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Woman finds 8.52 carat diamond in Arkansas park

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

A lucky woman in the US has found an 8.52 carat white diamond at Arkansas's Crater of State Park after only 20 minutes of searching. 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. Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, found the diamond on June 24 in a couple of scoops she had dug from a small mound of dirt. Oskarson was in the southwest corner of the park's over 37-acre 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. At first she thought it might be a quartz crystal due to its elongated shape, but park staff later confirmed that she had found a diamond. She named the gem the Esperanza Diamond, both her niece's name and the Spanish word for "hope." Oskarson plans to keep the gem. "Ms Oskarson's eight-and-a-half-carat diamond is absolutely stunning, sparkling with a metallic shine, and appears to be an unbroken, capsule-shaped crystal," Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said. "It features smooth, curved facets, a characteristic shared by all unbroken from the Crater of Diamonds," Cox said. Oskarson's find is the 227th diamond certified by park staff this year.

Cox noted that more than 30 other have been found on the surface of the search area so far in 2015, due in part to frequent rains. The search area at the Crater of is the world's only diamond-producing site open to the public. The park's policy is finder-keepers.

First Published: Sun, June 28 2015. 15:32 IST
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