Arkansan Finds 1,000th Diamond of 2007 at Arkansas's Crater of Diamonds State Park

Article follows the photos:
Denis Tyrrell and the 1,000 Diamond
Denis Tyrrell and the 1,000 Diamond
A Sparkle On The Ground Directed Gem Finder's Attention To 3.48-carat, Light Brown Diamond


(Murfreesboro)--Denis Tyrrell learned about Arkansas's diamond site, the Crater of Diamonds State Park, through a feature on the park that aired on The Travel Channel. He moved to nearby Murfreesboro to follow his desire to find diamonds in this 37 1/2-acre field of dreams, the eroded surface of the world's eighth largest, diamond-bearing deposit in surface area. Since March, Tyrrell has successfully unearthed 131 during his frequent visits to the park, the world's only diamond-bearing site open to the public. On Sunday, December 9, Tyrrell found the largest of all his finds, a 3.48-carat, champagne brown diamond. According to Park Superintendent Tom Stolarz, the light brown, gem-quality stone "is the 1,000th diamond find at the park this year." He said, "The last year the park visitors found over 1,000 diamonds was 1994 at 1,421 diamonds found. The average is usually two diamond finds a day here at the park."

Stolarz noted that Tyrrell's rectacular stone is the size and shape of a piece of Chiclets gum. Like many diamonds in the rough, it has a very shiny metallic look. That sparkle is what caught Tyrrell's eye as he was walking past a hole he'd filled while digging in the park's diamond search field. He'd missed the diamond while digging in that particular area known as Fugitt's Bank and found it, instead, while he was surface searching.

Tyrrell told the park staff that he plans to sell the diamond rather than keep it.

According to Tom Stolarz, the park policy is finder-keepers. “What park visitors find in the diamond search area is theirs to keep.” 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. The park staff provides free identification and certification of diamonds. Park interpretive programs and exhibits explain the site’s geology, 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 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 splendid stone from the Crater is the flawless 4.25-carat Kahn Canary diamond discovered at the park in 1977. Spectacular in its raw form, this uncut, triangular-shape yellow diamond gem has been on exhibit at many cities around the U.S. and overseas. The diamond was featured in an illustrious jewelry exhibition in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1997 that included precious stones from throughout the world including gems from 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 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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