Keep your eyes peeled next time you’re in this state park, you might just find a little buried treasure.
True to its name, Crater of Diamonds State Park is well known for visitors happening upon gemstones while excavating through the park's field. According to CNN, more than 75,000 diamonds have been found in the park since 1906, and 296 diamonds have been registered this year, totaling 53.94 collective carats.
Many visitors go there simply to do a little diamond hunting in the park’s 37-acre diamond search area since the park lets you keep what you find. Though it should be noted that you’re unlikely to actually strike it rich.
But Lanik and his family tried their luck anyway. According to CNN, Lanik’s family spent two hours in the area, in which time they came upon a small, “brandy-colored,” pear-shaped rock that ended up being a bona fide, 2.12 carat, brown diamond.
Park interpreter Waymon Cox said in a statement that the diamond is the size of a jellybean. He also noted that the weather may have contributed to Lanik’s extraordinary luck. “About 14 inches of rain fell at the park on July 16. In the days after the rainfall, park staff registered numerous diamonds found right on the surface of the search area, including two weighing over one carat,” Cox said.
Lanik said in the statement that he immediately knew he saw something unique. “It was blatantly obvious there was something different about it. I saw the shine, and when I picked it up and rolled it in my hand, I noticed there weren’t any sharp edges,” Lanik said. “[A park employee] wouldn’t tell us whether it was a diamond, but we were pretty sure from her reaction that it was.”
Lanik’s diamond is the largest found so far in 2019.
The value of diamonds can vary greatly upon weight and quality, so it is unclear how much Lanik’s diamond is actually worth. Lanik says he intends to keep the gem for the time being, according to CNN.