A pea-sized, golden-brown diamond has been recovered by a seven-year-old girl at Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Weighing 2.95 carats, the stone was found on Sept. 1 by Aspen Brown of Paragould, Ark., who was visiting the park with her dad and grandmother to celebrate her birthday. It was recovered on the north side of the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area in a plowed field atop the eroded surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcano.
“She got hot and wanted to sit down for a minute, so she walked over to some big rocks by the fence line,” says Aspen’s father, Luther Brown. “Next thing I know, she was running to me, saying ‘Dad! Dad! I found one!’”
The park’s Diamond Discovery Center later confirmed Aspen’s find to be a diamond.
“Aspen’s diamond has a golden-brown colour and a sparkling lustre,” says assistant park superintendent, Waymon Cox. “It is a complete crystal, with no broken facets and a small crevice on one side, created when the diamond was formed. It’s certainly one of the most beautiful diamonds I’ve seen in recent years.”
The stone has been dubbed “the Aspen Diamond.”
“There was no skill required for her to find it,” the girl’s father says. “She was just in the right place at the right time.”
Aspen’s find is the second-largest registered by a park guest this year, topped only by a 3.29-carat brown diamond discovered in March.
Additionally, it is the first large diamond registered since the completion of an excavation project at the park last month.
“A contracted company dug a 150-yard trench in August to help manage erosion on the north side of the search area,” says the park’s superintendent, Caleb Howell. “Several tons of unsearched diamond-bearing material were exposed and it’s very possible this diamond and others were uncovered as a result. “
More than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the Crater of Diamonds since the first diamonds were discovered by John Huddleston, a farmer who owned the land long before it became a state park in 1972.
As of press time, 563 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2023, totalling more than 89 carats. An average of one to two diamonds are found by park visitors each day.