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How to guarantee that you take a diamond home

Missouri couple leaves with a diamond after a special visit to Crater of Diamonds State Park

by Betty Coors

Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! It turns out the only way to guarantee that you take a diamond or other gemstone home after visiting the Crater of Diamonds is to bring it with you, and that is exactly what Bryar Bequette, of St. Louis, Missouri, did on Saturday, September 17.

Most visitors to the Crater of Diamonds hope to take a diamond home, but to make sure that his girlfriend Brooke Oostendorp left with her own diamond, Bequette proposed while they were at the park.

How did Bequette carry out a marriage proposal 463 miles from home? He started planning over a year ago, by saving the money for an engagement ring. When the time was right, Bequette searched the internet for places that he and Oostendorp could find gems together. After watching a video about Crater of Diamonds State Park online, Bequette knew that Arkansas’s diamond site would be the perfect place to take Oostendorp, who is a seventh-grade science teacher.

Bequette made plans for them to stay at the Crater of Diamonds State Park campground during their visit. While registering for a campsite over the phone, Bequette spoke with me about photographing the surprise proposal.

On their way to the Crater of Diamonds, Bequette hid the engagement ring in his boot and sock to keep his girlfriend from finding it. After entering the diamond search area on Saturday morning, Bequette slipped away for a moment and met me at the Diamond Discovery Center to discuss final details of the proposal.

Around 10 a.m. I entered the search area and made my way to where Bequette and Oostendorp were looking for diamonds. As I came near, Bequette walked over and nervously asked if I could identify a crystal that he had found. After identifying his find as quartz, I pulled out my camera and captured the moment that he turned and dropped to one knee to ask his future wife for her hand in marriage.

Did she say yes? Of course! Congratulations to Bryar Bequette and Brooke Oostendorp from all of us at Crater of Diamonds State Park!

Most recent significant precipitation: September 17, 2016

Diamond finds for the week of September 11, 2016 (100 points = 1 carat):

September 16 – Lavada Teinert, Santa Fe, TX, 6 pt. white, 11 pt. white

September 17 – Karl Siggelow, Tyler, TX, 1.22 ct. white