Crater of Diamonds State Park has lived up to its name once again, in a pretty big way. Park officials yesterday announced that the fifth largest diamond ever found by a visitor to the Murfreesboro, Arkansas, park was found on Wednesday. Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, uncovered an 8.52-carat white diamond that a press release describes as "clear white and icicle shaped" and "about three-quarters of an inch long and as big around as a standard No. 2 pencil." It didn't take her long: She reportedly had taken a few scoops of dirt from a small mound in a tree-shaded area of the 37.5-acre park called the Pig Pen, and the diamond surfaced 20 minutes later. The AP notes the park doesn't give an estimate of the diamond's potential value.
That Oskarson was at the park was itself a bit of a chance occurrence, per Park Interpreter Waymon Cox: "Ms. Oskarson and her boyfriend ... saw the Crater of Diamonds State Park on an Arkansas highway map while in the nearby town of Hot Springs and decided to visit." She dubbed the diamond the "Esperanza Diamond"; that's both Spanish for "hope" and her niece's name. The policy at the park is finders-keepers, and Oskarson does indeed plan to keep her find, which is the 227th diamond certified by park staff in 2015. The largest diamond found there was the white 16.37-carat Amarillo Starlight unearthed by a Texan in 1975; the other three diamonds that were larger than the Esperanza were in the 8-carat range. The "Hallelujah" diamond was found there in April. (Read more diamonds stories.)