Terry Staggs had been visiting the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark., for nearly 28 years with little luck -- but a recent discovery made his biannual trips worth while.
While digging through the 911 acre park on July 4, the Kentucky resident found a 2.95 carat diamond, according to the Richmond Register.
Staggs had been wandering around the park that day for about two and a half hours before uncovering the diamond, the Register reports. Crater of Diamonds, which allows visitors to dig through its 37.5 acre field, is “the world’s only diamond site where you can search and keep what you find,” its homepage says.
In 2007, 33-year-old Eric Blake allegedly found a 3.9-carat stone worth up to $8,000 at Crater of Diamonds, but he was later accused of planting a foreign-bought diamond in the soil.
According to the American Gem Society, both the the biggest diamond ever found in North America and the most perfect diamond ever found in North America were discovered at Crater of Diamonds.
Although Crater of Diamonds is the only diamond-producing park in the world open to public visitors, there are several other popular sites around the country that allow guests to search for hidden gems. Among them are Gem Mountain in Philipsburg, Mont., Herkimer Diamond Mines in Herkimer, N.Y., and Emerald Hollow Mine in Hiddenite, N.C., the only existing emerald mine in the U.S.
(Hat tip: UPI)