Park visitor’ found a 7.46 carat diamond

Recently, Julien Navas, of Paris, France, visited ArkansasCrater of Diamonds State Park for the first time. While there, he found a 7.46-carat diamond on the surface of the park’s 37.5-acre search area.

Navas was visiting the U.S. to see the United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur Rocket launch in Cape Canaveral, Fla. After the launch, Navas traveled with a friend to see the sights in New Orleans, La. Along the way, he learned about Arkansas’ world-famous Crater of Diamonds State Park. The park piqued his interest because he had previously panned for gold and searched for ammonite fossils. So he knew he had to visit the park while he was in the U.S.

A few days before Navas’s visit, the park had received over an inch of rain, making it a wet and muddy day. After purchasing his ticket and renting a basic diamond hunting kit from the park, Navas headed into the search area and got to work. “I got to the park around nine o’clock and started to dig,” he said. “That is back-breaking work so by the afternoon I was mainly looking on top of the ground for anything that stood out.”

In total, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at Crater of Diamonds State Park since the first diamonds were discovered by John Huddleston, a farmer who owned the land long before it became an Arkansas State Park in 1972. The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was unearthed in 1924 during an early mining operation on the land that later became the state park.

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