The last year and a half has been a particularly rich one for the U.S.’s only diamond mine. The Crate of Diamonds State park in Murfreesboro has spewed out more than a few carats worth of diamonds over the last 18 months . Stones as large as 3 or 4 carats have been found by visitors who come to the world’s only ‘pick-your-own’ diamond field. For just a few dollars, visitors enter the park and are allowed to prospect for diamonds, with the ‘finders keepers’ law of ownership. In November, a local convenience store worker recovered 4.3 carater, worth an estimated $20,000 – not bad for a day’s digging.
According to the Associated Press, Eric Blake, 32, of Appleton, Wis., spotted a 3.92-carat white stone, along a trail when he set down a bucket of mud he was carrying to a washbasin. He was visiting the park with his fiancée (and yes, he’d already given her a diamond engagement ring). The stone is big enough to fashion into jewelry, but the surprised diamond miner said that he hadn’t decided whether to have it placed into a setting.
Earlier, a sixth grader found a 1.23-carat diamond during a school trip to the park. Uncut, the gem is worth $800, but it could be worth 10 times that once cut. The diamond’s finder wanted to trade it in for a PlayStation 2, but her mom nixed that idea.
Another visitor discovered a 2.28-carat diamond. Bill Trythall named the diamond for his father: the Trythall Senior Diamond. He says the diamond is shaped “like the head of an eagle.”
The largest diamond ever found in the United States, a 40-carat white stone named Uncle Sam, was unearthed at the Park in 1924.