One incredibly lucky visitor to Diamond Crater State Park in Arkansas recently found a diamond the size of the jelly bean. The stone was found by retiree and California resident, Noreen Wredberg, within an hour of beginning her search. At this unusual park visitors are allowed to keep the diamonds they find.
The yellow diamond weighs 4.38 carats and was found at the top of a hill. Wredberg and her husband have been traveling the country going to different parks. She said, “I first saw the park featured on a TV show several years ago. When I realized we weren’t too far away, I knew we had to come!”
The couple arrived at the park in the morning on September 23rd, 2021. Because it was cool in the shade, her husband, Michael, suggested they look in the center of a field where the sun was shining and it would be warmer. Had it not been for the temperature that day, they might not have found a diamond at all.
Recent rains make the diamonds easier to see since the stones tend to sit on top of the soil after a downpour and it had just rained a few days before the couple arrival at the park.
The area is rich with diamonds and other minerals and gemstones and this park is the only one in the state of Arkansas that allows visitors to take home valuable diamonds. When visitors find a diamond there is someone on hand to verify what it is, how many carats it weighs, and then a certificate is issued attesting to all this information.
Park Superintendent, Caleb Howell, described the pear-shaped diamond as a “lemonade” color. There are 12 shades that diamonds can be ranging in color from red to violet to gray. Even though today’s jewelry industry prizes crystal clear colorless diamonds, the colored stones are actually much more rare in nature.
The park is where the largest diamond in the US was found in 1924 at 40.23 carats, long before the area was established as a state park. That stone was nicknamed Uncle Sam.
Wredberg decided to name the diamond, which is about the size of a jelly bean, Lucy after their kitten. While Lucy is the biggest diamond found in 2021 so far, there have been many other diamonds found by visitors to the park. Some of these came in at much higher weights than Wredberg’s. In 2020 a man found a diamond at the park that weighed a generous 9.07 carats.
If you love collecting rocks and gems you should know that each state has different laws on what you can legally remove from state parks, so be sure to check before you go.