A California woman found a 4.38-carat yellow diamond, the biggest found at the park this year, within an hour of searching during a spontaneous stop at an Arkansas state park.
Noreen Wredberg of Granite Bay, California, was on a trip to visit Hot Springs National Park when she noticed how close she was to Crater of Diamonds State Park – a bucket list item.
‘I first saw the park featured on a TV show several years ago,’ she said in an interview. ‘When I realized we weren’t too far away, I knew we had to come.’
Noreen Wredberg, of Granite Bay, California, found a rare 4.38-carat yellow diamond in the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas
Her diamond, which appears to fall into the light fancy to fancy category with its ‘lemonade’ color could be worth around $15,330, if not more. A single carat of light yellow goes for around $3,500
She and her husband, Michael, started in a shady part before moving to the center of the field for warmth – his suggestion.
Roughly 40 minutes later, she spotted a ‘clean and shiny’ rock and gave it to her husband.
Wredberg admitted she didn’t know it was a diamond when she showed her husband, who took it to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center for identification.
The diamond weighs 4.38 carats, the largest found in the park in 2021 and the second largest yellow diamond recently found, after a 4.49-carat gem found by another visitor last October.
The Crater of Diamonds State Park was on Noreen Wredberg’s bucket list and on a trip to Hot Springs National Park, she realized she was close to the gem mine and had to go
The Crater of Diamonds (pictured) is one of the few places visitors can still mine for gems
Wredberg named her diamond, a tradition the park has for finders of large diamonds. ‘Lucy’ came from Michael Wredberg’s kitten, who is ‘mostly gray but had slight tints of yellow in her fur.’
The big winner doesn’t know what she’ll do with her discovery, but said she might get it cut, depending on the quality.
‘I don’t even know what it’s worth yet. It’s all new to me,’ she told Fox 16.
The Crater of Diamonds State Park is located in the southwest part of the state
The 911-acre park has a 37-ace mine field for visitors to find diamonds, other gemstones, rocks, and minerals
Yellow diamonds vary in price, depending whether it is a ‘fancy light yellow’ or the most expensive ‘fancy vivid’, which is rarer and shinier than most diamonds.
Wredberg’s ‘lemonade’ colored diamond probably falls into the fancy light to fancy category, which goes for around $3,500 per carat for light yellow. At 4.38 carats, her diamond is worth around $15,330 or more.
But she wasn’t the only lucky one.
Christian Liden, 26, shows off the incredible 2.2-carat yellow diamond he unearthed at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas
A Washington man traveled cross country to the Arkansas park looking for a diamond to get cut into an engagement ring in May.
Christian Liden, 26, learned about the park from a coworker and wanted to fulfill a middle school dream of creating a custom-made engagement ring with a rare gem.
He and a friend headed off to the Crater of Diamonds State Park, unbeknownst to his girlfriend, who only knew they were visiting some national parks.
‘She knew I was going on a road trip, but she didn’t know what we were doing. I told her we would be visiting some state parks and some national parks, but other than that, she didn’t know we were going to find gemstones,’ he told CNN.
The first stop was to Yellowstone National Park in Montana to mine for sapphires, just in case the Crater of Diamonds left them empty-handed.
When he returned home, Liden pulled out the raw diamond and proposed to Desirae
After a successful dig there, the pair headed to Arkansas. After two unsuccessful days at the Arkansas park, Christian hit the jackpot.
He found a 2.2-carat yellow diamond.
‘I started shaking right away – I was shaking so bad. I waved my buddy over… and I moved my hand and he saw it,’ Liden told CNN.
‘I never expected anything like that. I was just hoping to find one – just one small one – just so I could put it on the ring and say ‘hey, I mined that diamond out,’ he told CNN.
Liden proposed to his girlfriend of five years, Desirae – and she said yes.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only U.S. park where visitors can still mine for diamonds in their original volcanic source. The Murfreesboro, Arkansas, park has a 37-acre field where visitors can search for gemstones, rocks and minerals.
More than 33,100 diamonds have been found by visitors since the park’s opening in 1972.
The largest stone ever found on the grounds was the Uncle Sam diamond, weighing in at 40.23 in 1924.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is a 911-acre park that not only lets visitors mine for diamonds, but offers walking trails, picnic tables, campsites, and a gift shop.