In a stroke of incredible luck, 7-year-old Aspen Brown from Paragould, Arkansas, celebrated her birthday at Crater of Diamonds State Park and stumbled upon a rare 2.95-carat golden brown diamond. Accompanied by her father and grandmother, Aspen was exploring the park's 37.5-acre diamond search area when she noticed something shiny near a pile of large rocks on the eroded surface of an ancient diamond-bearing volcano. Excitedly, she ran to her father, Luther Brown, exclaiming, "Dad! I found one!".
Amazed by his daughter's discovery, Luther brought Aspen and her diamond to the park's Diamond Discovery Center, where experts confirmed the authenticity of the find. Aaron Palke, a research scientist for the Gemological Institute of America, expressed the rarity of Aspen's discovery, stating that most diggers only uncover diamonds between .05 and .20 carats. To find a gem of this size in Arkansas is exceptionally unusual.
Not only was the diamond large, but it was also in near-perfect condition. Waymon Cox, assistant park superintendent, marveled at the gem's beauty, describing it as having a golden-brown color, sparkling luster, and no broken facets. The only imperfection was a small crevice on one side, which was formed during the diamond's creation. Cox proclaimed it as one of the most beautiful diamonds he had seen in recent years.
The value of the rare stone remains a secret, but in honor of her birthday and her incredible find, Aspen decided to name the gem after herself. The Aspen Diamond now joins the ranks as the second-largest diamond discovered this year at the diamond-rich state park, falling just behind a 3.29-carat brown stone found in March. Interestingly, it is the first large diamond registered since the park completed an excavation project in August to manage erosion in the search area.
Caleb Howell, the park superintendent, explained that the excavation project involved digging a 150-yard trench, which exposed several tons of unsearched diamond-bearing material. This activity may have contributed to the uncovering of Aspen's diamond and potentially other valuable gems.
For Aspen, the discovery of the diamond was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Her father emphasized that there was no specific skill involved; it was simply luck. Visitors who find diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park are allowed to keep them, adding to the wonder and excitement of the experience.
According to Shealyn Sowers, spokesperson for Arkansas State Parks, 563 diamonds have been registered at the park this year, amounting to more than 89 carats. On average, one to two diamonds are found by visitors each day. The park encourages visitors to name the diamonds they discover, and Aspen's father proudly declared that her diamond would be called the "Aspen Diamond."
The park officials revealed that Aspen's diamond was found near the location where a 3.72-carat diamond was discovered in 2019. This sighting adds to the park's impressive history, with over 75,000 diamonds found since it became a state park in 1972. The largest diamond ever found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park weighs an astounding 16.37 carats and is a dazzling white gemstone.
Crater of Diamonds State Park offers visitors the unique opportunity to search for diamonds on the eroded surface of an ancient volcanic crater. Its “finders-keepers” policy allows lucky visitors to keep any diamonds they discover. The park's website highlights the vast area available for exploration and the potential for remarkable finds. For Aspen Brown, her unforgettable birthday trip resulted in an extraordinary discovery that will forever be cherished.