MURFREESBORO, Ark. – A 7-year-old got the birthday gift of a lifetime when she found a 2.95-carat diamond in Arkansas.
The golden brown diamond was the second-largest found in the park this year. A man found the largest diamond of the year, weighing 3.29 carats in March. He named it B.U.D. for Big Ugly Diamond, referring to the stone's pitted surface and mottled brown color.
The Aspen Diamond
"Aspen’s diamond has a golden-brown color and a sparkling luster. It is a complete crystal, with no broken facets and a small crevice on one side, created when the diamond was formed," said Waymon Cox, assistant park superintendent, in a statement. "It’s certainly one of the most beautiful diamonds I’ve seen in recent years."
Aspen's father, Luther Brown, told park officials the birthday find would be named the Aspen Diamond.
Aspen, her dad and her grandma were searching the 37.5 acre diamond search area. It's a plowed field above the eroded surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcano.
"She got hot and wanted to sit down for a minute, so she walked over to some big rocks by the fence line," the father told park officials. "Next thing I know, she was running to me, saying, ‘Dad! Dad! I found one!’"
"There was no skill required for her to find it," he said. "She was just in the right place at the right time."
Erosion control may have unearthed the gem
This was the first large diamond found and registered in the park since excavation.
"A contracted company dug a 150-yard trench in August to help manage erosion on the north side of the search area," said Caleb Howell, park superintendent. "Several tons of unsearched diamond-bearing material were exposed, and it’s very possible that this diamond and others were uncovered as a result. "
The area where she found the diamond was very close to where a visitor unearthed a 3.72-carat diamond in 2019.
One or two visitors go home with registered diamonds every day
"Crater of Diamonds State Park is one of the only places in the world where the public can search for real diamonds in their original volcanic source," explains the park's website.
Park officials say that every day, one or two visitors find and go home with a diamond. Park-goers registered 563 diamonds, totaling more than 89 carats this year alone.
A farmer was the first to discover diamonds in his field in 1906. Mining netted the largest diamond ever discovered in the U.S. in 1924. The Uncle Sam Diamond was a 40.23-carat white diamond. After being cut twice, it is a 12.42-carat emerald cut gem, according to the park.
In 1972, the area became a state park.