Arkansas State Gemstone or Gem




Adopted in 1967.

On February 22, 1967, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller signed Act 128 of the Sixty-sixth General Assembly of 1967, an omnibus measure designating the diamond as the state gem, quartz crystal as the state mineral, and bauxite as the state rock. The measure, introduced in the Senate by Robert Harvey, J. Hugh Lookadoo, and Olen Hendrix, called attention to Arkansas's status as one of the few places in North America where diamonds are present in their host rock and the only such place where tourists may hunt for them.

Diamond: Arkansas State Gemstone or Gem


A diamond (from the ancient Greek, meaning "unbreakable," "proper," or "unalterable") is one of the best-known and most sought-after gemstones. Diamonds have been known to mankind and used as decorative items since ancient times; some of the earliest references can be traced to India.

The hardness of diamond and its high dispersion of light - giving the diamond its characteristic "fire" - make it useful for industrial applications and desirable as jewelry. Diamonds are such a highly traded commodity that multiple organizations have been created for grading and certifying them based on the four Cs, which are color, cut, clarity, and carat. Other characteristics, such as presence or lack of fluorescence, also affect the desirability and thus the value of a diamond used for jewelry.

Diamond, composed of densely packed carbon, is the hardest known substance on earth. It has unique physical and chemical properties, aside from its brilliance and "fire" when faceted into a gemstone, which make it important to industrialized society. Industrial-grade diamond powders often are used to cut and polish gem-grade stones. Other uses include surgical blades, glass cutting and engraving tools, wiredrawing dies, metal cutting tools, and drill bits.

The diamonds are recovered from the Prairie Creek diamondiferous pipe, a roughly triangular surface outcrop exposed over thirty-seven acres situated two and a half miles southeast of Murfreesboro (Pike County). The site is a breccia-filled volcanic pipe formed during the Cretaceous period by a series of gaseous explosions, as are several other pipes nearby. Geologists have known of the site since 1842. The Crater of Diamonds State Park is the eighth-largest diamond deposit in the world. Farmer John Huddleston, who owned the property, discovered the first diamond in 1906. In 1972, the property was purchased for development as a state park, and since then visitors have carried home over 18,000 diamonds. Although diamonds are the main attraction, other semi-precious gems and minerals can be found there. The largest diamond found to date is "Uncle Sam" (1924) at 40.23 carats. It was cut to an emerald shape of 12.42 carats and sold in 1971 for $150,000,

Who found the first diamonds in Arkansas? John M Huddleston, a Pike Country farmer, found the first diamonds near Murfreesboro in 1906 when he picked up two such stones near the mouth of Prairie Creek southeast of Murfreesboro. After this, diamonds were reported from two small areas two miles northeast of the Prairie Creek pipe. These discoveries created a modest local sensation: the 1913 design of the Arkansas flag included a horizontally oriented rhombus or stylized diamond shape inspired by the Prairie Creek pipe's bounty. Several efforts were made in the first half of the twentieth century to mine Arkansas diamonds commercially, without sustained success. The development in the 1950s of man-made diamonds suitable for industrial purposes probably sealed the fate of Arkansas's prospects as a diamond-mining powerhouse.

This did not preclude a different sort of development. After World War II, the failed commercial mining operations became a privately run tourist attraction. The volcanic pipe and some surrounding acreage became Crater of Diamonds State Park in 1972 when the state bought the property for $750,000. The possibility of unearthing gem-quality stones has inspired a steady draw of visitors to this unorthodox attraction: nearly 2.3 million guests visited the park from 1972 to 2005. The enduring popularity of this attraction is memorialized in the 2003 Arkansas commemorative quarter, which bears a representation of a diamond, depicted in a side view of a round brilliant cut.

Recovery figures are incomplete, but an estimated 100,000 diamonds, thought to average 0.25 carats, have been recovered from the Prairie Creek pipe by commercial efforts and tourists. Since the site became a state park, the state has maintained records of the number of diamonds discovered and reported. From 1972 to 2005, 25,369 diamonds weighing a total of 4,954.41 carats have been reported. The largest known stone discovered and reported during this period is a 16.37-carat white diamond unearthed in 1975 by a Texan, though earlier, in 1923, a diamond weighing 40.23 carats was unearthed.

APRIL Birthstone: Diamond

Diamond (Birthstone)

Diamond is the birthstone for April. A diamond is a mineral compound made of pure carbon and is the hardest natural substance on the planet. Diamonds are named after the Greek term for unconquerable; diamonds represent unequalled strength and determination. Diamonds also represent eternity and undying love, and are also universally identified as the gemstone for engagement rings. Diamonds are typically colorless, but yellow, brown, green, gray, black, pink, blue, red, and purple stones can also be found along the diamond color spectrum. Jewelry-grade diamonds are rated based on color from bluish-white to yellow, and on clarity, which ranges from pure to various levels of flawed

Arkansas Law

The law designating the diamond as the official Arkansas state gem is found in the Arkansas Code, Title 1, Chapter 4, Section 1-4-111 - State gem, mineral, and rock.

Title 1 - General Provisions
Chapter 4 - State Symbols, Motto, Etc.
§ 1-4-111 - State gem, mineral, and rock.

Universal Citation: AR Code § 1-4-111 (2012)

(a) The diamond is adopted and designated the official state gem of the State of Arkansas.

(b) Quartz crystal is adopted and designated the official state mineral of the State of Arkansas.

(c) Bauxite is adopted and designated the official state rock of the State of Arkansas.
History. Acts 1967, No. 128, § 1-3; A.S.A. 1947, § 5-115 - 5-117.



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Minerals, & Gems
US State Gemstone or Gems

Gemstone, Minerals, Rocks