MURFREESBORO, Ark. — A California woman is taking home a 4.38-carat yellow diamond she discovered at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark. It's the largest diamond found at the park this year.
Noreen Wredberg of Granite Bay, Calif., found the yellow diamond sitting on top of the ground within an hour of searching.
Noreen and her husband Michael have been traveling and visiting America's National Parks. While in Hot Springs, Noreen realized she was close to the Crater of Diamonds State Park, a place she had wanted to visit for a long time.
"I first saw the park featured on a TV show several years ago," she said. "When I realized we weren't too far away, I knew we had to come!"
Noreen and her husband started their day at the park searching for diamonds near a shaded area by the mine entrance, but Michael suggested they venture farther out.
"It was cold in the shade that morning," Michael said, "so I told Noreen that we should go to the middle of the field, where it was warmer."
40 minutes later, Noreen was walking and spotted a sparkling gem on top of the ground.
She said, "I didn't know it was a diamond then, but it was clean and shiny, so I picked it up!"
Noreen gave the stone to her husband, who then brought it to the park's Diamond Discovery Center for identification. After examining the stone, the park staff informed Michael that Noreen had found a large yellow diamond.
Park Superintendent Caleb Howell said, "When I first saw this diamond under the microscope, I thought, 'Wow, what a beautiful shape and color!' 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."
Park staff says weather conditions were perfect for the Wredbergs - a few days following rain showers, the soil had dried, and the sun was out.
California woman discovers 4.38-carat diamond at Arkansas state park, largest find of the year
Noreen was ecstatic when the park staff gave her the news about her find.
"We really didn't think we would find one, let alone something that big," she said.
Arkansas is the only state in the country that has a large diamond mine open to the public.
"It's such a unique experience and visitors make lifetime memories, whether or not they find a diamond. Of course, finding a diamond adds to the experience," said Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst.
Noreen decided to name the gem after her husband's cat - Lucy's Diamond.