Clay Jarvis of San Antonio, Texas, has been fascinated by diamonds since he was boy, when at age 10 he visited a diamond cutting facility in Amsterdam, Holland.
Recently, the business and commercial builder was working on a project in Texarkana and decided to visit all of Arkansas’s 52 state parks. He first visited Millwood State Park near Ashdown, and then he made his initial visit to the Crater of Diamonds State Park at Murfreesboro.
He had first learned about Arkansas’s diamond site when seeing it featured on The Discovery Channel.
On his second trip (September 29, 2013) to the Crater of Diamonds, Jarvis found a 2.13-carat champagne brown diamond in the East Drain area of the diamond search field after surface searching for about an hour and a half.
According to Park Interpreter Margi Jenks, the light brown diamond is somewhat square in shape, and about the size of pencil eraser.
“The diamond has a beautiful metallic shine that is very characteristic of Arkansas diamonds,” said Jenks.
She noted that it’s the 368th diamond found at the park this year. It’s also the 14th diamond find this year weighing over one carat, and the fifth diamond this year weighing over two carats, all of which were brown diamonds found on the surface of the park’s 37 ½-acre search area.
Diamond finder Clay Jarvis commented that the reason he knew it was a diamond when he picked it up was because he had attended the “Diamond Mining 101” demonstration conducted by Jenks during his first visit to the park a couple of weeks ago.
During that interpretive program, he and the other visitors participating in that hands-on demonstration were shown diamonds from the Crater as they learned the principle characteristics of diamonds from Arkansas’s site.
Margi Jenks said, “Mr. Jarvis certainly got an ‘A+’ on Diamond Mining 101 and went to the head of the class by finding a large diamond on his next visit to the park.”
Clay Jarvis said, “It happens! And, keep looking, because it’s fun.”
He named his stone the Nona “J” Diamond for his wife, his best friend, and sweetheart.
Jarvis continued, “Our first grandchild was born last year. My wife, April, is studying Italian, and ‘Nona’ is the word for grandmother in Italian.”
Margi Jenks said, “Of the 14 diamonds weighing over one carat found at the park this year, the current trend continues of visitors finding diamonds on the surface of the search field. Due to good rains this year, many of the large diamonds were found right on the surface. Diamonds are a bit heavy for their size, so a good downpour will wash the dirt away, leaving the diamond exposed.”
Many factors help visitors who like to surface search for diamonds at the park. Park personnel regularly plow the diamond search area to bring fresh, eroded diamond ore to the surface. Then, erosion from heavy rains concentrates the heavy rocks and minerals, like diamonds, in the low-lying parts of the search area.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Total diamonds found in 2013: 368
Operating Hours: Visitor Center/Diamond Discovery Center is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., extended summer hours
Admission: Adults $7.00, children (age 6-12) $4
Location: From Murfreesboro, take Arkansas 301 and go 2.5 miles southwest to the park
Address: 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, AR 71958
Phone: (870) 285-3113
Angels are like diamonds. They can’t be made, you have to find them. Each one is unique.