MURFREESBORO, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A California woman found a 4.38-carat yellow diamond sitting on top of the ground within an hour of searching at Crater of Diamonds State Park last Thursday.
It’s the largest diamond found at the park in 2021, according to a release from Arkansas State Parks.
Noreen Wredberg, of Granite Bay, California, and her husband, Michael, arrived at the Crater of Diamonds State Park last week. Since retiring in 2011, the couple has spent much of their free time traveling and visiting the country’s parks.
During a recent visit at Hot Springs National Park, Wredberg realized she was close to another destination on her bucket list — Crater of Diamonds State Park.
“I first saw the park featured on a TV show several years ago,” she said. “When I realized we weren’t too far away, I knew we had to come.”
Wredberg and her husband started their search in a shaded area near the mine entrance, but her husband suggested venturing farther out.
“It was cold in the shade that morning,” Michael said, “so I told Noreen that we should go to the middle of the field, where it was warmer.”
About 40 minutes later, the suggestion paid off, with Noreen spotting a “sparkling gem” on top of the ground just north of a central pathway in the couple’s search area.
“I didn’t know it was a diamond then, but it was clean and shiny, so I picked it up,” she said.
Noreen gave the stone to her husband, who took it to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center for identification. After examination, park staff told him he was in possession of a very large yellow diamond.
At 4.38 carats, the diamond is the largest found at the park since last October, when a Fayetteville visitor discovered a 4.49-carat yellow diamond.
According to Arkansas State Parks, finders of large Crater diamonds often choose to name their gems, and Noreen named hers Lucy’s Diamond, after her husband’s kitten.
“The name is sentimental to us. Lucy is mostly gray but has slight tints of yellow in her fur, similar to the light yellow of my diamond,” she said.
Noreen said she’s not sure what she will do with her diamond but say she may have it cut, depending on the quality.
“I don’t even know what it’s worth yet. It’s all new to me,” she said.