A 14-year-old teenager may have made his discovery of a lifetime when he found a 7.44-carat diamond while visiting an Arkansas state park famed for allowing visitors to hunt for gems.
Glimmering Brown Stone
Kalel Langford found the stone after just half an hour of searching. He was walking along a riverbank in the Crater of Diamonds State Park when he spotted a glimmering brown stone on the ground.
The rock, which was about the size of a pinto bean, was lying a few inches from a stream of water with other rocks of the same size.
With a hunch that his find was special, the teenager called his father to look at the stone. The rock was coffee-colored and frosty but father and son suspected it was not just any old rock so they decided to have it examined at the park's Diamond Discovery Center before leaving.
The rock was indeed one of a kind. Officials at the Crater of Diamonds said that the rock the boy found on Saturday, March 11, is the seventh largest diamond found in the area since the park was established in 1972. It was also the largest brown diamond that was found in four decades.
Park officials said that conditions were favorable to find gems that day.
"Conditions were ideal for Kalel to find his diamond. About an inch of rain fell on the plowed search area during the week. A heavy rain can uncover larger diamonds near the surface. Diamonds have a metallic-looking shine and are often easier to spot on top of the ground," said park interpreter Waymon Cox.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
More than 75,000 diamonds have been found in the park since the first diamonds were unearthed there in 1906. The park charges $10 to guests who go there to search for valuable stones. Since the park has a "Finders Keepers" policy, those who find precious rocks get to keep them. The park is currently the only diamond-producing location worldwide that is open to the public.
In 1924, the largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was discovered at the park during an early mining operation. The huge gem named Uncle Sam weighed 40.23 carats.
Langford said he plans to keep the diamond as a souvenir of his first visit to the park. It has been the young man's dream to visit the park and with his remarkable find, the park said he will be part of its history.
The teen named the gem Superman's Diamond because of his love for the popular DC Comics character and special connection to the Man of Steel. His father said that Kal-El was also Superman's birth name.
The value of the diamond was not determined but an 8.5-carat diamond that was also found at the park in 2015 had a value of $500,000. It was called the Esperanza Diamond after the name of the finder's niece. The rock was the fifth largest diamond a visitor found in the park.