Visitor From Texas Finds 2.93-carat Yellow Diamond at Arkansas's Crater of Diamonds State Park
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For Immediate ReleaseMurfreesboro
2.93-carat God's Blessing diamond
2.93-carat yellow diamond named the God's Blessing diamond by its finder, Angela Vickers
Angela Vickers of Winnsboro, Texas, holding her 2.93-carat diamond
-- In 2009 a friend from church who had visited Arkansas’s diamond site told Angela Vickers of Winnsboro, Texas, about the Crater of Diamonds State Park. On Thursday, July 29, Vickers, her husband and their three children visited the Arkansas state park while spending their first family vacation together. After surface searching for three hours in the park’s 37 ½-acre diamond search area, Vickers found a 2.93-carat yellow diamond. The beautiful stone is the color of lemonade and the size of an English pea. She named it the God’s Blessing diamond, for as Vickers told park staff, she believes God brought her to the diamond. According to Vickers, “I was walking along with my five-year-old daughter and talking to God thanking Him for the beautiful day.
I told Him it would be great if I found a diamond, but if not, I’d be fine without one because it had already been such a perfect day. I sat under a tree to get some shade, looked down, and saw the diamond between my feet!”
Knowing the sparkling, metallic-looking stone, which was rounded with a pyramid-shape on top, was a diamond, she excitedly said, “Oh, that’s shiny!”
When asked if she planned to keep or sell her diamond, Vickers said, “My husband wants me to make it into a ring, but I’m not sure yet what I want to do with it.”
Park Interpreter Margi Jenks said, “It’s been so hot here lately that our visitors have been spending lots of time in the shade. And, that’s where she found it, right there on the surface under a tree!”
Jenks noted that for the Crater of Diamonds State Park staff, Angela Vickers’ 2.93-carat diamond brings to mind the story of an earlier 2.93-carat diamond found on June 5, 2007, by 13-year-old Nicole Ruhter of Butler, Missouri. The teenager, her mother and grandmother had been at the park that day and were leaving the diamond search around 7:00 p.m. after having no luck finding a diamond that day. They were walking along a service road that park maintenance staff use to access the search area, a road which also serves as a pathway for park prospectors. According to Ruhter, as they were exiting the search area she said a little silent prayer in hopes of finding a diamond, any diamond, even a small one. “I didn’t care how large or what value it would be, I just wanted to find a diamond. And, 15 minutes later I found it,” said Ruhter. She noted that as they walked along the road her eyes were drawn to a “metallic looking” stone half buried in the dirt, and she knew it was a diamond because of the way it shined. As she picked up the light brown, iced tea-color diamond, Ruhter noticed it was “pyramid-shaped, pointy, light and shiny, and it sparkled.” Since she found her 2.93-carat diamond at the edge of that pathway, Ruhter named her gem the Pathfinder Diamond.
The search area at the Crater of Diamonds State Park is a 37 ½-acre plowed field, 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 finder-keepers. What park visitors find 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.
Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow. The three most common colors found at the Crater of Diamonds are white, brown and yellow, in that order. 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 making it a rock hound's delight.
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 27,000 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 will once again be on display in a special exhibit in the Crater of Diamonds State Park visitor center when the building’s current remodeling project is completed.
Another gem from the Crater is the flawless 4.25-carat Kahn Canary diamond that was discovered at the park in 1977. This uncut, triangular-shape gem has been on exhibit at many cities around the U.S. and overseas. It 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, Arkansas, 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.
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, AR 71958. Phone: 870-285-3113.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.