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‘Good rain’ leads to remarkable diamond find

“As my eyes were panning to it, I was thinking it could be an amber piece of glass like an old...
“As my eyes were panning to it, I was thinking it could be an amber piece of glass like an old Coke bottle.”(Arkansas Dept. of Parks, Heritage and Tourism)
Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 12:42 PM CST
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MURFREESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - What at first looked like an old Coca-Cola bottle turned out to be the third-largest diamond discovered this year in Arkansas.

When Steven McCool of Fayetteville traveled to the Crater of Diamonds State Park he had only planned to stay one day.

Steven McCool used his 7-year-old son's and 5-year-old daughter’s initials to name the gem the...
Steven McCool used his 7-year-old son's and 5-year-old daughter’s initials to name the gem the BamMam Diamond.(Arkansas Dept. of Parks, Heritage and Tourism)

But, according to a news release from the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst, he extended his visit following a “good rain.”

That was a “good decision.”

McCool spent the day sifting dirt using screens and water. He was on his 11th bucket of the day with 30 minutes left before the park closed when he made his discovery.

“As my eyes were panning to it, I was thinking it could be an amber piece of glass like an old Coke bottle,” McCool said. “Once I focused on it though, I knew it was a diamond. And I was like, ‘No way! No way!’”

He put the diamond in a safe spot then finished wet sifting the dirt he had collected to take home. According to the release, visitors can take home up to 5 gallons per person/per day of sifted gravel to look through at their leisure.

He then took his find to the identification table and asked, “Where do I register my diamond.”

“Mr. McCool’s find is a 4.49-carat sparkling, canary yellow diamond that is about the size of a jellybean and seems to have great clarity. It is a stunning diamond,” Crater of Diamonds State Park Assistant Superintendent Meghan Moore said.

The 4.49-carat sparkling, canary yellow diamond is about the size of a jellybean.
The 4.49-carat sparkling, canary yellow diamond is about the size of a jellybean.(Arkansas Dept. of Parks, Heritage and Tourism)

McCool used his 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter’s initials to name the gem the BamMam Diamond.

“What’s more precious than a precious gem? My children,” he said. “So, I named it after my children and the name will stay with the diamond forever.”

McCool is not sure yet if he will sell or keep the diamond.

One thing he does know for sure: he cannot wait to go back to the park to hunt for more diamonds.

“I’ve set the bar really high and it will be really difficult to top this one. The hunt and the excitement that comes with this is it for me. You never know what you’re going to get,” he said. “It’s a lot of work but if you work hard and persevere, the reward is even greater if you find something. You’re just blown away.”

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