Friday, July 12, 2024

“Arkansas Man Unearths Nearly 5-Carat Diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park”

Jerry Evans of Lepanto, Arkansas, recently made an astonishing discovery at the Crater of Diamonds park in Murfreesboro. What he initially perceived as a mere piece of glass, picked up during his visit earlier this year, turned out to be a remarkable 4.87-carat diamond.

The park authorities disclosed that Evans embarked on his inaugural trip to the park in the spring, accompanied by his girlfriend. Within a mere 10 minutes of exploring, he casually collected what he thought was clear glass, tossing it into his pocket among other intriguing finds before heading back home.

“At the time, I thought it was just a piece of glass, because it was so clear. I really didn’t know,” shared Evans. “We picked up everything we thought might be a diamond.”

Curiosity soon got the better of him, prompting Evans to contemplate the potential value of the seemingly ordinary glass piece. Consequently, he forwarded it to the Gemological Institute of America for a professional assessment. Weeks later, he received a stunning revelation: what he had dismissed as glass was, in fact, an almost colorless diamond. “I couldn’t believe it when they called me with the news!”

Upon learning about a past discovery at the park, Evans’ son encouraged him to reach out to the park authorities regarding his find. Wayman Cox, the deputy superintendent at the park, expressed his surprise, noting that while he often receives inquiries about identifying finds, this was the first instance of someone contacting him post-confirmation by the Gemological Institute. Cox added, “I am very happy that Mr. Evans was able to bring this historic diamond back to the park so we can officially register it.”

Evans’ diamond stands as the largest recorded find at the park since 2020 when Kevin Kinard from Maumelle unearthed a 9.07-carat brown diamond. Described as almost the size of a “jelly bean” and sporting a pyramid shape, Evans’ diamond captivates with its complete crystal structure and remarkable white color, as praised by Cox.

Visitors at the Crater of Diamonds State Park often christen their finds with unique names, and Evans decided to dub his diamond the “Evans Diamond.”

In 2023 alone, the park has registered a total of 798 diamonds, tallying over 125 carats collectively. On an average day, one or two diamonds are discovered by park visitors.

Since the park’s inception, a staggering 75,000 diamonds have been collected from the grounds, tracing back to the initial discovery by John Huddleston, the land’s first owner. Designated as a state park in 1972, the Crater of Diamonds holds the distinction of hosting the largest diamond ever discovered in the United States, originating from early mining operations on the land that now comprises the state park.

Encouraging prospective visitors, Evans advised, “Come and look, because there is a chance. They are there!”

Crater of Diamonds State Park, situated on Arkansas Highway 301 in Murfreesboro, remains one of the few locations globally where the public can search for genuine diamonds in their natural volcanic origin. The park operates daily from 08:00 to 17:00, welcoming enthusiasts and curious explorers alike.

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