An 8.52-carat white diamond was found at Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park on Wednesday, June 24, by Bobbie Oskarson, of Longmont, Colorado. Clear white and icicle shaped, the gem is the fifth largest diamond found by a park visitor since the state park was established at Arkansas’s diamond site in 1972. Twenty minutes into her search, she found the diamond in a couple of scoops she had dug from a small mound of dirt. Oskarson was in the search field in an area known as the Pig Pen, aptly named because it is the muddiest part of the search area after a good rain. She named her gem the Esperanza Diamond, both her niece’s name and the Spanish word for “hope.” At this time, Oskarson plans to keep the gem.
More than 30 diamonds have been discovered in the park’s search area this year and the reason for the frequent finds has been attributed to above-normal rainfall received this spring.
“Rain, plus the regular plowing of the search field by our maintenance staff, increases visitors’ chances of finding diamonds in the search area,” said Park Interpreter Waymon Cox.
More than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed in the park since diamonds were first discovered there in 1906. The largest rough diamond ever discovered in Crater of Diamonds State Park is also the largest ever found in the United States. The Uncle Sam Diamond, which was found in 1924, was 40.23 carats.