Here’s What Happens If You Find a Diamond In Your Backyard

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you found a diamond in your backyard?

We bet you have! But what does actually happen when someone finds a diamond in their own yard? Do they legally own it? Do they have to hand it over to the government?

We will get into all that later on in this post. Right now, the only thing we will say is that if you found a diamond in your backyard, one thing is for sure: it will make for an incredible story!

Can Diamonds Be Found In Your Backyard?

If you are wondering whether it’s even possible to find a diamond in your backyard, the answer is a resounding yes!

You don’t need to visit an ancient volcanic crater or kimberlite volcanic pipe to look for diamonds. There are several alluvial diamond sites around the world — areas where diamonds have been carried through water from rivers or glaciers.

So there is a possibility for someone to discover diamonds simply by looking at their own backyards. 

With that being said, if you happen to live in an area near a kimberlite volcanic pipe or an ancient volcanic crater, then your chances of finding diamonds in your backyard will be significantly higher than people living in other areas.

How to Look for Diamonds In Your Backyard

To search for diamonds in your backyard, we recommend taking the following steps.

  1. Look through the soil: Dig up the soil in your backyard and look for any gemstones buried under it. You should pay special attention to the gravel layer of the soil because that’s the area where diamonds are most commonly found.
  2. Pan the river: If your backyard is near a river, you could save time by panning. What’s that? Looking inside a patch of soil can be quite difficult and quite frankly, gross. To help save yourself the trouble, you can simply put the soil in a metal pan, which should then be placed in the running water. While the water is running, you should swish the pan slowly front-to-back and in a circular motion to let the water separate the soil and dirt from the heavy rocks which may be gems.
  3. Use a metal detector: Although this is a more expensive option, it makes detecting diamonds far easier. By using a metal detector, you can easily locate the area where there’s most likely to be buried treasure hidden under the soil. So with a metal detector, you can not only easily look for diamonds but all sorts of other gemstones as well!

What Happens If You Find a Diamond In Your Backyard?

Eureka! You just found a diamond.

We don’t want to ruin your excitement, but are you sure what you’ve found is really a diamond? If the gemstone you found looks like a diamond but you don’t know how to confirm it’s a diamond, here are the steps you should take.

  • Check the reflection: Diamonds have what’s known as a “geological” or “refractive index,” which means they break light into spectral flashes of rainbow colors. So if you shine a bright light through your diamond and see these colored lights, congratulations! You most likely found a real diamond in your backyard.
  • Check the hardness: Real diamonds are so hard that they can scratch glass. If what you’ve found scratches glass, it’s most likely a real diamond.
  • Check the weight: Diamonds are extremely heavy for their size. So if what you’ve found is heavier than usual rocks, then there is a chance that what you just uncovered could be an actual diamond.
  • Check the shape: Diamonds can be found in a variety of shapes, from octahedrons to dodecahedrons. If what you’ve discovered has one or more flat faces and is roughly the size of your pinkie fingernail or larger, then it’s likely to be diamond.
  • Check with fog: Fog up the gem you found with your breath, steam, or anything else that works here. If the fog quickly clears, that’s a sign of a real diamond. In case the stone stays misted for a while, then it’s highly unlikely to be a diamond.

Now that you know for sure whether the gemstone you found is really a diamond, the next step is to inspect it for quality.

You can inspect the quality of your diamond by judging its 4 C’s — color, clarity, cut, and carat.

  1. Color: The more colorless a diamond is, the more expensive it is.
  2. Clarity: The cleaner a diamond is of blemishes and inclusions, the more it is in demand.
  3. Carat: The heavier a diamond is, the more expensive it is.
  4. Cut: This involves the quality of the angles, proportions, facets, and finishing details. So the better the diamond is cut to reflect more light, the more it is in demand.

After inspecting the 4 C’s of your diamond, you can get a pretty accurate estimate of its worth with a simple search on Google or any other search engine.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Can I legally sell the diamond — and if so, where?”

Well to answer your first question, yes, you can legally sell a diamond that you found on your property.

However, please note that while you will be allowed to keep it, you’ll have to pay taxes when you sell it. One more thing to note here is that if you live in an area where there has been mining, you will need to own the mineral rights as well as your property rights. In case you didn’t know, mineral rights can legally be sold or conveyed separately from the property rights.

So unless you have the mineral rights, the person who owns them can legally claim your diamond even though it was on your property.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s answer your second question.

Where Can I Sell Diamonds?

If you are wondering what to do with your diamond once you find it, don’t worry! There are several places where you can sell diamonds.

For starters, there is always the option of selling your diamond on an online auction website like eBay or Craigslist. Just make sure to take high-quality pictures and include all relevant information in your ad.

There are also several websites that specialize in the sale of diamonds. Two of our favorite sites are James Allen and the Blue Nile. Both offer high-quality engagement rings at lower prices than what you’d find in a traditional retail store.

Another option is to visit a local jewelry store. However, beware that there will probably be a lot of haggling involved. Most jewelers tend to lowball people in hope that someone who doesn’t know the true value of their gemstone may fall for their bait. So before you visit a jeweler, make sure to first ask around to find out the real value of your gem from people you trust.

Diamond Hunting Beyond Your Backyard

The majority of diamonds still come from areas that are known as alluvial diamond sites around the world. But where are these areas? There’s an abundance of them in these states:

  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Montana
  • Arkansas

So if you want to do diamond hunting beyond your backyard, those states are the areas to search!

Conclusion: Here’s What You Should Do If You Find a Diamond In Your Backyard

If you find what appears to be a diamond in your backyard, it’s first important to confirm that what you’ve found is actually what you think it might be. You can do that by taking the three steps we discussed earlier.

Once you’re sure the gem in your hand is really a diamond, the next step is to find out its worth by checking its color, clarity, cut, and weight in carats. The estimate you get will help ensure that you don’t get conned if you decide to sell it. 


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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