Pennsylvania man wins Diamond Lakes Ring Dig
Pennsylvania man searches for diamond, finds ring at Crater of Diamonds
Richard Pica, of Beaver Falls, PA, recently made a 16-hour trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park in search of a genuine diamond to propose to his girlfriend. Instead, he found a whole ring!
Pica arrived at Arkansas’s diamond site with his cousin Mario Pica on Saturday, April 22, in time for the Diamond Lakes Diamond Ring Dig. In this contest, participants searched for a 3” glass gem hidden in the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area, the finder of which would receive a cut 0.57-carat diamond set in a white gold engagement ring.
Throughout the day on April 22, park staff and the Diamond Lakes Travel Association posted hourly clues, gradually reducing the location of the gem to about one acre. Dozens of park visitors scoured the search area on Saturday, including the Pica cousins, but no one found the hidden gem.
On Sunday, park staff further reduced the search to a 400-square-foot plot. The Pica cousins continued searching with many other hopeful contestants but once again came away empty-handed. Resting by a campfire that evening, Richard Pica says he saw a shooting star in the night sky and made a wish that he would win the Ring Dig.
Monday morning, the Pica cousins arrived at the park as soon as it opened and resumed the gem hunt with about a dozen other visitors. Around 20 minutes into his third day at the park, Richard Pica picked up his mattock, a tool similar to a pickaxe, to dig deeper into the plowed dirt. According to Pica, after two swings of the mattock he uncovered a bright yellow cut glass gem and quickly carried it to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center to have it verified. After more than two days of hopeful searching, Pica’s wish had come true!
The Diamond Lakes Diamond Ring Dig was sponsored by the Diamond Lakes Travel Association and Crater of Diamonds State Park to promote travel and introduce Crater of Diamonds State Park to new visitors in Arkansas and throughout the region. Southern Specialties Fine Jewelry in Murfreesboro donated the engagement ring, valued at $3,500.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is located on Arkansas Highway 301 in Murfreesboro. It is one of 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.
For more information, contact Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113, email CraterofDiamonds@arkansas.com, or visit www.CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com.
Most recent significant precipitation: April 29, 2017
Diamond finds for the week of April 23, 2017 (100 points=1 carat):
April 24 – Linda Tatum, Fort Worth, TX, 53 pt. white
April 26 – Derek DeCook, Stewartville, MN, 3 pt. white, 41 pt. yellow
April 27 – Jamie Baxter, Boise, ID, 70 pt. white
April 28 – Rod Stewart, Tullahoma, TN, 3 pt. brown; Scott Michelich, Morrow, OH, 4 pt. white
April 29 – Karl Siggelow, Tyler, TX, 1 pt. white; James Gatliff, Delight, AR, 4 pt. white, 7 pt. white, 8 pt. white; Austin Kings, Mexico, MO, 28 pt. white