A Northern California couple found a 4.38-carat yellow diamond while visiting Arkansas, making it the biggest piece of bling found this year at a state park known for yielding the shiny stones.
Noreen and Michael Wredberg took a trip to two national parks in Arkansas last month, then decided on a whim to travel an hour south to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro. About 40 minutes into their walk, Noreen saw something sparkly on the ground.
"I didn't know it was a diamond then, but it was clean and shiny, so I picked it up," she told park officials, according to a news release. "We really didn't think we would find one, let alone something that big."
After Noreen Wredberg found the diamond she gave it to her husband, who took it to the park's diamond discovery center. Park Superintendent Caleb Howell placed the diamond under a microscope and said he was amazed.
"When I first saw this diamond under the microscope, I thought, 'Wow, what a beautiful shape and color'," Howell said in a statement on Thursday. "Mrs. Wredberg's diamond weighs more than four carats and is about the size of a jellybean, with a pear shape and a lemonade yellow color."
The Wredbergs have since returned to California and are still deciding what to do with the diamond. Noreen Wredberg told CBS MoneyWatch on Friday that she and her husband have yet to get the diamond appraised.
The diamond — which Noreen has named Lucy's Diamond — is one of 258 diamonds visitors have found and registered at the Crater of Diamonds this year, park officials said. More than 75,000 diamonds have been found at the park since 1906.
In 1990, Arkansas resident Shirley Strawn found a 3-carat white diamond that she later sold to the state for $34,700 (equivalent to $58,000 today). A Colorado woman found an 8.5-carat white diamond — dubbed the Esperanza — at the crater in 2015 that is now worth $1 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The largest diamond ever found in the U.S. — the Uncle Sam — was discovered at the crater in 1924. The 40.2-carat gem was sold to a private collector for $150,000 in 1971, or just over $1 million today.
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