Visitor From Hot Springs Finds 2.35-carat White Diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park

For Immediate Release

Murfreesboro -- One of the best times to look for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas’s diamond site, is after a rainfall. Since diamonds in the rough feel like they have an oily film around them, rainfall at the park washes the soil away from gems located near the surface of the diamond search area and leaves them exposed where they can be seen by park visitors. The search area, a 37 ½-acre plowed field, is the eroded surface of the world’s eighth largest, diamond-bearing deposit in the world in surface area. The field is plowed regularly by park staff to bring more diamonds to the surface. And, Arkansas has experienced rainfall after rainfall as of late.

As Stephen Carter of Hot Springs was leaving the search area Tuesday evening around 6:00 p.m., he noticed a white diamond on the top of a mound of dirt alongside one the furrows in the field. He was nearing the sidewalk where park visitors enter and leave the search area. His find is a beautiful, 2.35-carat white diamond. Shaped somewhat like an ice cube and clear like one, too, the diamond is about the size of Black-eyed Pea.

Carter noted that he and his wife, who are self-employed, had gone through a rough financial time during the current economy. A couple of months ago they saw TV news coverage of a woman who found a diamond at the Crater of Diamonds. The idea popped into Carter’s head that finding a diamond might be the answer to their struggles. They prayed about it for weeks, and then visited the park to search for diamonds. Tuesday marked their fifth visit. “Our prayers were answered,” said Carter of his diamond find Monday evening. And so, according to Carter, they’ve named their diamond, “Faith.”

According to Carter, “My eyes caught the diamond two rows back” while leaving the search area. When he picked it up, he said, “I have found a diamond!” His gem was found about 10 rows west of the marker that notes where the 40.23-carat Uncle Sam diamond, the largest diamond ever unearthed at the site, was found in 1924.

Park Interpreter Margi Jenks said, “Mr. Carter’s diamond is clear with no inclusions. It’s a beautiful, sparkling white diamond.” She noted that the average is about two diamond finds a day at the park. “Mr. Carter’s was the 418th diamond find so far this year at the park.”

Park Superintendent Tom Stolarz noted that the park policy is finder-keepers. “What park visitors find in the diamond search area is theirs to keep.” Crater of Diamonds State Park is the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public. Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow. The three most common colors found at the park are white, brown and yellow, in that order.

The park staff provides free identification and certification of diamonds. Park interpretive programs and exhibits explain the site’s geology and history and offer tips on recognizing diamonds in the rough. In total, over 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 here in 1924 during an early mining operation. Named the Uncle Sam, this 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).

The largest diamond of the 28,000 discovered by park visitors since the Crater became an Arkansas state park in 1972 was the 16.37-carat Amarillo Starlight. W. W. Johnson of Amarillo, Texas, found this spectacular gem-quality, white diamond in 1975.

In June 1981, the 8.82-carat Star of Shreveport was added to the growing list of large valuable stones found at the Crater.

Another notable diamond from the Crater of Diamonds that has received much national attention is the 1.09-carat D-flawless Strawn-Wagner Diamond. Discovered in 1990 by Shirley Strawn of nearby Murfreesboro, this white gem weighed 3.03 carats in the rough before being cut to perfection in 1997 by the renowned diamond firm Lazare Kaplan International of New York. The gem is the most perfect diamond ever certified in the laboratory of the American Gem Society. The diamond is on permanent display in a special exhibit in the Crater of Diamonds State Park visitor center.

Another gem from the Crater, the flawless 4.25-carat Kahn Canary diamond, discovered at the park in 1977, has been on exhibit at many cities around the U.S. and overseas. The uncut, triangular-shape diamond was featured in an illustrious jewelry exhibition in Antwerp, Belgium in 1997 that included precious stones from throughout the world including the Kremlin collection, the Vatican, Cartier and Christies. And, in late 1997, the Kahn Canary was featured in another prestigious exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York entitled The Nature of Diamonds. Former First Lady Hillary Clinton borrowed the Kahn Canary from its owner, Stan Kahn of Pine Bluff, and wore it in a special, Arkansas-inspired ring setting designed by Henry Dunay of New York. Mrs. Clinton chose to wear the gem as a special way to represent Arkansas’s diamond site at the galas celebrating both of Bill Clinton’s presidential inaugurals.

Other semi-precious gems and minerals found at the Crater of Diamonds include amethyst, garnet, peridot, jasper, agate, calcite, barite and quartz. Over 40 different rocks and minerals are unearthed at the Crater making it a rock hound's delight.

Crater of Diamonds State Park is located two miles southeast of Murfreesboro. It is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

For more information, contact: Tom Stolarz, park superintendent, Crater of Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, Arkansas 71958. Phone: 870-285-3113. E-mail: tom.stolarz@arkansas.gov. Or visit craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.
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