Uncle Sam has his own diamond

Whilst looking at the best way to buy diamond rings online I came across the story of a “finders keepers” style diamond crater in the Arkansas area of the United States. After I purchased my diamond from https://www.comparethediamond.com/ I went on to research this diamond tourist attraction a little bit further and this is what I found:

The crater is essentially the eroded surface area of a kimberlite pipe. This particular pipe is known as the Prairie Creek Kimberlite Pipe. The kimberlite pipe is basically a funnel where rocks, debris and other materials are passed through to a higher surface level following extreme volcanic activity that takes place from deep within the lower levels of the earths surface.

Diamonds were first found at the site in 1906 by a farmer names John Wesley Huddleston who had recently bought a farm at the location. News of the discovery by Huddleston led to a diamond rush in the area similar to the rush experienced in South Africa in the late 19th Century.

In 1924 the largest diamond to ever be discovered in the United States was found weighing 40.23 carats as a rough-cut diamond. It became known as the Uncle Sam Diamond. During processing it was cut twice as an emerald cut and polished with the finally stone weighing 12.42 carats. It has been described as a white diamond with a pink cast and can now be seen in the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institute.

After passing through the ownership of a variety of people and partnerships the crater became a public tourist attraction and is the first ever open to the public mine (although not a mine in the traditional sense) where visitors can search the 36.5-acre site for their own diamonds and other jewels and are free to keep what they find. Over 60,000 people visit the site each year and around 600 diamonds will be found during that time which is around 2 diamonds a day.  The diamonds found are usually less than 1 carat in weight although 40 carat stones have been found but this is incredibly rare. The most common colours to be found are white, brown and yellow.

There are over forty other different types of rocks and minerals that have been found in the crater site and these include:

  • Quartz
  • Amethyst
  • Garnet
  • Peridot
  • Agate
  • Jasper
  • Calcite
  • Barite

Fascinating stuff really and definitely a place to visit if you are ever holidaying in the Arkansas area of the United States.

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