First posted on 03-21-2011
Named the Silver Moon Diamond since its discovery happened during the weekend of the full moon supermoon event.
Melissa and Kenny Oliver of Rosston, Arkansas, enjoy the adventure of treasure hunting, so they make regular visits to the Crater of Diamonds State Park to prospect at Arkansas’s diamond site. On Sunday afternoon the couple found a flawless, 2.44-carat white diamond at the park. Due of the gem’s silver white color, and because it was discovered during the weekend of a full moon “supermoon” event, the couple named their diamond the Silver Moon.
According to Park Interpreter Margi Jenks, “The Oliver’s white diamond is triangular-shape and has a frosted appearance, like an ice cube. It’s a very beautiful gem.” She said, “Every one of us including the Oliver’s saw the supermoon, so the word ‘moon’ came to Mrs. Oliver’s mind immediately when she first saw the diamond. After that, it was just a matter of finding the perfect name for their silver white diamond which appears to be flawless.” Jenks continued, “The name Supermoon diamond didn’t quite fit. Then, I mentioned, ‘How about Silver Moon diamond?’ and that stuck.”
She noted that the Oliver’s diamond came from the search area’s East Drain where major excavation work was done by heavy equipment in October. A contractor with heavy equipment was hired to move that particular low area about 100 yards west to reveal previously unsearched soil. And, the excavated material was spread over a broad area to provide park visitors with easier access to it, as well.” Jenks emphasized, “By that work, we set the stage for more diamond finds in the East Drain area.”
The Oliver’s discovered their diamond, which they plan to keep, while wet screening material from the East Drain. It was the 93rd diamond found so far this year by visitors at the park.
Jenks noted that the 2.44-carat Silver Moon diamond is very similar to the 1.31-carat Silver Bullet diamond that was found last year by David Johnson of Murfreesboro. The Silver Moon is the largest of four diamonds weighing over one carat that have been found at the park over the last 10 days. The other three diamonds, however, were discovered while their finders were surface searching, which according to park staff has been a very successful search technique recently at the park.
The search area at the Crater of Diamonds State Park is a 37 ½-acre plowed field, the eroded surface of the eighth largest diamond-bearing deposit in the world in surface area. It is the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public. On average, two diamonds are found each day at the park. The park’s policy is finder-keepers. What park visitors find is theirs to keep. The park staff provides free identification and certification of diamonds. Park interpretive programs and exhibits explain the site’s geology and history and offer tips on recognizing diamonds in the rough.
Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow. The colors found at the Crater of Diamonds are white, brown and yellow, in that order. Other semi-precious gems and minerals found in the park’s search area include amethyst, garnet, peridot, jasper, agate, calcite, barite, and quartz. Over 40 different rocks and minerals are unearthed at the Crater making it a rock hound’s delight.
In total, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at Arkansas’s diamond site since the first diamonds found in 1906 by John Huddleston, the farmer who at that time owned the land, long before the site became an Arkansas state park. The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was unearthed here in 1924 during an early mining operation. Named the Uncle Sam, this white diamond with a pink cast weighed 40.23 carats. Other large notable finds from the Crater include the Star of Murfreesboro (34.25 carats) and the Star of Arkansas (15.33 carats).
The largest diamond of the 27,000 discovered by park visitors since the Crater became an Arkansas state park in 1972 was the 16.37-carat Amarillo Starlight. W. W. Johnson of Amarillo, Texas, found this spectacular gem-quality, white diamond in 1975.
In June 1981, the 8.82-carat Star of Shreveport was added to the growing list of large valuable stones found at the Crater.
Another notable diamond from the Crater of Diamonds that has received much national attention is the 1.09-carat D-flawless Strawn-Wagner Diamond. Discovered in 1990 by Shirley Strawn of nearby Murfreesboro, this white gem weighed 3.03 carats in the rough before being cut to perfection in 1997 by the renowned diamond firm Lazare Kaplan International of New York. The gem is the most perfect diamond ever certified in the laboratory of the American Gem Society. The diamond is on display in a special exhibit in the Crater of Diamonds State Park visitor center.
Another gem from the Crater is the flawless 4.25-carat Kahn Canary diamond that was discovered at the park in 1977. This uncut, triangular-shape gem has been on exhibit at many cities around the U.S. and overseas. It was featured in an illustrious jewelry exhibition in Antwerp, Belgium in 1997 that included precious stones from throughout the world including the Kremlin collection, the Vatican, Cartier and Christies. And, in late 1997, the Kahn Canary was featured in another prestigious exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York entitled “The Nature of Diamonds.” Former First Lady Hillary Clinton borrowed the Kahn Canary from its owner, Stan Kahn of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and wore it in a special, Arkansas-inspired ring setting designed by Henry Dunay of New York. Mrs. Clinton chose to wear the gem as a special way to represent Arkansas’s diamond site at the galas celebrating both of Bill Clinton’s presidential inaugurals.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is located on Ark. 301 at Murfreesboro. It is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.
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