Tourist finds £22k diamond in US national park – and she’s allowed to keep it

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.

A tourist found a diamond worth up to £22k - and gets to keep it


A tourist found a diamond worth up to £22k – and gets to keep itCredit: Arkansas State Parks

Visiting with her husband, they had spent 40 minutes trawling the area known for finding gems and diamonds, only to spot 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 after showing it to the park’s authorities – 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 per 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.

The yellow diamond is jellybean size and bright yellow


The yellow diamond is jellybean size and bright yellowCredit: Arkansas State Parks
Noreen said she din't realise it was a diamond at first


Noreen said she din’t realise it was a diamond at firstCredit: Arkansas State Parks
Experts have said it could sell between $20,000 and $30,000


Experts have said it could sell between $20,000 and $30,000Credit: Arkansas State Parks
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