I literally scour the Internet for stories like this one, and every time I come across them it gives me great joy to see people find precious diamonds in strange places. According to USA Today, a teacher who was on family vacation found the largest diamond found at the Arkansas state park this year. The destination is popular for diamond hunters, apparently.
Teacher Finds Largest Diamond of the Year in Arkansas State Park
Nebraska teacher Josh Lanik, who is 36, was with his family searching for gems at Crater of Diamonds State Park, according to USA Today, which cited a news release from the park. He was searching for two hours when he found something he felt was unique.
“It was blatantly obvious there was something different about it. I saw the shine, and when I picked it up and rolled it in my hand, I noticed there weren’t any sharp edges,” Lanik said in a statement.
Along with his wife, he took the gem with many other rocks and minerals to the park officials for identification. The “brandy-colored” gem was put in a pill bottle by one park employee for further examination in a back office. When the diamond was weighed, it came in at 2.1 carats, which officially made it the largest diamond found in the park in 2019.
“Mr. Lanik’s gem is about the size of a jellybean and has a dark brown color, similar to brandy. It has a beautiful natural pear shape and smooth, curved facets that give the gem a metallic shine,” – park interpreter Waymon Cox.
Cox added that recent rainfall most likely led to the diamond being unearthed. This gem was one of 296 that the park has registered this year. A total weight of 53.94 carats among the 296 that have been found have been recorded, with 11 of them weighing in at a minimum of one carat.
How Much is the Gem Worth?
According to the USA Today report, cut brown diamonds with similar size are being sold on eBay for less than $1,000. The uncut gem found by Lanik is most likely worth less than that. Lanik did add that he was planning on putting the diamond on a ring for his wife to have and later on pass down to their children, who are 6 and 8.
This area where Lanik found the gem is an area that was the eroded remains of a crater that was diamond bearing. In fact, the largest diamond ever found in the USA was unearthed way back in 1924 at the same park. The gem was a white diamond with a pink cast, and found in an early mining operation. It weighed a whopping 40.23 carats and was named “The Uncle Sam.”
I’m officially going to look up that story and share more details with you in a subsequent blog update.