A LUCKY tourist found a diamond worth up to $30,000 (£22,000) while visiting a national park in the US – and she’s been allowed to keep it.
Noreen Wredberg, from California, was in the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas last month when she spotted the yellow stone on the ground.
Noreen and her husband had spent 40 minutes trawling the area renowned for its gems and diamonds when she spotted the jellybean sized stone.
She said: “I didn’t know it was a diamond then, but it was clean and shiny, so I picked it up.”
However, she was later told that it was a 4.38 carat diamond – and could be worth up to $30,000 (£22,000).
She added: “We really didn’t think we would find one, let alone something that big.”
David Allen of Purely Diamonds told the Independent: “A rough diamond of this carat weight could get anywhere between 3.00 to 3.50 carat as a polished diamond.
“A diamond of this size would retail at anything from $20k to $30k depending on the intensity of the yellow. The more vivid and intense the colour of yellow the more valuable it becomes.”
More than 75,000 diamonds have been found at the national park since 1906, with an average of one to two diamonds found a day.
Guests can pay $10 to search the 37-acre field, with it being the only diamond mine open to the public.
The largest diamond ever found in the national park was a 16.37 carat sone named the Amarillo Starlight, found in 1975.
Other large finds include a 9.07 carat diamond in September 2020 and last October, another visitor found a 4.49 carat yellow diamond at the park.
The park’s interpreter Waymon Cox said that they often “plow the search area” as it loosens the soil to allow natural erosion.
He continued: “Diamonds are somewhat heavy for their size and lack static electricity, so dirt doesn’t stick to them.
“When rain uncovers a larger diamond and the sun comes out, its reflective surface is often easy to see.”
Noreen isn’t the only lucky tourist – a woman managed to win more than $300,000 (£215,017) on a betting machine while waiting for her flight at Las Vegas airport.