Eight-Year-Old Twins From Texas Find 2.50-Carat Diamond at The Crater of Diamonds State Park
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First Time Visit to Arkansas’s Diamond Site Was Their Destination Choice For Spring Break Vacation(Murfreesboro)
— The number "two" was a lucky number yesterday at Arkansas’s diamond site when eight-year-old twins Grace and Garrett Duncan of Houston, Texas, found a 2.50-carat diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. And, of the two diamonds found by park visitors yesterday, theirs was the largest since the other find was a .19-carat white diamond, according to Park Interpreter Rachel Engebrecht. The sister and brother were visiting the park with their parents and maternal grandparents. They are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Duncan. The trip was the family’s first time to visit the park. It was spring break and the kids said they wanted to come here. The two named their gem the Duncan Twins Diamond.
Engebrecht said, "It’s a brown diamond, but one very light in color. It’s a light golden color. Some call this color champagne." She said, "The stone has a sparkling metallic look and is triangular, almost heart shaped. The size and shape reminds you of the tip of a piece of candy corn."
Engebrecht noted that the children plan to leave their diamond in its raw natural form. Regarding the worth of the diamond, the family valued it as "priceless," she said.
The family started their prospecting in the park’s 37 ½-acre diamond search area around 10 a.m. yesterday. They searched at several different locations around the plowed field using different digging and screening methods. Around 3 p.m. when they brought their small paper sack of material to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center to be identified by park staff, the children’s diamond find was among rocks and minerals in the bag. Engebrecht said, "The family didn’t realize they had a diamond. They thought it was a piece of mica."
Engebrecht continued, "When they learned it was a diamond, there were many "woo hoo’s" and high fives exchanged between the six family members. They were very happy with the news."
The diamond is the second largest diamond that’s been found at the park this year. The largest was a 2.67-carat yellow gem found by Jim Gatliff of Delight, Arkansas, in
Engebrecht noted that other children have discovered diamonds at the park and it’s always thrilling for other visitors and the park staff when a young person unearths one. "This is the first time I’m aware of, however, when a set of twins found a diamond together," she said. "What a wonderful memory for them to share."
According to Park Superintendent Tom Stolarz, "The Crater of Diamonds State Park offers many recreational choices for children including the park’s aquatic playground, Diamond Springs, and the Diamond Discovery Center." He continued, "But the essential park experience for them, like adults, is the opportunity to search for real diamonds and the other semi-precious stones, rocks, and minerals that are found here."
Stolarz emphasized that the park policy is finder-keepers. "What park visitors find in the 37 ½-acre diamond search area is theirs to keep."
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. 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. On average, two diamonds are found each day.
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. In addition to the Uncle Sam, 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: email@example.com. Or visit craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.####