Oh shiny!


Yesterday was my Mother’s birthday. I took her and my dad to dig for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds National Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. It’s the 8th largest diamond mine in the world. It is also the only place in the world where the public can hunt for diamonds and keep what they find.

The weather wasn’t too hot but imagine being out in a treeless field, digging in the dirt, the sun bearing down on you. It tends to get hot quick. No matter, I thought, this was the first time for me to do this and I was going to find me a nice shiny rock. Well, there was a lot of shiny. In fact the dirt even sparkled. Rocks had specks of sparkles.

I hadn’t a clue what to look for. Of course I knew what a diamond looked like, though only in a store window case, after it’s been cleaned and cut and polished. I was digging for the uncut, dirty ones. I’d hold up a shiny rock and say to day, “look at this, is this one?” “No, it crumbles.” “Darn it!” Hand him another one, “what about this one?” “No, I don’t think that’s one, but it’s pretty.”

He and I filled up two buckets of dirt and rented a screen. We walked to the screening area and began screening the rocks and dirt for hopeful, potential diamonds. We picked out clear pieces of white rocks, what we thought were diamonds. We continued to screen and screen until our buckets of dirt were empty.

After two hours we packed up our things and walked up front to show our findings to an ‘expert’. Our clear ‘diamond hopefuls’ were nothing but quartz crystals. So all that trouble to find no diamonds. We found a lot of jasper and some other minerals I had forgotten what the name was already. I did have fun though. And I got the experience for diamond hunting.

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