2:19 PM PDT, October 8, 2021
The ancient adage of “finders keepers” worked out really well for Noreen Wredberg.
“I first saw the park featured on a TV show several years ago,” she told the Arkansas Department of Parks. “When I realized we weren’t too far away, I knew we had to come.”
Noreen and Michael Wredberg, who are retired, were on a road tour of national parks and had just visited Hot Springs when they decided to take a side trip to the crater.
“Arkansas is the only state in the country that has a diamond mine open to the public,” said Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst. “It’s such a unique experience and visitors make lifetime memories, whether or not they find a diamond. Of course, finding a diamond adds to the experience.”
The couple had been looking for gems in a shaded area, but it was a chilly fall morning. “So I told Noreen that we should go to the middle of the field, where it was warmer,” Michael said.
After about 40 minutes, Noreen spied the lemon-colored stone, which is about the size of a jellybean.
“I didn’t know it was a diamond then, but it was clean and shiny, so I picked it up!” she said.
She and her husband took the sparkling gem to park employees.
“When I first saw this diamond under the microscope, I thought, ‘Wow, what a beautiful shape and color!’” said Park Superintendent Caleb Howell.
Noreen isn’t sure what she’ll do with her new diamond.
“I don’t even know what it’s worth yet. It’s all new to me!” she said. Park employees aren’t trained in appraising the stones found there, but they will offer referrals to those who are.
About one to two diamonds are found each week at the site, the park said.