By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
Crater of Diamonds State Park visitor Steven McCool found this treat over Halloween weekend—a 4.49-carat “canary yellow” rough diamond. (Photo courtesy of Arkansas State Park)
Murfreesboro, Ark.—Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds seems to understand that a lot of people need a little something to make them smile this year, and it is obliging.

Over Halloween weekend, the state park yielded another sizable stone to a visitor.

Steven McCool, a 34-year-old father of two from Fayetteville, Arkansas, found a 4.49-carat canary yellow diamond, the park reported in a recent blog post by Monika Rued, public information officer for Arkansas State Parks.

Park officials said it’s the third largest diamond recovered at the site in 2020.

McCool found the stone on Saturday while wet sifting, meaning he was searching through the dirt using screens and water.

Finding diamonds above a quarter-carat in size via wet sifting is unusual, park Assistant Superintendent Meghan Moore said in the blog post, as most larger diamonds found at the park are discovered through surface searching.

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He named the stone “BamMam,” after his two children’s initials, and told Rued he hasn’t decided if he’s going to keep or sell the stone.


“I’m torn. I’m somewhat sentimental. It’s my first diamond I found. I am the first person to unearth this, the first person to touch it … I am blown away by the clarity, the beauty, how rare it is. I’m definitely blessed, not lucky.”

20201105 Arkansas yellow diamond close upA close-up of the “BamMam” diamond shows its size relative to that of a quarter (Photo courtesy of Arkansas State Parks)
The 34-year-old’s Halloween weekend find comes a couple months after another visitor, Kevin Kinard, turned up a 9.07-carat brown diamond, the second largest stone found at the site since it became a state park in 1972.

The record for the largest diamond ever recovered at the Crater still belongs to the white “Amarillo Starlight,” a 16.37-carat stone discovered in August 1975.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park is open year-round, though the number of visitors allowed in the search field is currently limited to 1,500 per day because of COVID-19.

There are other pandemic-related restrictions in place too, including rules regarding masks and social distancing in the search field.

To learn more, visit the park’s website.


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