A schoolteacher from Hebron, Nebraska came across a valuable gem during a family vacation. John Lanik found a diamond weighing just over two carats when he visited Arkansas's Crater of Diamonds, state park officials said in a press release.
The 36-year-old searched for about two hours before he found the brandy-colored gem near the southwest edge of the park's 37.5-acre diamond search area. He spotted the diamond around 15 feet from a trench that runs along the park.
"We took the kids to look for amethyst on Canary Hill, and I was walking through an area where it looked like a lot of water had washed when I saw it," Lanik said.
At first, he wasn't certain he had found something of value until he took it back to the park's Diamond Discovery Center to be examined.
"[The examiner] wouldn't tell us whether it was a diamond but we were pretty sure from her reaction that it was," Lanik said. After identifying and weighing the gem, park staff informed Lanik that he had discovered the largest diamond found so far in 2019.
According to the park interpreter Waymon Cox, "Mr. Lanik's gem is about the size of a jellybean and has a dark brown color, similar to brandy. It has a beautiful natural pear shape and smooth, curved facets that give the gem a metallic shine."
Cox also attributed the discovery of the diamond to the recent record-breaking rainfall in the area. "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 in the press release.
Lanik isn't sure whether he plans to sell the gem or keep it as a souvenir but said he'll keep it for now.