Man finds 2.38 carat diamond in national park

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A regular visitor found a 2.38 carat brown diamond on April 10 at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. It is the largest diamond found in the park this year.

After more than a decade of searching and hundreds of diamond finds in the park, Adam Hardin has found his first diamond weighing over two carats. Hardin was sifting soil from the east drain of the park’s 37.5-acre search area when he found the gem.

“It was right in the middle when I flipped my screen,” Hardin said. “When I saw it, I said, ‘Wow, that’s a big diamond! “”

Park interpreter Waymon Cox said many visitors sift through water using a set of sieves to wash the ground and separate gravel by size. The smaller gravel is then sorted by weight, sending the heavier materials to the bottom of the screen.

“When turned over, the heaviest gravel – and sometimes a diamond – can be found on top of the pile,” Cox said.

Hardin carried his gem in a pill bottle to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where staff registered it as a 2.38-carat brown diamond.

“Mr. Hardin’s diamond is about the size of a pinto bean, with a coffee-brown color and a rounded shape,” Cox said. “It has a metallic luster typical of all diamonds found in the park, with some inclusions and crevices all along the surface.”

Hardin, who first discovered the Crater of Diamonds State Park more than a decade ago, said the competition builds camaraderie among regular visitors to the park.

“One of the other guys and I went back and forth to see who can find the biggest diamond,” Hardin said. “I found a big one, and then it got a 1.79 carat, and we were joking about who would find the next big diamond and be ‘king of the mountain’. As soon as I found this one, I felt like I beat him. Now he’s trying to find a bigger one, but I plan to stay on top!

Hardin’s diamond is the largest found in the park since last September, when a visitor to Granite Bay, California discovered a 4.38-carat yellow gem on the surface of the diamond search area. Hardin’s is the largest brown diamond since the discovery of the 9.07 carat Kinard Friendship Diamond on Labor Day 2020.

Big Crater Diamond seekers often choose to name their gems. Hardin named his diamond Frankenstone.

“I thought of the name because it looks pretty and not so pretty,” Hardin explained. “We diamond miners call it ‘character!'”

Hardin usually sells his diamonds locally and said he plans to sell this one as well.

At the time of this publication, 260 diamonds have been recorded at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2022, weighing a total of over 44 carats. On average, one to two diamonds are found each day by park visitors.

Quick Facts About Diamond Crater State Park

Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow. The three most common colors found at Diamond Crater State Park are white, brown and yellow, in that order.

A total of more than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at Diamond Crater since the first diamonds were discovered in 1906 by John Huddleston, a farmer who owned the land long before it became a state park. Arkansas in 1972.

The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was unearthed here in 1924 during a first mining operation. Baptized Uncle Sam, this predominantly pink white diamond weighed 40.23 carats. It was then cut into a 12.42 carat emerald shape and purchased by a private collector for $150,000 in 1971.

Another well-known diamond in the park is the Strawn-Wagner. Found in 1990 by Murfreesboro resident Shirley Strawn, this 3.03-carat white gem was cut into a brilliant round shape weighing 1.09 carats. It was rated as ideal size, colorless D and flawless and was set in a platinum and 24k gold ring. In 1998, the State of Arkansas purchased this diamond for $34,700 in donations and placed it on permanent display at the park’s visitor center.

On Labor Day 2020, Kevin Kinard, of Maumelle, Ark., found a large brown gem weighing 9.07 carats. It is the second largest diamond discovered at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park is located on Arkansas Highway 301 in Murfreesboro. It is one of 52 state parks administered by Arkansas State Parks, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

About the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism

The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism has three main divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage, and Arkansas Tourism. Arkansas State Parks manages 52 state parks and promotes Arkansas as a tourist destination for residents across the country. Arkansas Heritage preserves and promotes Arkansas’ natural and cultural history and heritage through four historical museums and four cultural preservation agencies. Arkansas Tourism improves the state’s economy by generating travel and improving the state’s image.

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