A Minnesota couple vacationing for their 10th anniversary found a 1.90-carat diamond at Arkansas's Crater of Diamonds State Park on Friday.
Jessica and Seth Erickson, of Chatfield, were visiting the United States' only public diamond mine while road-tripping through 11 states for their anniversary. Arkansas State Parks said the two were sifting through the dirt when Seth found the gem in the bottom of his screen after about an hour of searching.
The diamond's estimated value isn't known at this time.
According to park interpreter Tayler Markham, the couple arrived early Friday morning and were "wet sifting" at the North Washing Pavilion in the park's 37.5-acre diamond search area around 11 a.m.
"Although most diamonds are found after flipping gravel onto a flat surface, Seth first spotted a metallic-looking gem in the bottom of his screen after an hour of wet sifting. He knew right away it was a diamond and excitedly showed Jessica," Markham said.
Park staff registered the discovery as a 1.90-carat brown diamond, "about the size of a pony bead."
Wet sifting is the most common way to search and find diamonds, according to Markham.
“Two screens are used to wet sift. The top screen has a bigger mesh size, one-quarter of an inch, while the bottom screen is smaller, about 1/16 of an inch. Guests submerge screen sets in water to wash away the soil. Once the soil is removed, the gravel is then separated by size and weight to make diamonds easier to find,” she said.
Markham said about 75% of all diamonds registered at the Crater of Diamonds are discovered through wet sifting.
Arkansas State Parks said many who find diamonds in the area name them. The Ericksons named theirs "HIMO," representing the initials of each of their children.
In 2022, the Crater of Diamonds has registered 581 diamonds — an average of 1-2 diamonds being found at the park each day.