By Kevin Tibbles, NBC News correspondent
Editor's note: Kevin Tibbles's report airs tonight on the broadcast.
I guess there still remains a bit of the "prospector spirit" in the America of today--that desire to explore, and hunt for buried treasure, and strike it rich. The same desire that helped build this nation is alive and well and digging in a field outside Murfreesboro, Arkansas.
It's called the 'Crater of Diamonds' State Park, a 100-millon-year-old extinct volcano, where visitors can plunk down their $6.50 entrance fee for the chance to sift through the dirt in search of....yup...diamonds.
In early December, 48-year-old modern day prospector Denis Tyrell, who has been seeking his fortune here since last March, found the one-thousandth diamond of 2007. It was a 3.48 carat champagne-colored beauty, and Tyrell reckons it'll fetch him about $9,000.
But for the curious or the average tourist, the Crater of Diamonds allows your imagination and dreams to run wild in the mud. Just think, who knows what this next scoop might bring? Fame? Fortune? Or, in my case, more mud!
It's the only diamond mine in the world that allows members of the public to take home what they find, and on tonight's broadcast, we'll find out why they are flocking here.