Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mining for Treasures

Crater of Diamonds State Park has been around a long time

When people think of mining most usually think of mines, large corporations and hundreds of workers. While this is probably an accurate description of mining there are a lot of backyard, riverbed and small time miners. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and we are only two or three hours from gold country. There are still streams and riverbed where you can pan for gold and some people do.


You can find an assortment of diamonds and other gems
There is a little town called Columbia that has a beautiful historic park and one of the features is an area where kids can pan for gold. They put whatever you find into a small vial. The gold is of such small amounts that it doesn’t add up to much but it is fun for kids. There are other places throughout the US where you can pan or mine for treasures. Recently a 12 year old boy found a 5.16 carat brown diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park. Apparently he hadn’t been searching for long before he found the diamond. His Dad hadn’t even finished renting the tools.


The Strawn-Wagner diamond is on display at the park
This park in Murfreeboro Arkansas is a public park where you can pay a fee and dig in the dirt looking for treasures. The shocking part is many people have found some pretty valuable diamonds and other stones in this park. Back in 1990 Shirley Strawn found a 3.03 carat rough diamond which was cut to a 1.09 carats round brilliant and became the Strawn-Wagner diamond which is considered the most perfect cut diamond as certified by AGS. It has the highest grade a diamond can receive. Now that’s a find!


Diamond mining in Arkansas has been big for a long time
This isn’t to say some people haven’t found some huge diamonds. The Uncle Sam was found in 1924 and was 40.23 carats and cut to 12.42 carats. The park is 37.5 acres and they plow the fields occasionally to bring up diamonds and other gems. It is the only diamond field in the world that is open to the public. So if you’re thinking of hunting for treasures think about mining as there are treasures in our own backyards and you never know, you might find something valuable.
Congrats Michael Dettlaff on your discovery

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