Visitor finds massive 7.46-carat diamond in Arkansas State Park

Visitor finds massive 7.46-carat diamond in Arkansas State Park

(CNN) — A Parisian tourist's impromptu detour led to a “great adventure” in the United States.

Julian Navas, who was visiting the United States to watch the launch of the first American lunar landing mission in decades from Cape Canaveral, Florida, also ventured to New Orleans. Along the way, he visited Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, according to a press release Arkansas State Parks.

Since he had already searched for gold and ammonite fossils, the park piqued his interest.

Visitors dig in the dirt at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. (Courtesy: Arkansas State Parks)

On Jan. 11, Navas arrived at the park, purchased his ticket and rented basic diamond hunting equipment, according to the news release.

“I arrived at the park around nine o’clock and started digging,” Navas explained in the statement. “It's exhausting work, so I spent most of my afternoons searching the surface of the ground for anything special.”

Fortunately for Navas, the park received more than an inch of rain a few days before his arrival, leaving it wet and muddy, according to the release.

“When rain hits the countryside, it washes away the dirt and exposes heavy rocks, minerals and diamonds near the surface,” said Waymon Cox, deputy superintendent of the park.

Many of the park's largest diamonds were found above ground, and park officials periodically plow the 15-hectare search area to loosen the soil and promote natural erosion, Cox said.

Finally, Navas arrived at the park's diamond discovery center with his find. There they told him that he had a brown diamond weighing 7.46 carats.

The 7.46-carat diamond was discovered by Julien Navas of Paris, France, while visiting Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas on January 11, 2024. (Courtesy: Arkansas State Parks)

Navas said he was stunned, according to the statement, and the only thing he could think about was telling his fiancée what he had found. According to the statement, the stone is a dark chocolate brown color, round like a marble and the size of a jelly bean.

Navas has named his diamond the “Karen Diamond” in honor of his fiancée, and he plans to split it in two, giving one to his future wife and the other to his daughter.

The Carine diamond is the eighth largest diamond found at Crater of Diamonds since it became a state park in 1972, according to the press release. On average, visitors to the park find one or two diamonds there every day. Diamonds formed hundreds of millions of years ago, 60 to 100 miles underground.

Geologists explained that about 100 million years ago it was there Volcanic eruption This led to diamonds appearing on the surface, according to the park’s website.

Navas described the park as “a magical place where the dream of finding a diamond can come true! It was a wonderful adventure.” Navas said she hopes to return to the park with her daughter when she grows up.

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