A Texas woman headed home with a 3.72-carat yellow diamond after a snap decision to blow off errands and head out on a road trip with her family for the day.
Miranda Hollingshead of Bogata Texas had only been at the Diamond Crater state park in Arkansas for about an hour on Aug. 16 when she stumbled across the biggest diamond found there for six years–thanks to recent rains, and a strong enough internet signal.
The park, which plows the ground to bring potential precious stones to the surface, allows visitors to keep the gems they find, which can include amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate—and diamonds.
“I was sitting in the shade, watching a YouTube video on how to find diamonds,” Hollingshead said, according to a press release from the park. “I looked over at my kid for a second, and when I looked down, I saw it mixed in with other rocks.”
“I shook my hand across it to make sure what it was, picked it up, and yelled across the field to my mom, ‘I think I got one!’”
Miranda Hollingshead poses with her find. (Arkansas State Parks)
Hollingshead had known about the park—which lies about 100 miles east of where she lives in neighboring Texas—for many years but hadn’t realized it was so close.
“I was just going to pick up a transmission that day, but my siblings were in town and wanted to do something fun together,” she said. “When I realized it was only a couple hours away, I knew we had to go!”
The park gave no indication of what the gem could be worth. The value of diamonds varies vastly according to the quality of the individual stone.
The yellow diamond found in an Arkansas state park on Aug. 16, 2019. (Arkansas State Parks)
However, a stone of 3 to 4 carats of good quality would appear to be typically worth tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of dollars if lower in quality.
Hollingshead said that if she doesn’t sell the stone, she will have it mounted in a ring.
Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said: “Every diamond found at the park is beautiful in its own way, and this one is certainly no exception. It’s about the size of a pencil eraser, with a light yellow color and a sparkling, metallic luster. Ms. Hollingshead said her gem’s unique shape reminded her of a rounded molar, with a small indentation in one end.”
Cox said rainfall probably helped Hollingshead find the stone. “Much of the ground where Ms. Hollingshead found her diamond is made of unweathered volcanic rock. When it rains, flowing runoff often leaves loose gravel, and sometimes diamonds, on the surface in these areas. Diamonds have a brilliant, adamantine luster that makes them easy to spot, and Ms. Hollingshead happened to be sitting in just the right place to see the diamond sparkle in the sun.”
Sometimes, a small change can change your life. Miranda Hollingshead visited Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park…
According to the park, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the crater since 1906.
The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was unearthed at the park almost 100 years ago in 1924.
“Named the Uncle Sam, this white diamond with a pink cast weighed 40.23 carats,” said the park in the statement. “It was later cut into a 12.42-carat emerald shape and purchased by a private collector for $150,000.”
The state park is one of the only places in the world where visitors are free to search for real diamonds in their original volcanic source, according to the website. But visitors have to rely on hand-tools wielded by nothing more than their sweat and blood—motor-driven and battery-powered mining tools are not allowed.
Hollingshead and her son named the diamond the Caro Avenger.