Bobbie Oskarson, from Longmont, CO, is one lucky woman. Her boyfriend joining her on vacation is even luckier. On a whim, they spotted Crater of Diamonds State Park on a map and decided to stop by as first-time visitors.
It was a hell of a first time. Just 20 minutes into her digging, she spotted what she thought was a crystal. Hey, not bad. She goes home with a crystal. Instead, a park official confirmed it was a diamond. An 8.52 carat diamond.
“Ms. Oskarson and her boyfriend Travis Dillon saw the Crater of Diamonds State Park on an Arkansas highway map while in the nearby town of Hot Springs and decided to visit the park. And what a lucky first visit it was for her!” park interpreter Waymon Cox said in a press release.
Holy DeBeers, an 8.52 carat diamond lying in the dirt? All the sudden travel bookings to Arkansas just shot up.
Everyone is wondering, how much is the diamond worth? For perspective, a 12.42 carat gem named the Uncle Sam Diamond was cut twice and sold for $150,000 in 1971. Adjusting for inflation, the value works out to $880,000.
It will depend on how the diamond is cut and its quality if Ms. Oskarson decides to sell. Or, her boyfriend could convince her to have it cut for an engagement ring. Good luck with that brother. If you manage, prepare the mother of all honey-do lists.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Located near Murfreesboro, AR, the 911-acre Arkansas state park features the world’s only publically accessible diamond-bearing site. In a 37.5-acre plowed field, visitors can dig around for a chance to find diamonds and other gemstones.
Park officials stated recent rains and the consistent plowing of the fields have helped tourists register 227 diamonds this year.
The park has a strict ‘finders’-keepers’ policy. Workers at the park are there to assist tourists in identifying gemstone finds and registering them with the park to keep a historical record.
Since the diamonds were first discovered in 1906, more than 75,000 diamonds have been found in the area.
As for Bobbie Oskarson’s diamond? She named it Esperanza after her niece. No word on her plans for the diamond, but it’s one nice problem to have.
For the rest of us? I don’t know about you, but Murfreesboro is looking pretty damn nice right now.