A regular visitor to Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park recently discovered a 3.29-carat brown diamond in his wet-sifted gravel. It is the largest diamond found at the park this year and the largest since September 2021.
David Anderson, of Murfreesboro, spotted the gem on Saturday, 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,” said Anderson. “Once I picked it up, I realized it was a diamond!”
Anderson first learned about Crater of Diamonds State Park while watching The Travel Channel in 2007. He said, “My first trip here was in 2007. After I found my first diamond, a 1.5-carat white, I was hooked!”
Anderson has found more than 400 diamonds over the past 16 years, including 15 weighing over one carat. His other top finds include a 3.83-carat yellow diamond found in December 2011 and a 6.19-carat white gem discovered in April 2014.
Finders of Crater diamonds often choose to name their gems. Anderson named his diamond B.U.D. “That’s for Big, Ugly Diamond,” said Anderson, noting the diamond’s pitted surface and mottled brown color. Anderson typically sells his diamonds locally and said he also plans to sell this one.
“Mr. Anderson’s diamond is about the size of an English pea, with a light brown color and octahedron shape,” said Park Interpreter Tayler Markham. “It has a metallic shine typical of all diamonds found at the park, with a partially resorbed surface and lots of inclusions.”
Markham notes that all diamonds found at Crater of Diamonds State 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 Mr. Anderson’s may have rough areas on the surface, but you can still find signs of resorption on the corners and edges.”
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 found on Labor Day 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.
As of this publication, 124 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park this year. An average of one to two diamonds are found by park visitors each day. Check out these tips for visiting the Crater during the spring.