Skip to main content

Tourist on vacation finds huge diamond

By Frances Cha, CNN
August 15, 2013 -- Updated 0819 GMT (1619 HKT)
Boy Scout Michael Dettlaff, 12, found this 5.16-carat honey-brown diamond just 10 minutes into his search at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park. Boy Scout Michael Dettlaff, 12, found this 5.16-carat honey-brown diamond just 10 minutes into his search at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park.
HIDE CAPTION
Rock star
Great souvenir
Size to scale
Finders keepers
History lesson
Worth it?
Diamond DIY
Diamond types
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Boy Scout, 12, finds 5.16 carat at Arkansas state park
  • Arkansas's Crater of Diamond State Park is only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public
  • New gem is the 328th diamond found by a park visitor this year

(CNN) -- "Remember the time Mikey found that massive diamond at that park?"

That's how one North Carolina family is going to remember this summer.

Boy Scout Michael Detlaff, 12, was visiting an Arkansas park with his family on July 31 when he found a 5.16-carat "honey brown diamond" in the park's "diamond search area."

The park's response?

"It is thrilling any time a child finds a diamond here."

The Arkansas' Crater of Diamond State Park is the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public and this isn't the first time a diamond has been found, nor is it even close to the biggest diamond discovered at this amazing park.

Visitors can dig for diamonds in the park's 37.5-acre plowed field, which was a diamond mining site before it became a state park in 1972.

John Huddleston, the farmer who originally owned the property, is credited with starting a diamond mining rush when he first found diamonds in Murfreesboro in 1906.

Mystery surrounds Egyptian sphinx unearthed in Israel

Free diamonds

White, brown and yellow diamonds are found at the park.
White, brown and yellow diamonds are found at the park.

The park's policy is finders keepers, which means Michael Detlaff went home with his diamond, which he named "God's Glory Diamond."

Mining.com estimated his find to be worth between $12,000 and $15,000 after being cut and polished.

"Michael had only been searching for about 10 minutes when he found his diamond," said Park Interpreter Waymon Cox in a press release. "In fact, Michael's dad was renting mining equipment to begin his own diamond search when Michael showed the gem to him at the park's Diamond Discovery Center!"

Read: 11 top theme parks opening soon

Michael's find was the twelfth diamond weighing more than one carat found at the park this year, and the 27th largest diamond found since the opening of the park.

One thing we don't get -- how are there any diamonds left? Why hasn't this place been mobbed tourists on a daily basis going over every grain of sand with a magnifying glass and blunt instruments to ward off greedy fingers poaching their immediate territory?

Underwater discovery of Apollo 11 rocket engines?

Fun facts about the Crater of Diamonds

• The three colors of diamonds found at the park are white, brown and yellow.

• 40 different types of rocks and minerals other than diamonds can also be found at the park. Other gems include amethyst, peridot and garnet.

• Buildings dating to the park's mining days remain on the premises, such as the Mine Shaft Building and the Guard House.

• Due to recent heavy rains, many of the recent finds were right on the surface of the field.

• The park says two diamonds a day are found on average.

• The largest diamond ever found on site was a white diamond weighing 40.23 carats unearthed in 1984 during the park's mining days. It's the largest diamond found in North America to date.

• The largest diamond ever found by a park visitor was a 16.37-carat diamond.

• Hilary Clinton borrowed the 4.25-carat Kahn Canary diamond, also a park find, to represent Arkansas's diamond site at a gala celebrating her husband's inauguration.

• Michael Detlaff's find is the 328th diamond found by a park visitor so far this year.

• Most diamonds found in the park are too small to be cut and are kept simply as souvenirs.

Crater of Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, Arkansas; +1 870 285 3113; 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; admission $7 for adults, $4 for children, campsites cost approximately $17-21 per night; rental equipment starts at $2.50 per bucket/shovel/knee pads

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Nonprofit Ethical Traveler has released its annual list of the developing countries doing the most to promote human rights and preserve their environments.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
These waterfront watering holes have killer ocean views, creative drinks and the mahalo vibe we demand.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 2038 GMT (0438 HKT)
Can't wait to book your ticket to Indianapolis and Oakland? The venerable guidebook is right there with you
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 0625 GMT (1425 HKT)
By helicopter, snowmobile and big-wheel truck across some of the world's most volatile landscapes.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
Construction begins on a new Singapore airport complex that could make delays and layovers a pleasure.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 1441 GMT (2241 HKT)
Inflight chatterboxes are annoying but they're not the worst violators of onboard etiquette, according to an Expedia study.
December 8, 2014 -- Updated 2232 GMT (0632 HKT)
These statues are awe-inspiring even for the strongest of non-believers.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 1659 GMT (0059 HKT)
The Palace of the Parliament, built by former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
25 years after the death of Romania's communist dictator, tourism is helping heal old wounds.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
Photo sharing website names the top 10 destinations for geo-tagged snapshots.
December 3, 2014 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
New York may be a paradise of Zagat-rated, Michelin-starred restaurants, but some of its best food can be found on the streets.
December 2, 2014 -- Updated 0601 GMT (1401 HKT)
Guide Lebo behind the wheel of Chobe Game Lodge's first electric game viewing vehicle, at Chobe National Park in Botswana.
Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana ups the eco stakes with what it claims is world's first battery-powered safari fleet.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
These quirky and beautiful subway stops make standing cheek-to-cheek with 45 strangers almost seem fun.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
A scene from a desert safari in Dubai
Luxury vintage Land Rover tours explore Bedouin backwaters without bashing up precious dunes.
ADVERTISEMENT