We just came back yesterday and spent 3 beautiful days camping at the KOA. There is no 'deal' or package at the diamond mine across the street from the KOA when you camp at the KOA, so the advertising it all as a 'resort stay' is of no benefit. Having said that, the KOA stay was great, and we recommend sleuthing at the Ace of Diamond Mine. We have experienced both mines, and between the two, we highly recommend the Ace of Diamond Mine which is a few hundred yards down the road. Don't judge a book by its cover - although the Ace of Diamond does not have the visual property frontage to attract sleuthers, it has been the best experience for us between the two mines.
We first went to the Ace of Diamond Mine last summer, 2011, because my daughter saw the show Kirsten Gun Treasure Hunter. We were looking for some good family fun and adventure, and we found it! The people who work here are very helpful. There are a few good reasons to come here: they rent tools to you for only $1 a piece - great deal and a very good selection of tools. My daughter and I liked using the spade and sifter, but my husband and son liked the sledge pick-axe; there are dump trucks constantly moving fresh piles of rock and dirt. We started our hunt through a new pile when it arrived and aside from the ease of loose, soft dirt to sift through, we found at least 6 diamonds within an hour on the pile. We found the staff very accommodating because they told us where we would be lucky, but also...they let us exchange our tools once. That was helpful because if you didn't like the tools you first chose, a change without more $ was nice. On this tool topic, the other mine only provided the use of a heavy sledgehammer, and there were no other options for tools, just the choice to buy a chisel for $14! Overall, we really loved our experience at the Ace of Diamond Mine.
We did try the other mine too, but after finding only about 4 diamonds between 5 of us searching all day, and the mine owner yelling at my daughter for using the water out front to sleuth through her rocks - he dumped her materials and said you can only use the water if you purchase one of their bags for $10 - there were no signs and if he told her calmly without yelling and dumping, she wouldn't have been so upset). We prefer the Ace of Diamond Mine and plan to go again next year! I hope you find this helpful. I am not the type to enjoy providing reviews, but I felt our experience with both mines was important to share for other families to make an informed decision before spending hard earned money. Have fun!
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