After more than a decade of planning, a Washington man is 2.2 carats closer to achieving a lofty goal.
Last month, Christian Liden of Poulsbo, Wash., recovered a 2.2-carat yellow diamond from Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park. He and a friend had travelled more than 3200 km (2000 mi) to reach the site and made the find while wet sifting on their third day of hunting.
“I saw it shining as soon as I turned the screen over and immediately knew it was a diamond,” Linden says. “I was shaking so bad; I asked my buddy to grab it out of the gravel for me!”
He secured the gem in a plastic bag and carried it to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where staff confirmed it was a large, yellow diamond.
“Mr. Liden’s diamond is light yellow, with a triangular shape and a sparkling, metallic lustre,” says the site’s assistant superintendent, Dru Edmonds. “Like most diamonds from the park, it contains a few inclusions, making it one-of-a-kind.”
For Liden, the find was a long time coming, the park reports. For many years, he has been collecting the raw materials needed to eventually make his own engagement ring.
He started by panning for gold around his home state and, within five years, had accumulated enough for the ring. Liden recently embarked on a mining excursion, which led him across the country to Crater of Diamonds State Park to collect gemstones for his creation.
“As beautiful as this diamond is, I think the best part is the story behind it,” Edmonds says. “Since the eighth grade, Mr. Liden has dreamed of creating a special ring for his future wife, with stones and gold he mined himself—and now he can make that dream come true!”
“I love hearing each story of how a visitor to Crater of Diamonds State Park finds a significant diamond,” adds Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. “It’s a moment they’ll never forget, and it’s always exciting that our park gets to be a part of that.”
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Dubbed ‘Washington Sunshine,’ Liden’s stone is the largest diamond found at the park since last October, when a visitor from Fayetteville, Ark. discovered a yellow diamond weighing 4.49 carats.
So far this year, 121 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park, weighing more than 20 carats. An average of one to two diamonds are found by park visitors each day.