Noreen Wredberg of Granite Bay, California, did not leave Crater of Diamond State Park empty-handed as she found a 4.38-carat yellow diamond for about an hour of searching.
Noreen and her husband Michael have spent their retirement days traveling and visiting America’s National Parks. During their trip to Arkansas, the couple visited Hot Springs National Park when they decided to stop by Crater of Diamonds Park. Wredberg told the Park officials that she knew about the park as she saw it in a TV show several year ago. “When I realized we weren’t too far away, I knew we had to come!”
Before the couple had arrived at Crater of Diamonds on September 23. There was a light rainfall in the area days ago, making it the perfect day to hunt for diamonds. Wremberg initially started searching near the mine entrance when her husband, Michael suggested to venture farther out.
According to Michael, “It was cold in the shade that morning, so I told Noreen that we should go to the middle of the field, since it was warmer.”
Michael’s suggestion paid off 40 minutes later, as Noreen spotted a sparkling item just sitting on top of the ground near north of a central pathway in the search area. “I didn’t know it was a diamond then, but it was clean and shiny, so I picked it up.” she said. She immediately gave the stone to her husband, who then brought it to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center for identification.
The park staff examined the stone and informed Michael that they had discovered a large yellow diamond. According to Park Superintendent Caleb Howell, The diamond weighs more than four carats. It was pear-shaped, about the size of a jellybean, and had a lemonade yellow color.
Noreen was surprised and excited when she received the good news, “We really didn’t think we would find one, let alone something that big!.” The diamond weighs 4.38-carats, the largest found at the park since October 2020.
Right place at the right time
Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said that many of the park’s discovered diamonds were found sitting on top of the ground. He explained that the park staff periodically plow the search area to loosen the soil and promote natural erosion. Diamonds are heavy for their size and it lack static electricity, so dirt usually doesn’t stick. When rain pours over a larger diamond, and the sun comes out, its reflective surface will easily be spotted.
Cox noted that the weather conditions for that day were perfect for Noreen to find the diamond. “Many visitors surface search for diamonds after a good rain. More than one inch of rain fell at the park between September 19 and 21. The soil had dried a little, and the sun was out when Mrs. Wredberg visited two days later. She was in just the right place to see her diamond sparkle in the morning sunlight!”
Digging for diamonds
Crater of Diamonds State Park is located in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. It is the only diamond-producing sites in the world where the public can search for diamonds in their original volcanic source. Visitors search for diamonds around a 37 1/2-acre plowed field, the eroded surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcanic crater.
According to the Arkansas State Park website, there are over 33,100 diamonds that have been found by park visitors since the Crater of Diamonds became a state park in 1972. The park’s largest diamond found in history is the 40.23-carat Uncle Sam, the largest diamond ever unearthed in the U.S.