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Arkansas park yields 2.05-carat brown diamond

2013-08-01

This 2.05-carat diamond from the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is “about the color of sweet tea,” park officials said.

Murfreesboro, Ark.--A carpenter from Missouri found a 2.05-carat brown diamond at Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park in late July, bringing the total number of diamonds found at the park just this year to 327.

It was the fourth trip to the diamond site for Steve Vehige of Flint Hill, Mo., who brought along his 17-year-old son, Matt. The two spent three day in late July digging in the 37 ½-acre search area.

According to an account provided by park officials, Vehige had been talking to another park visitor who had wondered aloud what rough diamonds look like when he found the marble-shaped brown diamond.

He called his find the “Flint Hill Special,” homage both to his hometown and to Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ first song “Flint Hill Special” off their 1957 debut album, “Foggy Mountain Jamboree.”

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Steve Vehige and the “Flint Hill Special” diamond

Vehige wasn’t the only park visitor to find a diamond that day. Two other visitors picked up their own surface finds: a 33-point white diamond and a 58-point yellow diamond.

Margi Jenks, park interpreter, said that rain increases the number of surface finds and July’s rainfall total at the park was 10 inches.

“Diamonds … stay put when it rains and the dirt surrounding and covering the diamonds washes away. I knew from past experience that Saturday’s sunny skies would probably result in some nice diamond finds,” she said.

The Flint Hill Special is the third diamond weighing more than 2 carats found at the park this year. All three of the 2-carat-plus diamonds found have been brown.

“Brown diamonds are the most difficult to find in the dark dirt here. White diamonds are the most common diamonds registered, with yellow and brown diamonds about even in numbers,” Jenks said, noting that in 2012 a total of 530 diamonds were found, including 131 brown and 100 yellow.