By Brecken Branstrator
The 2.23-carat brown diamond recently found by a visitor to Crater of Diamonds State Park, the size of an English pea, is the largest uncovered there so far in 2020.
Murfreesboro, Ark.—A recent visitor to Crater of Diamonds uncovered a 2.23-carat diamond during her visit, marking the biggest find for the state park so far this year.

Beatrice Watkins of Mena, Arkansas was visiting the park on June 20 with her daughter and granddaughter, and made the discovery within half an hour of arriving, the park reported.  

Watkins was dry sifting soil on the north end of a culvert near the center of the park’s diamond search area when she found the stone and stuck it in her pocket, not sure if it was actually a diamond.

After an hour, the family walked to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center to take a break, at which time staff park identified her find as a brown diamond weighing more than 2 carats.

According to Park Interpreter Waymon Cox, the diamond is about the size of an English pea, with an oblong shape and a metallic luster, and is a dark brown shade “similar to iced tea.”

He added the surface is smooth and rounded, a characteristic most of Crater’s diamonds share.

Cox also said it was notable Watkins found her diamond by dry sifting because it had rained that morning.

“Many visitors use screens to dry sift where they sit in the field. If the soil gets too damp, dry sifting doesn't work very well because it clumps together in the screens,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of rain this year, but the field was dry enough during Ms. Watkins’s visit that dry sifting was possible. The fact that she found her diamond this way is really special.”

In the tradition of giving the diamond a name, Watkins named hers after herself, calling it the Lady Beatrice. She told the park she doesn’t yet know what she’ll do with the diamond but will probably keep it to pass down to kids and grandkids.

Watkins’s gem is the largest found at the park since a 3.29-carat brown gem was recovered last October.

So far in 2020, 139 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds, weighing more than 22 carats total. Four have weighed at least 1 carat each.

In total, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed in the area since the first diamonds were discovered there in 1906, including the largest diamond ever discovered in the United States in 1924 during an early mining operation.

Named the Uncle Sam, the white diamond with a pink cast weighed 40.23 carats. It was later cut into a 12.42-carat emerald shape and purchased by a private collector for $150,000 in 1971.

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