A visitor to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas came away with a 2.10-carat brown diamond on a trip to the park to celebrate to celebrate her 30th birthday.
Park Interpreter Margi Jenks said, "The square, iced tea brown diamond was a surface find after [visitor Andrea Murphy] had been here for about two hours. At first Andrea thought her find was either a diamond, or some kind of toy. After the park staff verified and registered her diamond, Andrea decided that the best name for it would be the Andrea Birthday Diamond."
The diamond is the 144th diamond found this year by a park visitor, and the sixth diamond weighing more than one carat.
Diamonds found at the park are usually white, brown, or yellow, in that order. "Because of their dark color, brown diamonds are the most difficult to find. However, this is the second large brown diamond found at the park in the last two weeks. A beautiful 1.61-carat brown diamond was found by a park visitor on March 28," said Jenks.
She explained that the conditions were perfect at the park for a diamond to be found on the surface of the diamond search area. "The park received a number of washing rainstorms in March. A good hard rain will wash dirt away that may be covering the diamonds. So, when diamonds are on the surface of the field, they sparkle, and can be seen easily."
The diamond was found in the East Drain area of the field, a plowed field that is the eroded surface of the eighth largest diamond-bearing deposit in the world in surface area. It is the world's only diamond-producing site open to the public.
On average, two diamonds are found each day at the park. The park's policy is that visitors can keep what they find. The park staff provides free identification and registration of diamonds. Park interpretive programs and exhibits explain the site's geology and history and offer tips on recognizing diamonds in the rough.
Other semi-precious gems and minerals found in the park's search area include amethyst, garnet, peridot, jasper, agate, calcite, barite, and quartz. Over 40 different rocks and minerals are unearthed at the Crater.
In total, more than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at Arkansas's diamond site since the first diamonds found in 1906 by John Huddleston, the farmer who at that time owned the land, long before the site became an Arkansas state park.
The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was unearthed at the park in 1924 during an early mining operation. Named the Uncle Sam, the white diamond with a pink cast weighed 40.23 carats. Other large notable finds from the Crater include the Star of Murfreesboro (34.25 carats) and the Star of Arkansas (15.33 carats).