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story.lead_photo.caption Families can start digging for diamonds again — with some restrictions — Friday at Crater of Diamonds State Park. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

The diamond search field at Crater of Diamonds State Park, on Arkansas 301 in Murfreesboro, reopens Friday to diamond hunters — with some restrictions.

The park will limit admission to 500 people per day by ticket — $10, $6 for children 6-12, free for children under 6, at CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com; it’s the same price the park has been charging for admission before the covid-19 crisis.

Any tickets that have not sold online will be available to walk-up visitors at the park Visitor Center, which will have a maximum occupancy of 15.

“We are the only diamond mine in the world where you get to keep what you find and the lifetime memories our visitors make searching for a diamond are important to us,” Arkansas State Parks Director Grady Spann said in a news release. “In order to reopen at this time, however, we will be enforcing some restrictions during this public health emergency to keep everyone safe.”

The restrictions include:

• The park will not provide any tool rentals; guests are asked to bring their own tools as described at the park website — no electric or gas-powered digging tools.

• Face coverings will be required at the Visitor Center, Diamond Discovery Center, North & South Sluice Pavilions and all four Sun Shelters; however, children under 10 need not wear coverings.

Guests and groups who are not wearing face coverings should keep a 12-foot distance from others.

The mine is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily; Visitor Center hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Walking trails, picnic areas and RV camping at the park will remain open to all visitors. The Diamond Springs Water Park will open at a date to be determined.

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