Visitor finds two-carat diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park

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Christian Liden, 26, of Poulsbo, Washington.

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It’s exciting when hard work pays off. For years, Christian Liden, 26, of Poulsbo, Wash., Has wanted to find the raw materials to make his own engagement ring. He began by looking for gold in his country of origin. After five years, he had accumulated enough for the ring. Liden recently embarked on a mining excursion that took him across the country to Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park to collect gems for his creation.

Liden and a longtime friend left Washington on May 1. They built their own mining equipment to research it and tested it in a Montana sapphire mine along the way. The friends arrived at the Arkansas diamond site late Friday, May 7. “We spent about an hour in the field this afternoon and came back early the next morning for mine all day,” Liden said.

On his third day at Diamond Crater, Liden was sifting through when he finally spotted what he had searched for over 2,000 miles. “I saw it shine as soon as I turned the screen around and knew it was a diamond right away. I was shaking so much that I asked my mate to take it out of the gravel for me! Liden placed the gem in a plastic bag and transported it to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where staff confirmed he had found a large yellow diamond.

“I love hearing every story about how a visitor to Crater of Diamonds State Park finds an important diamond,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “It’s a moment they’ll never forget, and it’s always exciting that our park is a part of it.”

Weighing 2.20 carats, the Liden diamond is the largest diamond found in the park since last October, when a visitor to Fayetteville, Arkansas, discovered a 4.49 carat yellow diamond. He found it in the dirt of the west drain of the park’s 37.5-acre diamond exploration area, the surface of an ancient diamond-bearing volcanic pipe.

According to Deputy Superintendent Dru Edmonds, “Mr. Liden’s diamond is light yellow, with a triangular shape and a sparkling metallic luster. Like most diamonds in the park, it does have a few inclusions, making it one of a kind.

“As beautiful as this diamond is, I think the best part is the story behind it,” Edmonds continued. “Since the eighth grade, Mr. Liden has dreamed of creating a special ring for his future wife, with stones and gold that he mined himself. And now he can make that dream come true!

Although he found other gems, Liden was surprised by his success at the Diamond Crater. “I was just hoping to find a few smaller stones and had planned to buy a center stone later, but that won’t be necessary now!”

After leaving the Diamond Crater, Liden plans to mine for opals in Nevada before returning home. Once he has proposed, Liden says he wants to design an engagement ring with his bride-to-be using her diamond and other gems collected during his cross-country mining quest.

Large diamond seekers Crater often choose to name their gems. Liden named his diamond the Washington Sunshine, “because it has a beautiful light yellow color, just like the sunlight in Washington.”

As of the date of this publication, 121 diamonds have been recorded at Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2021, weighing over 20 carats. Visitors to the park find an average of one to two diamonds each day.

Diamonds come in all the colors of the rainbow. The three colors found at Crater of Diamonds State Park are white, brown, and yellow, in that order.

Admission to the park’s diamond search area is currently limited to 1,500 tickets per day. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com, to ensure access.

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