On July 4, Terry Staggs of Richmond, Ky., unearthed a 2.95 ct. brown diamond at Arkansas’ famous Crater of Diamonds State Park.
The champagne rough stone is the biggest of all the 304 diamonds found so far this year at the park, according to a park statement. Since the stone was discovered on Independence Day, Staggs dubbed it the Patriot Diamond.
The park, open since 1972 in Murfreesboro, Ark., lets visitors rummage for diamonds and keep what they find.
The diamond “appears to be a complete crystal and is shaped like a shield,” said park interpreter Waymon Cox in a statement. “It’s about the size of an English pea and has as a golden brown metallic appearance.”
Staggs took advantage of the long weekend to search for stones at the park. The diamond caught his attention after he’d been surface-searching for about two and a half hours.
“Sunny weather conditions on July 4th were perfect for this sparkler to catch Mr. Staggs’ attention as he searched,” said Cox. “Mr. Staggs’ gem was found in gravel on the surface of the East Drain area. Sunlight reflecting off the diamond made it stand out from the other stones."
While the value of the Patriot Diamond is still undetermined, it would be tough the beat the 2.44 ct. F VS1 stone discovered at the park in 2012. That diamond was valued at more than $21,000.
Perhaps the park’s most notable recent discovery is the D-flawless Strawn-Wagner Diamond. The 3.03 ct. stone, which was found in 1998, was eventually cut to a 1.09 ct. AGS Triple Zero by Lazare Kaplan. It was subsequently purchased by the state of Arkansas and is currently on display at the Crater of Diamonds visitor center.