4.21-carat, Canary Yellow Diamond Found at Arkansas's Crater of Diamonds State Park by First Time Visitor From Oklahoma

4.21-carat, Canary Yellow Diamond Found at Arkansas's Crater of Diamonds State Park by First Time Visitor From Oklahoma

Murfreesboro -- After seeing Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park featured yesterday on The Travel Channel in a program titled, "America's Best Places to Find Cash and Treasures," Marvin Culver of Nowata, Oklahoma and his wife decided on the spur of the moment to head to Arkansas’s diamond site yesterday afternoon. According to Culver, they’d wanted to visit the park for 10 years. Since school spring break had just begun for their niece and nephew, the four were free to leave yesterday for the Crater of Diamonds. This afternoon at 1:00 p.m., after digging a bucket and a half of soil, Culver discovered a flawless 4.21-carat, canary yellow diamond while washing the material in the diamond field’s south washing pavilion. The gem is the largest of the 84 diamonds found so far this year by park visitors.

When Culver, an Oklahoma state trooper, was told by park officials that none of the park’s notable diamond finds had been ever named for his state-—instead bearing names like the “Amarillo Starlight,” “Star of Arkansas,” and “Star of Shreveport”—-he said, with a smile, that he would name his gem the “Okie Dokie Diamond.” Culver noted that his second choice for his yellow diamond would be, “Old Yeller.”

According to the park staff, Culver's diamond is about the size of a peanut M&M candy. When asked if he planned to have the stone cut and faceted, he laughed and noted, “My wife has already seized it. You’ll have to ask her.”

Just before entering the park’s diamond search area to begin their diamond prospecting this morning, Culver and his family attended a program by Park Interpreter Aneesah Rasheed called “Diamond Mining 101” at the park’s Diamond Discovery Center. The new interpretive center that opened last June is situated on the edge of the park’s 37 ½-acre diamond search area. The search area is the eroded surface of the eighth largest diamond-bearing deposit in the world in surface area. Culver credited Rasheed with teaching him and his family how to successfully prospect today.

Park Superintendent Tom Stolarz said, “The flawless canary diamond is a perfect crystal shape. It's a dandy."

Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public. The park offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience, the opportunity to prospect for real diamonds and keep any gems regardless of their value. 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. On average, two diamonds are found each day at the park.

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 those first 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 25,000 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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Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, (501) 682-7606
E-mail: info@arkansas.com

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"