Woman finds 8.5 carat diamond in Arkansas state park

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The 8.52 white diamond is about three-quarters of an inch long and is as wide as a No. 2 pencil. (Photo: State Parks of Arkansas)

They don’t call it the Crater of Diamonds for nothing.

A woman from Colorado who was perusing the state park in Arkansas found an astonishing 8.52 carat white diamond on her first visit after only 20 minutes of searching, and she plans to keep it.

The gem was found in a muddy area of the park called Pig Pen in a tree-shaded area on a hot day.

Bobbie Oskarson found the fifth largest diamond ever discovered by a visitor since the state park was established in 1972, the park said in a release. The largest diamond ever found in the United States was found at the site in 1924 — a white diamond with a pink cast weighing 40.23 carats in 1924 during a mining project. It was named the “Uncle Sam.”

Oskarson named her precious find the Esperanza Diamond. “Esperanza” means “hope” in Spanish and is also her niece’s name.

The clear, icicle-shaped stone is about three-quarters of an inch long and is as wide as a No. 2 pencil.  Oskarson thought it was a quartz crystal at first due to its elongated shape.

“Ms. Oskarson’s eight-and-a-half-carat diamond is absolutely stunning, sparkling with a metallic shine, and appears to be an unbroken, capsule-shaped crystal. It features smooth, curved facets, a characteristic shared by all unbroken diamonds from the Crater of Diamonds,” said Park Interpreter Waymon Cox in a statement.

More than 227 diamonds have been found by park visitors this year on the ground’s surface due to frequent rains during spring. More than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the site since 1906.