Visitor From Arkansas Finds 3.86-carat White, Heart-shaped Diamond Today at the Crater of Diamonds State Park

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3.86-carat Heart of Arkansas diamond found by park visitor from Murfreesboro, Arkansas
3.86-carat Heart of Arkansas diamond found by park visitor from Murfreesboro, Arkansas
Heart-shaped, white 3.86-carat diamond named the Heart of Arkansas to honor finder's home state
Heart-shaped, white 3.86-carat diamond named the Heart of Arkansas to honor finder's home state
For Immediate Release

(MURFREESBORO, Ark.)--The largest diamond found so far in 2011 was certified earlier today at Crater of Diamonds State Park, in Murfreesboro. Dubbed the Heart of Arkansas by its finder, the 3.86-carat white diamond is about the size of a piece of candy corn, with a triangular shape and a clear, pearly shine. The finder, a 46-year-old Murfreesboro resident, has unearthed other diamonds at the park before, but this is the largest one. He found the diamond after digging a hole in the park’s 37 ½-acre diamond search area with two friends from Tampa, Florida. While wet sifting his first bucket of dirt from the hole, he spotted the diamond amongst the washed gravel in his screen. Realizing what it was, he exclaimed “Thank God!”

After the discovery, he brought the diamond in a clear plastic gem box to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center to have it registered and weighed. According to Park Interpreter Waymon Cox, “For finders of large diamonds, one of the most important aspects of registering their diamond is choosing the perfect name for it. After careful thought and discussion with me and other park staff, he decided to name it the Heart of Arkansas as an homage to his home state and because of its shape.”

The Heart of Arkansas diamond was found in the East Drain of the park’s diamond search area, the same area where this year’s second-largest diamond—the 2.44-carat white Silver Moon—was found on March 20. It is the largest Crater diamond registered since April 20, 2010, when a visitor from Diamond, Missouri, discovered a 4.89 ct. white diamond he named the Ghost. Another three-carat diamond, the 3.65-carat brown Kings Mountain Pinnacle, was found in the East Drain last November by a visitor from North Carolina.

The finder of the Heart of Arkansas diamond wishes to remain anonymous at this time, but notes that perhaps the best experience surrounding this find was spending time with his friends at the park. “They’re honest, Christian people. When we dig, it’s not a competition. There’s no envy, and it makes for a fun, relaxing time.”

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 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 is on display in a special exhibit in the Crater of Diamonds State Park visitor center.

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 on Ark. 301 at 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 interpreter, Crater of Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, AR 71958. Phone: 870-285-3113. E-mail: justin.dorsey@arkansas.gov. Or visit craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.

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