Normally when you go on vacation you have a good time, sure, but you spend a bunch of money. You come back with some pictures you love but -- let's be honest -- few other people are interested in seeing, no matter how many times you offer. (We're all kind of terrible about that.) And that's about all you get out of a regular vacation.
So why not take a vacation that gets you some big ole diamonds while you're there? There are dozens of places in the United States where you can go and just pick up some fine gems right off the ground. What?! Who has been keeping this glorious information from Americans for all these years? Forget Hawaii, I want to go where I can trip over a 10 carat diamond and call "finders keepers."
Here are the top 5 places to channel your inner treasure hunter and find diamonds and other fine gems in the U.S.
1. Crater of Diamonds State Park
The majority of diamond mining in North America is in Canada, so the only active diamond mine (and now a state park) in the U.S. is Crater of Diamonds. This Arkansas Diamond Mine can be found near Murfreesboro and is home to "Uncle Sam," the largest diamond ever found in the country. Take advantage of the "finders, keepers" policy and take what you can find!
2. Auburn, California
This was a hot spot during peak gold mining days in the 1800s. If you find yourself in California, stop by the 30,000-acre canyon park near Auburn, which has seen a peak in gold panning in recent years. Make sure you check trespassing rules so you don't accidentally snag some gold from private property.
3. Ace of Diamonds Mine in Middleville, New York
A diamond discovery could be in your future with a visit to the southern tier of New York State. The mine and campgrounds are privately owned by Ted Smith. It's been in his family for over 50 years. The cool thing is it's one of the only places in the world to find Herkimer diamonds, which are quartz crystals that can resemble diamonds.
4. Reed Gold Mine in North Carolina
This historic site is home to the first documented commercial gold found in the U.S. Back in the 1800s, it was estimated that over one million dollars in gold were found a year in the North Carolina gold mines. Maybe there's still some out there waiting to be found.
5. Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine
Though now defunct, this was once the second commercial diamond mine in the U.S. in addition to Crater of Diamonds. The "Colorado Diamond" was a 28-carat diamond found at the site which was the fifth largest found in the country. The site on the Wyoming border is believed to be the home of diamond deposits, due to its location in the State Line Kimberlite District.