A French visitor to Crater of Diamonds State Park had an extremely profitable day when he uncovered a giant 7.46-carat diamond earlier this month. Julien Navas of Paris was in the US for the Vulcan Centaur Rocket Launch in Cape Canaveral when he decided to visit the Arkansas park, a 37-acre field where the public can search for diamonds in their original volcanic source.
According a news release by Arkansas State Parks, the area had received heavy rainfall in the days preceding Navas's January 11 visit, making for muddy conditions which can improve diamond hunters' chances.
“As rain falls on the field, it washes away the dirt and uncovers heavy rocks, minerals and diamonds near the surface," explains Assistant Park Superintendent Waymon Cox.
Navas says he arrived at the park at around 9 a.m. where he rented a basic diamond hunting kit and started to dig.
“That is back-breaking work so by the afternoon I was mainly looking on top of the ground for anything that stood out."
After several hours, he took his haul to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where he was told he had uncovered the large brown diamond, which is described as deep chocolate brown color, rounded like a marble and about the size of a candy gumdrop.
“I am so happy! All I can think about is telling my fiancée what I found," says Navas, who revealed that he has named the diamond Carine Diamond after his fiancée, and hopes to have it cut into two diamonds, one for his fiancée and one for his daughter.
The Carine Diamond is the fifth registered diamond at the park this year and the largest since 2020. It is the the eighth-largest diamond registered since Crater of Diamonds became a State Park in 1972.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.