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Man Discovers 6.19-Carat "Limitless" White Diamond in Arkansas State Park

Apr 18, 2014 02:53 PM EDT
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A man who moved to Murfreesboro, Ark., so he could search for treasure at Crater of Diamonds State Park - which lets visitors pan through its 37.5 acres and keep any diamonds they find - hit the jackpot Wednesday, finding one of the largest diamonds ever unearthed in the park: a 6.19-carat white diamond.

The diamond is just one of hundreds found in the park by David Anderson, but it's certainly the largest he's found, and it's the 15th largest discovered in the park's 42-year history, the park said in a statement.

Anderson named the jelly-bean sized gem "The Limitless Diamond" in honor of a local charity, The Associated Press reported.

The park described the stone as a "clear, white marquise-shape diamond." Anderson told the park he would donate the proceeds from the sale of the diamond to the Speed the Light, a Christian youth charity.

"This diamond is definitely a beauty. It looks almost entirely clear and appears to be an unbroken crystal," said park Interpreter Waymon Cox.

Cox said that The Limitless Diamond is the largest white diamond registered at the park since 2011, when a Colorado woman uncovered an 8.66-carat white diamond, the "Illusion Diamond," which is the third largest ever found in the park.

"It's no surprise that a large diamond was found this week," Cox continued. "Over four inches of rain fell on the park last weekend, and David found his diamond on the first sunny day following the rain. Rainwater washes soil from the search area and often exposes heavy gravel and diamonds on the surface.

"David has worked hard to find more than 400 diamonds here over the years, but he had never surface searched for diamonds until this year. This is the largest, and probably the easiest, diamond he's ever found!"

Other large diamonds have been found in park recently, including a 3.85-carat canary diamond found in October 2013 by a Oklahoma City girl (which recently sold for $20,000, according to the AP), and a 2.95-carat champagne brown diamond found in July last year.

Crater of Diamonds State Park is a plowed field of dirt in southwest Arkansas, sitting on what is now left of a 95 million-year-old eroded volcano. The park is the world's only diamond-bearing site that's accessible to the public, and visitors are free to keep what they find for themselves. An average of 600 gems - diamonds, amethyst, garnet, jasper and more - leave the park each year.

In 1924, the largest diamond ever discovered in the United States, a 40.23-carat white diamond named "Uncle Sam," was unearthed at the park. Other large notable finds at Crater of Diamonds park, according to the Arkansas Parks division, include the "Amarillo Starlight," a 15.33-carat white diamond discovered in 1975, and the "Star of Shreveport," an 8.82-carat white gem unearthed in 1981.

The most perfect diamond ever certified by the American Gem Society, the "Strawn-Wagner Diamond," was found at Crater of Diamonds State Park in 1990. Originally weighing 3.09 carats, the stone was cut down to 1.09 carats in 1997 and graded as certified D-flawless in clarity color and cut, according to National Geographic.

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