Man finds 2.38-carat diamond after decade-long search at park

Adam Hardin and his 2.38-carat brown diamond that was found at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park. (Credit: Arkansas State Park)

It took more than a decade for Adam Hardin to find treasure at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park.

When he did, he discovered a 2.38-carat brown diamond on April 10, the largest diamond found at the park this year, according to park officials. 

Hardin, a regular visitor to the park, sifted through wet soil from the East Drain of the park’s 37.5-acre search area when he found the gem.

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"It was right in the middle when I flipped my screen over," Hardin said in a news release. "When I saw it, I said, ‘Wow, that’s a big diamond!’"

"Mr. Hardin’s diamond is about the size of a pinto bean, with a coffee brown color and a rounded shape," Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said. "It has a metallic shine typical of all diamonds found at the park, with a few inclusions and crevices running all along the surface."

Hardin said the competition to find a diamond at the park actually builds camaraderie among other searchers. 

"One of the other guys and I have been going back and forth, seeing who can find the biggest diamond," he continued. "I found a big one, then he got a 1.79-carat, and we were joking about who would find the next big diamond and be ‘king of the mountain.’ As soon as I found this one, I had a feeling I had him beat. Now he's trying to find a bigger one, but I'm planning on staying on top!"

Hardin named his diamond Frankenstone.

"I thought of the name because it has a pretty and kind of not-so-pretty look to it," he explained. "Us diamond miners call that 'character!'"

However, he said he typically sells diamonds locally and plans to sell his latest find. 

His diamond is the largest one found a the park since last September when a visitor found a 4.38-carat yellow gem on the surface of the diamond search area. Hardin's diamond is the largest brown diamond since the 9.07-carat Kinard Friendship Diamond was found on Labor Day 2020.

As of now, park officials said 260 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2022, weighing a total of more than 44 carats. 

An average of one to two diamonds are found by park visitors each day.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.