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2022-07-30 05:19:49 By : Ms. Catherine Zou

PIKE COUNTY, Ark. (Gray News) - A visitor found a 2.38-carat brown diamond on April 10 at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Park officials report the diamond was the largest found this year.

“It was right in the middle when I flipped my screen over,” Adam Hardin said. “When I saw it, I said, ‘Wow, that’s a big diamond!’”

After more than a decade of searching and hundreds of diamond finds at the park, Hardin found his first diamond weighing more than two carats.

Officials said Hardin was wet-sifting soil from the East Drain of the park’s 37.5-acre search area when he found the gem.

Park interpreter Waymon Cox said visitors wet-sift using a screen set to wash away soil and separate the gravel by size. Smaller gravel is then sorted by weight, sending heavier material to the bottom of the screen.

“When it’s flipped upside down, the heavier gravel, and sometimes a diamond, can be found on top of the pile,” Cox said.

Hardin carried his gem in a pill bottle to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where staff said they registered it as a 2.38-carat brown diamond.

“Mr. Hardin’s diamond is about the size of a pinto bean, with a coffee brown color and a rounded shape,” Cox said. “It has a metallic shine typical of all diamonds found at the park, with a few inclusions and crevices running all along the surface.”

Hardin, who first learned of Crater of Diamonds State Park more than a decade ago, said competition builds camaraderie among regular visitors.

“One of the other guys and I have been going back and forth, seeing who can find the biggest diamond,” Hardin said. “I found a big one, then he got a 1.79-carat, and we were joking about who would find the next big diamond and be ‘king of the mountain.’”

Officials said Hardin’s diamond was the largest found at the park since last September when a visitor from California discovered a 4.38-carat yellow gem on the surface of the diamond search area.

Hardin told park officials that he typically sells his diamonds locally and that he also plans to sell this one.

Currently, 260 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2022, weighing more than 44 carats. Officials said those numbers come out to be an average of one to two diamonds found by park visitors daily.

Officials report over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the park since the first diamonds were discovered in 1906 by John Huddleston.

Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow. According to park officials, the three most common colors found at Crater of Diamonds State Park are white, brown, and yellow.

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