A French tourist's impromptu visit to Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park resulted in the remarkable discovery of a 7.46-carat diamond.
Julien Navas, a Parisian on a U.S. visit, had originally planned to witness a historic moon landing mission in Florida. His itinerary took an unexpected turn, leading him to New Orleans and then to Arkansas, where his adventure at the Crater of Diamonds State Park unfolded.
Navas, familiar with panning for gold and searching for fossils, decided to try his luck at diamond hunting in the park, the CNN reported.
Navas, intrigued by the prospect of finding diamonds, arrived at the park on Jan. 11.
He purchased a ticket and rented a basic diamond hunting kit.
With enthusiasm, he began his search in the morning, dedicating his day to the laborious task of digging and scouring the park's grounds.
Fortuitously, the park had experienced over an inch of rainfall days before Navas' visit. This weather condition, as explained by Assistant Park Superintendent Waymon Cox, is ideal for unearthing diamonds.
The rain washes away dirt, bringing diamonds and other heavy minerals closer to the surface. The park also conducts periodic soil plowing to aid natural erosion and uncover hidden gems.
Navas' efforts paid off when he presented his findings at the park's Diamond Discovery Center.
The staff informed him that he had uncovered a 7.46-carat brown diamond, a discovery that left him astonished. The diamond, described as deep chocolate brown and rounded like a marble, is about the size of a candy gumdrop.
Navas expressed his excitement, sharing his immediate thought of informing his fiancé about the find.
He named the diamond "Carine Diamond," after his fiancé, and plans to have it split into two pieces for his bride-to-be and his daughter.
The "Carine Diamond" is a significant find in the history of the Crater of Diamonds State Park.
It ranks as the eighth-largest diamond unearthed since the park's inception as a state park in 1972. The park, known for its diamond-rich soil, sees visitors frequently finding diamonds, with an average of one or two discoveries per day.
Geologists have explained that the diamonds at the park date back hundreds of millions of years. They formed deep underground and were brought to the surface by a volcanic eruption approximately 100 million years ago.
Navas, reflecting on his experience, described the park as a magical place where dreams of finding a diamond can come true.
He called his adventure at the park "a real great adventure" and expressed a desire to return with his daughter when she is older, hoping to share the experience with her.
This extraordinary event highlights the unpredictable nature of such adventures and the joy of unexpected discoveries. Navas' story serves as an inspiration for many who dream of finding their own hidden treasures.