(Nexstar Media Wire) — An Arkansas woman walked away with a 3.29-carat diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park on Tuesday.
Pat Choate and her husband made the two-hour drive from Jacksonville, Arkansas to hunt for diamonds, according to a press release.
“Each time Pat and I see the road sign for the Crater of Diamonds while driving to the park, we always tell each other, ‘Let’s be like some of these other tourists and find a diamond within 30 minutes.’ We’ve been saying that for years, but this time it actually happened to us!” said her husband John Choate,
The couple entered the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area around 2 p.m. Pat Choate had been searching for about 30 minutes when she made her find. According to her, “I saw something shiny several feet ahead of me and walked over to see what it was. I lost sight of it when I got close, but then I turned around I found the diamond lying beside me!”
Choate says she knew she had found a diamond right away and showed it to a few other visitors who were nearby. She carried it in a pill bottle to show her husband before taking it to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where park staff registered it as a brown diamond weighing 3.29 carats.
According to Assistant Superintendent Meghan Moore, “Mrs. Choate’s diamond is about the size of a chickpea, with a sparkling metallic luster and a beautiful hue similar to brandy. Like many larger diamonds from the park, it appears to be fractured and contains a few inclusions, which gives it a unique appearance.”
Choate’s gem is the third-largest diamond found in 2019, so far. It is the largest brown gem found at the park in more than two years, since a teenager from Centerton, Arkansas discovered a 7.44-carat brown diamond in March 2017.
Many people choose to name the diamonds they find at Crater of Diamonds State Park, and Choate named hers Illusive Dream, saying, “It has been a long time coming, a lot of dirt, and many years of searching—and I thank the good Lord for it! I know it’s not a perfect diamond, but it sure is a thrill!”
Choate says she plans on keeping her gem as a reminder of the memories she and her husband have made during their many visits to the park.
As of this writing, 426 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2019, weighing more than 84 carats.; 15 diamonds registered this year have weighed at least one carat each.
In total, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the Crater of Diamonds since the first diamonds were discovered in 1906 by John Huddleston, a farmer who owned the land long before it became an Arkansas State Park in 1972.