California woman finds 4.38-carat diamond at Arkansas state park

MURFREESBORO, Ark. — A California woman found a 4.38-carat yellow diamond at an Arkansas state park last week, according to park officials.

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Noreen Wredberg, of Granite Bay, found the gem at Crater of Diamonds State Park, according to a release from Arkansas State Parks. Wredberg said she found the gem on top of the ground within an hour of entering the park, and it is the largest found so far this year at the park, KTHV reported.

Wredberg said she and her husband visited Crater of Diamonds on Sept. 23, according to the Arkansas State Parks news release.

She started to search in a shaded area near the mine entrance, but her husband suggested they venture farther out.

“It was cold in the shade that morning,” Michael Wredberg told park officials. “So I told Noreen that we should go to the middle of the field, where it was warmer.”

About 40 minutes later, Noreen Wredberg found the sparkling gem in plain view, KATV reported.

“She said, ‘I didn’t know it was a diamond then, but it was clean and shiny, so I picked it up!’” Michael Wredberg told park officials.

The yellow diamond is about the size of a jellybean, KXTV reported.

The couple brought the stone to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center for identification, park officials said. They confirmed that the Wredbergs had a gem of a stone in their possession.

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“When I first saw this diamond under the microscope, I thought, ‘Wow, what a beautiful shape and color!’” Park Superintendent Caleb Howell said in a statement. “Mrs. Wredberg’s diamond weighs more than four carats and is about the size of a jellybean, with a pear shape and a lemonade yellow color.”

Noreen Wredberg named her gem Lucy’s Diamond for her husband’s kitten.

“The name is sentimental to us,” she said in the news release. ”Lucy is mostly gray but has slight tints of yellow in her fur, similar to the light yellow of my diamond.”

According to the Arkansas State Park website, more than 33,100 diamonds have been found by park visitors since the Crater of Diamonds became an Arkansas state park in 1972. For comparison, the largest diamond found at the park is the 40.23-carat Uncle Sam, the largest diamond ever unearthed in the U.S.

In September 2020, Kevin Kinard, of Maumelle, Arkansas, found a brown gem weighing 9.07 carats, making it the second-largest diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park.