Gems in the USA

On a recent near-spring day, a bit of news caught my attention. It was the anniversary of the finding of the "Punch Jones Diamond" in West Virginia. It started me thinking, where exactly are diamonds found in the USA?

The "Punch Jones Diamond is a 34.48 carat bluish-white diamond found in 1928 by a farmer in Peterstown, West Virginia, while playing horseshoes. The family (who had seventeen children) put the stone in a cigar box until it was discovered to be a diamond in 1942. The Jones family sold the stone through Sotheby's in 1984 to an entity in an east Asian country. This diamond is the largest alluvial (carried by glaciers) diamond ever discovered in North America.

As I searched on, I read about Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Story after story surfaced about all sizes of diamonds found in the park. For example, in 2005 a 3.36 flawless lemon yellow diamond was found.   From school children to seasoned stone hunters, many have found fairly significant stones. In fact, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at this site since 1906 when it became a state park.

And because it's a state park, what you find, you keep. It is the only public diamond-producing site in the world!

Now I’m a resident of Maine, home to a “crescent of gems”. In the early 1900’s, beautiful, untreated pink and green tourmaline crystals were found virtually laying on the ground. Still being mined today, along with amethyst, aquamarine, and quartz. And Montana is famous for it’s sapphires, prime examples of which are denim blue. The list goes on.

Imagine...and right in our own back yard. Which made me think of MY back yard and the upcoming gardening projects. What might I find?!?? Maybe among the worms and clods will rest a little shiny something worth keeping. I might even attack my gardening chores with renewed vigor!

Joyce Heaton,
March, 2016


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