Visitor From Diamond, Missouri, Finds 4.89-carat Diamond at Arkansas's Crater of Diamonds State Park

Article follows the photos:
Make Evans with his Ghost Diamond
Make Evans with his Ghost Diamond
The 4.89-carat Ghost Diamond
The 4.89-carat Ghost Diamond
For Immediate Release

Murfreesboro -- On Tuesday, retired minister Mack Evans of Diamond, Missouri, found a 4.89-carat diamond at Arkansas’s diamond site, the Crater of Diamonds State Park. His grayish white diamond was this year’s 176th diamond find at the park and it’s the largest one so far this year, according to Park Interpreter Margi Jenks. She said, “Mr. Evans’ diamond is very unique. It’s is a group of crystals that formed together.” Jenks noted, “Most diamonds form as a single crystal, but once in a while you’ll see an aggregate--a group like this.” His 4.89-carat diamond is about the size of a jellybean.

Mack Evans said that because of his diamond’s unique form, “I didn’t recognize it as a diamond when I saw it caught in my one-quarter-inch screen while wet screening gravel in one of the park’s sluice boxes.” He ontinued, “It had that metallic look of diamonds, but I wasn’t convinced it was a diamond because it was so unusual. So, I almost threw it away.” Because “it almost got away,” Evans named his metallic, grayish white diamond The Ghost Diamond.

Evans joked, “It’s so ugly it’s pretty.” He found his diamond around mid-day in a patch of gravel in an area of the park’s diamond search area called the Pig Pen. Evans emphasized, “What’s more unique than knowing that yours are the first eyes to see something like this!” Evans has visited the park over the past four or five years and has found other diamonds. Those have been given as special and unique gifts to family members. This, his largest diamond find, will likely be a gift to a family member, too.

He said, “Every person ought to do something unique in their life” as he talked about his unique diamond from Arkansas’s diamond site. According to Margi Jenks, “This year has been a good one so far for our park visitors. We’ve seen so many big diamond finds. Eight diamonds weighed over one carat!” Mr. Evans’ diamond is the largest. Currently this year’s second largest is a 3.17-carat yellow diamond found on March 31 by a park visitor from Pennsylvania who visited the park after seeing the diamond design on an Arkansas commemorative quarter.

On average, there are two diamond finds a day at the Crater of Diamonds. 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. Crater of Diamonds State Park is the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public. The park’s diamond search area, a 37 ½-acre plowed field, is the eroded surface of the world’s eighth largest, diamond-bearing deposit in surface area. The field is plowed regularly by park staff to bring more diamonds to the surface. The park policy is finder-keepers. What park visitors find in the diamond search area is theirs to keep.

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 were found here in 1906 by John Huddleston, the farmer who at that time owned the land long before it 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 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. Renovations are currently underway at Crater of Diamonds State Park’s visitor center. When they are completed, this diamond will once again be on display there.

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: Justin Dorsey, park superintendent, Crater of Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, Arkansas 71958. Phone: 870-285-3113. Email: justin.dorsey@arkansas.gov. Or visit craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.
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