, said park spokesperson Meg Matthews, so visitors get to do the digging instead.
Last year, visitors found and registered a total of 468 diamonds at the park. It isn’t uncommon for two or three to be found in one day, but most are less than a carat in size and therefore not worth much. In any case, it’s quite exhilarating to find them, Matthews told HuffPost.
“There’s something magical about actually finding a gem,” she said. “We have people who go out there almost every day.”
When visitors do find valuable diamonds, it’s often right near the surface of the soil, Matthews explained. There isn’t an appraiser on site, so travelers must take the gems elsewhere to find out how much they’re worth.
Conveniently, Murfreesboro is only about 30 miles off Interstate 30, and Arkansas’ capital of Little Rock is just about a two hours’ drive away. If you’re heading from Dallas to Memphis, turn it into a little road trip through the South that’s full of possibilities.
This sounds like a journey we’d totally dig.