7-year-old Paragould girl finds 2.95-carat diamond at Arkansas park

A 2.95-carat golden brown diamond that was discovered at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark. is shown in this photo. (Courtesy photo/Arkansas State Parks)

A 7-year-old Paragould girl found a 2.95-carat diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro on Sept. 1, according to an Arkansas State Parks news release.

It’s the second-largest registered find by a guest this year, the release states, topped only by a 3.29-carat brown diamond discovered in March.

Aspen Brown was visiting the park with her dad and grandmother to celebrate her birthday when she found the golden brown diamond about the size of a green pea on a pathway on the northeast side of the park’s 37.5-acre search area.

“She got hot and wanted to sit down for a minute, so she walked over to some big rocks by the fence line,” said Luther Brown, Aspen’s father. “Next thing I know, she was running to me, saying ‘Dad! Dad! I found one!’”

Brown’s find is the first large diamond registered since an excavation project at the park last month, said Caleb Howell, the park’s superintendent.

“A contracted company dug a 150-yard trench in August to help manage erosion on the north side of the search area,” said Howell. “Several tons of unsearched diamond-bearing material were exposed and it’s very possible that this diamond and others were uncovered as a result.“

Park visitors sometimes choose to name the diamonds they find. The Browns named the girl’s discovery the Aspen Diamond.

“There was no skill required for her to find it,” said Luther Brown. “She was just in the right place at the right time.”

The Aspen Diamond was found close to where another large diamond – 3.72-carat Caro Avenger – was discovered in 2019. As of last week, 563 diamonds had been registered at the park in 2023, totaling more than 89 carats, according to a release. An average of one to two diamonds are found by park visitors each day.

Over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the park since the first diamonds were discovered there by John Huddleston, a farmer who owned the land long before it became a state park in 1972. The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was unearthed on the land in 1924 when miners found a 40.23-carat gem during an early mining operation.