Man finds largest diamond so far this year at state park

David Anderson discovered a 3.29-carat brown diamond while wet-sifting gravel at Arkansas'...
David Anderson discovered a 3.29-carat brown diamond while wet-sifting gravel at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park.(Arkansas State Parks)
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 5:46 PM CDT
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MURFREESBORO, Ark. (WMC/Gray News) - A regular visitor at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park recently discovered a 3.29-carat brown diamond.

Officials with the state park said David Anderson’s find is the largest diamond found at the park since September 2021.

Anderson shared that he spotted the gem on March 4 while wet-sifting soil from the West Drain of the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area.

“At first I thought it was quartz but wondered why it was so shiny,” Anderson said. “Once I picked it up, I realized it was a diamond!”

Anderson said he first learned about the state park while watching The Travel Channel.

“My first trip was in 2007. After I found my first diamond I was hooked!”

According to Anderson, he has found more than 400 diamonds over the past 16 years. His other top finds include a 3.83-carat yellow diamond in December 2011 and a 6.19-carat white gem discovered in April 2014.

Officials with the park said finders usually name their gems and Anderson named this one BUD.

“That’s for Big, Ugly, Diamond,” he said, noting the diamond’s pitted surface and mottled brown color.

Anderson said he typically sells his diamonds which is what he plans to do with his latest find.

“Anderson’s diamond is about the size of an English pea, with a light brown color and octahedron shape,” park interpreter Tayler Markham said. “It has a metallic shine typical of all diamonds found at the park, with a partially resorbed surface and lots of inclusions.”

Markham noted that all diamonds found at the park have gone through partial resorption during the eruption that brought them to the surface.

“Magma in volcanic pipe melted the diamonds’ outer surfaces and gave them smooth, rounded edges. Larger diamonds like Anderson’s may have rough areas on the surface, but you can still find signs of resorption on the corners and edges.”

Officials said Anderson’s diamond is the largest gem park staff have registered since September 2021 when a visitor from Granite Bay, California, discovered a 4.38-carat yellow diamond at the site. It is the largest brown diamond from the park since the Kinard Friendship Diamond, a 9.07-carat gem, was found on Labor Day in 2020.

The Kinard Friendship Diamond was discovered by Kevin Kinard of Maumelle and is the second-largest diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Currently, 124 diamonds have been registered at the state park so far this year.

Officials said about one to two diamonds are found on average by visitors daily.