A frequent visitor to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas has discovered a 3.29-carat brown diamond — but it’s not even his biggest find.
But the diamond, found by Arkansas resident David Anderson, is the largest found in the park since 2021. Anderson spotted the gem while wet-sifting soil, naming the diamond B.U.D., which he says stands for “Big, Ugly Diamond,” as it has a pitted surface and is a “mottled brown color.”
“At first I thought it was quartz but wondered why it was so shiny,” Anderson said in a statement from Arkansas State Parks. “Once I picked it up, I realized it was a diamond!”
Park Interpreter Tayler Markham explained in the statement the volcanic eruption that brought all of the park’s diamonds to the surface of the Earth caused partial “resorption,” a geologic process that changes the surface of the diamond.
“Mr. Anderson’s diamond is about the size of an English pea, with a light brown color and octahedron shape,” Markham said. “It has a metallic shine typical of all diamonds found at the park, with a partially resorbed surface and lots of inclusions. Larger diamonds like Mr. Anderson’s may have rough areas on the surface, but you can still find signs of resorption on the corners and edges.”
Anderson has found more than 400 diamonds over the past 16 years, including 15 that weighed more than one carat, plus a 3.83-carat yellow diamond and a 6.19-carat white gem.
The Crater of Diamonds State Park calls itself one of the few places in the world where any visitor can search for diamonds. Visitors can bring their own tools (motorized equipment isn’t allowed) or rent them from the park to dig at a 37-acre field atop a volcanic crater where people have found thousands of gems over the years. The park says visitors typically find a diamond or two each day — and whatever visitors find, they get to keep.
Anderson is not the only one to find large hidden gems while visiting. Last year, Arkansas resident Adam Hardin discovered a 2.38-carat brown diamond at the park, and California residents Noreen and Michael Wredberg found a 4.38-carat yellow diamond there in 2021.
The area is so full of diamonds, in fact, that more than 75,000 have been discovered there since 1906, including the largest diamond ever found in the U.S. — a 40.23-carat white diamond named Uncle Sam.