A seven-year-old girl from Paragould, AR, scored a 2.95-carat golden brown diamond during a September 1 birthday outing at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
The youngster, Aspen Brown, had made the four-hour drive to Murfreesboro, AR, with her dad and grandmother last Friday. After scouring the park’s north search area, little Aspen told her dad that she needed a break.
“She got hot and wanted to sit down for a minute, so she walked over to some big rocks by the fence line,” said her father, Luther Brown. “Next thing I know, she was running to me, saying ‘Dad! Dad! I found one.’”
And she was right. The shimmery octahedron that she plucked from the pathway was no ordinary pebble.
Park staff at the Diamond Discovery Center confirmed that Aspen’s gem was, indeed, a diamond. Weighing nearly 3 carats, it was the second-largest find of the year and perhaps the prettiest. Aspen named her lucky find “The Aspen Diamond” and she reportedly intends to keep it.
“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. “It’s certainly one of the most beautiful diamonds I’ve seen in recent years.”
Back in March, frequent park visitor David Anderson unearthed the park’s largest diamond of 2023, so far — a 3.29-carat brown diamond that he named “BUD,” short for “Big Ugly Diamond.”
Park officials said that Aspen found her pea-sized gem near an area that was recently excavated to improve erosion at the 37.5 acre plowed field that is actually the eroded surface of an extinct, diamond-bearing volcanic pipe. The park is the only diamond site in the world that is open to the general public.
“Several tons of unsearched diamond-bearing material were exposed and it’s very possible that this diamond and others were uncovered as a result,” noted park superintendent Caleb Howell.
Since it opened as a state park in 1972, Crater of Diamonds has welcomed more than 4.6 million visitors, who have unearthed more than 35,000 diamonds. Nearly 99% of the diamonds discovered at the park fall into one of three color categories: white (clear), brown or yellow. According the Crater of Diamonds’ official stats, exactly 62% of diamonds found to date were white, 20% were brown and about 17% were yellow. Slightly more than 1% were classified as “other.”
Diamonds unearthed at the park average 1/5th of a carat, but about 21 per year will weigh in at 1 carat or more. An average of one to two diamonds are found by park visitors each day.
Credits: Images courtesy of Arkansas State Parks.