Many people dream of owning a beautiful diamond, especially one of a significant size that could be quite valuable. Well, at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas you can try your luck at finding your own precious gem, for a small fee. This park is one of the only locations in the world where diamonds are found that is open to the public, and the state park’s policy is, you find it – you keep it! (Seriously, check out this 14 year old teen who found a diamond there and managed to turn yellow into green!)
Although finding a diamond in this park is like discovering a needle in a haystack, it can be done, and from time to time we get read about it. In fact, an astounding total of 75,000 diamonds have been found in the park since the first diamonds were uncovered in 1906. The park has a 37-acre search field where an 8.52-carat icicle-shaped diamond was recently found. Dubbed the “Pig Pen,” this search field is known for the muddy ground that appears after it has rained.
Bobbie Oskarson from Longmont, Colorado, and her boyfriend, were in the adjacent town of Hot Springs when they noticed the Crater of Diamonds State Park on the map and decided to visit. Unlike many visitors to the park who have tried their luck at finding diamonds time and time again, this lucky lady managed to do so on her very first visit! Initially Oskarson thought the stone was a quartz crystal due to the gem’s dimensions and shape. However, after showing the gemstone to a park employee it was confirmed that it was indeed a diamond. Thirty diamonds alone have been found in the same search area this year, with Oskarson’s diamond, which she called the Esperanza Diamond after her niece, being the largest find of the year and the fifth largest diamond ever to be found in the park since it was established in 1972.
Ms. Oskarson has decided to keep the Esperanza Diamond, which most likely surfaced as a result of the tremendous amount of rainfall this year has seen as well as the park’s tendency to plow the search areas quite often. The park’s staff is a big part of the finds that take place every year through their assistance in identifying the stones and registering the diamonds in the park. A total of 227 diamonds have been registered throughout the park so far this year.
The Uncle Sam Diamond
The largest diamond ever found in the Crater of Diamonds State Park, and in the United States in general, was a 40.23-carat stone called the Uncle Sam Diamond. Found in 1924, The Uncle Sam Diamond was cut twice. It was cut the second time into a 12.42-carat gem, which sold for $150,000 in 1971. That translates into approximately $880,000 after inflation.
Although the Esperanza Diamond is certainly noteworthy, as it was the largest diamond found in the park this year, there have been other substantial finds. One of them is the 6.19-carat diamond found by David Anderson. Anderson had found hundreds of diamonds in the park since his first visit in 2007, but this one was his largest find as well as one of the biggest stones ever found in the park. Tana Clymer, a 14-year-old girl, found a 3.85-carat canary yellow diamond which was given a value of $20,000 and Dean Filppula of Louisiana discovered a 2.01-carat yellow diamond. These individuals and their finds are just some of the miraculous findings taking place in this unusual park every year. If you are desperate for a diamond, and up for a little adventure, consider paying Arkansas a visit for what might be a trip of a lifetime.