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A family road-trip results in 2.89 carat diamond find in Arkansas

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Do you like adventure? Do you like diamonds? If your answer to these questions is yes, the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas could be your next destination.

You can make it a day trip if you live in Memphis, Tennessee. That's right, you can travel to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas in four and a half hours, hunt for diamonds for four hours and head back to Memphis with your stash. It can be a great family road-trip, and that's exactly what happened to a Louisiana family on March 6, 2014, while en-route to Minnesota to visit relatives.

After being talked into stopping at the diamond park by his mother-in-law, Brandon Kalenda of Maurepas, Louisiana found a 2.89 carat diamond in the plowed diamond field. It was the 47th diamond found there this year, with four found since the middle of February that were over a carat in size. Kalenda named the diamond Jax Diamond after his infant son. The park’s policy is finder-keepers.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park consists of 37 1/2 acres of search area, and park officials inform visitors to look for the diamonds in pockets or layers on the surface of gravel, and that's what Kalenda was doing when he found his gem.

This diamond field is the eighth largest diamond bearing field in the world, and the only one open to the public. Diamonds are not the only gems found at this park. Other semi-precious gemstones found there include garnet, jasper, agate, calcite, barite, quartz, peridot and amethyst.

The largest diamond un-earthed here was named the "Uncle Sam." This white diamond with a pink cast weighed 40.23 carats, and was found in 1924. It is still the largest diamond ever found in the United States.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park also has camping and recreational areas with very competitive prices. Rates for daily searches in the diamonds field are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for children, ages 6 - 12. This would be a fun and adventurous trip for the entire family. The park is located at 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, Arkansas 71958 Email: craterofdiamonds@arkansas.com Phone: (870) 285-3113

This writer plans to take a family trip to this gem of a state park soon and will post the results, along with pictures in another article here in the Memphis Travel section of the Examiner.

If you don't already subscribe to the Memphis International Travel articles in the Examiner, you can do so by clicking on the subscribe link located under this writer's photo at the top of the page. All these articles are free. You can also check out this writer's suggested articles, listed at the bottom of this page.

Until we meet again on these pages, we will let the "World turn onto our next destination."

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