Woman finds 8.52-carat white diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park

The 8.52-carat white diamond is the fifth-largest diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park since it opened in 1972. Photo: Crater of Diamonds State Park
The 8.52-carat white diamond is the fifth-largest diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park since it opened in 1972. Photo: Crater of Diamonds State Park

A woman visiting from Colorado on Wednesday took only 20 minutes to find a diamond in the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas — and what a gem!

Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, unearthed an 8.52-carat white diamond, the fifth-largest diamond ever found by a visitor to the state park, where people can keep the diamonds that they find.

The white diamond was about three-quarters of an inch long and as wide as a No. 2 pencil. Photo: Crater of Diamonds State Park
The white diamond was about three-quarters of an inch long and as wide as a No. 2 pencil. Photo: Crater of Diamonds State Park

The park was established in 1972. Since then, a white 16.37-carat Amarillo Starlight was found in 1975; a white 8.82-carat Star of Shreveport was uncovered in 1981; a white 8.66-carat Illusion Diamond was unearthed in 2011; and a brown 8.61-carat Lamle Diamond was discovered in 1978.

“Ms. Oskarson and her boyfriend Travis Dillon saw the Crater of Diamonds State Park on an Arkansas highway map while in the nearby town of Hot Springs and decided to visit the park,” park interpreter Waymon Cox said. “And what a lucky first visit it was for her.

“It was hot and sunny at the park, but Ms. Oskarson was staying cool by searching in a tree-shaded area when she found her diamond.”

Oskarson discovered the diamond in a couple of scoops of dirt dug in an area known as the Pig Pen because it is the muddiest part of the search area after a good rain.

She named her gem the Esperanza Diamond after her two nieces with the same name and the Spanish word for hope.

It took Bobbie Oskarson only 20 minutes to find the white diamond. Photo: Crater of Diamonds State Park
It took Bobbie Oskarson only 20 minutes to find the white diamond. Photo: Crater of Diamonds State Park

“Ms. Oskarson’s 8 1/2-carat diamond is absolutely stunning, sparkling with a metallic shine, and appears to be an unbroken, capsule-shaped crystal,” Cox said. “It features smooth, curved facets, a characteristic shared by all unbroken diamonds from the Crater of Diamonds.”

It’s about three-quarters of an inch long and as big around as a No. 2 pencil.

More than 75,000 diamonds have been discovered at the site since 1906. The largest diamond was 40.23 carats uncovered in 1924. Oskarson’s was the 227th diamond found at the park this year.

A spokeswoman at the park told GrindTV they didn’t know how much the diamond was worth, that they’d have to take it to a jeweler to find out. One would assume Oskarson will be making a side trip to a jeweler soon.

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