MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (CNN) — A 71-year-old grandmother from Colorado found a 2.63-carat ice white diamond earlier this month at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park.
The park, situated on the eroded surface of a volcanic crater, allows visitors to search a 37-acre plowed field for diamonds, gemstones and other minerals. Visitors can keep any rock or gem they find.
According to the woman, who wants to stay anonymous, she was searching for about ten minutes with her husband, son, grandson, and granddaughter when she made the find.
“I was using a rock to scrape the dirt but don’t know if I uncovered the diamond with it or not. It was just lying on the surface!”
She says her family continued searching for another hour before having their rocks and minerals identified at the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where the staff revealed to her what she found.
“I didn’t know what to think. I was shocked!”
Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said, “About one out of every five diamonds registered by park visitors is found right on top of the ground, including many of the largest ever found at the Crater of Diamonds.”
According to Cox, “Like other rocks and minerals, no two diamonds are exactly alike. This white diamond is about the size of a pinto bean and is shaped somewhat like a fingernail. Several brownish, freckle-like marks along the surface give the gem a unique, one-of-a-kind appearance. ”
More than 33,100 diamonds have been found by park visitors since the Crater of Diamonds became an Arkansas state park in 1972. Since then, visitors have unearthed massive diamonds at the park: a 40.23-carat diamond nicknamed “Uncle Sam,” the largest diamond ever unearthed in the U.S.; a 16.37-carat called “Amarillo Starlight”; and a 15.33-carat named the “Star of Arkansas.”