LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — One woman found a 2.23-carat diamond while on a trip to Arkansas’ Crater Diamonds State Park.
Beatrice Watkins, 56, of Mena, visited Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park, in Murfreesboro, June 20 with her daughter and granddaughters.
Within 30 minutes of arriving, she picked up the largest diamond found there this year.
More than 33,000 diamonds have been found since the Crater of Diamonds opened as an Arkansas State Park in 1972.
Watkins said she was dry sifting soil on the north end of a culvert near the center of the park’s diamond search area when she discovered her gem.
“I was searching with my daughter and granddaughters when I picked it up. I thought it was shiny but had no idea it was a diamond!” Watkins said, “My daughter googled similar-looking stones and thought it might have been iron pyrite, so I stuck it in my sack and kept sifting.”
After about an hour, Watkins and her family walked to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center to take a break.
At that time, park staff identified Watkins’s finds and informed her that her “iron pyrite” was actually a brown diamond weighing more than two carats. “I was so excited, I just couldn’t believe it,” Watkins said. “I still can’t believe it!”
“While we were still searching, I told my granddaughters that their future husbands would have to bring them here to find diamonds for their wedding rings,” she said. “All that time I had one in my pocket!”
“Ms. Watkins’s diamond is about the size of an English pea, with an oblong shape and a metallic luster,” Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said. “The surface is smooth and rounded, a characteristic shared by most Crater diamonds. It has a dark brown shade similar to iced tea.”
Her gem is the largest found at the park since Pat Choate found a 3.29-carat brown gem in October 2019.
Cox said that even though it rained Saturday morning, Watkins found her diamond by dry sifting.
Many people choose to name the diamonds they find at Crater of Diamonds State Park. Watkins named her gem after herself, calling it the Lady Beatrice.
She said she doesn’t know what she will do with her diamond at this point but will probably keep it as an inheritance for her kids and grandkids.