Yes, it‘s true – 7-year-old Aspen Brown made an incredibly rare, valuable discovery on her recent birthday trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park. She unearthed a 2.95 carat yellow diamond! Park officials confirmed the authenticity of this amazing gem. Let‘s learn more about how this lucky girl struck it rich finding one of nature‘s most dazzling treasures.
All About Aspen Brown‘s Thrilling Diamond Discovery
In every diamond hunter‘s dream come true, young Aspen Brown was enjoying a family outing on September 6th when she stumbled upon the sparkling diamond. Aspen is from Paragould, Arkansas and had visited the park before, but never imagined she‘d walk away with such an outstanding souvenir. According to her parents, she immediately recognized the shine and brilliance of the stone. She excitedly told them, "It‘s a diamond!"
The Brown family say they regularly take Aspen and her siblings on educational day trips. For Aspen‘s 7th birthday, they decided visiting the Crater of Diamonds park would be the perfect fun learning experience. Who knew it would end up being such an unforgettable windfall!
Park staff verified that Aspen‘s gem is a yellow diamond weighing 2.95 carats. That makes it the second largest found in the park so far this year. At Crater of Diamonds State Park, all visitors pay a nominal fee to dig and hunt for real diamonds and can keep whatever they discover. Over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed here since 1906!
Just How Rare is Aspen‘s Find?
- The Crater of Diamonds mine is the only one in the world open to ordinary members of the public. Over 100,000 people visit annually to try their luck.
- However, only around 1 in 3,000 people will find anything at all. Aspen discovered one of the biggest finds in recent years.
- Large diamonds over 1 carat are especially uncommon. Only about 18% of all discoveries are more than a carat.
- The largest ever found at the park was 40.23 carats in 1924. The past decade has seen 40 finds over 1 carat.
- Aspen joins truly elite company as one of the youngest children to ever uncover one of the park‘s largest gems.
Her fortunate find is certainly a testament to beginner‘s luck! Even experienced diamond hunters can dig for years and never find anything near the size and quality of Aspen‘s diamond. This young lady should definitely buy a lottery ticket when she turns 18!
Just Like Something Out of an Adventure Movie
Every parents‘ dream is to see their child‘s eyes light up with joy and wonder. Aspen‘s mom said watching her little girl discover the diamond was "better than a trip to Disney World!" There‘s something universally magical about digging up buried treasure. It‘s a real life adventure that feels like something straight out of an Indiana Jones movie!
While most kids can only dream of unearthing ancient gems and precious jewels, Aspen‘s story reminds us that truth really can be stranger than fiction. Ordinary families can experience their own remarkable discoveries too.
Why Diamonds Captivate Our Imagination
Stories like this reinforce the mystery and allure surrounding diamonds. What is it that makes these gems so intoxicating?
Beauty – Diamonds dazzle our eyes unlike any other substance on Earth. Their exceptional hardness and high refractive index give off unmatched brilliance.
Rarity – Natural diamonds are only found in a few concentrated regions worldwide. Less than 20% of all deposits are suitable for jewelry. Global diamond production is around 4 billion carats annually.
Value – High quality diamonds are some of the most concentrated forms of wealth known. The rarest stones can fetch 8 or 9 figure price tags at auction.
History – Diamonds are entwined with legends of kings and queens throughout history. They have denoted power, prestige, lineage, and longevity for centuries.
Of course, the emotional associations we have with diamonds around love and romance only heighten their prestige and desirability.
5 of the Most Famous Diamonds in the World
Aspen‘s diamond find ranks right up there with some of the most legendary gemstone discoveries in history. Here are a few that have earned a spotlight in the annals of diamonds:
|Diamond||Carat||Year Discovered||Fun Facts|
|Hope Diamond||45.52||1668||Famous for its rare deep blue color. Subject of the "curse of the Hope Diamond" legends.|
|Cullinan Diamond||3,106||1905||Originally weighed over 3,100 carats! Cut into 9 major stones and 96 smaller brilliants. The Cullinan I and II are part of British crown jewels.|
|Koh-i-Noor||186||1300s||Steeped in history, this diamond was acquired for Queen Victoria during British rule of India. Part of the British Crown Jewels.|
|Excelsior||995.2||1893||One of the largest stones ever found, it was cut into 10 pieces. The Excelsior I is a 69.68 carat cushion-shaped gem.|
|Star of Sierra Leone||968.9||1972||This "alluvial" diamond was recovered from river deposits by a farmer. Remains one of the largest all-natural diamonds ever discovered.|
While most people will never uncover a 1000+ carat monster diamond, these legendary gems give us a glimpse of just how extraordinary the Earth‘s largest diamonds truly are.
More Kids Finding Treasure
While Aspen Brown‘s huge birthday diamond find is exceptionally rare, she‘s not the first youth to get incredibly lucky at a public diamond mine.
Just last year, 14-year-old Liam Haggard dug up a 1.87 carat gem at Crater of Diamonds park. An Australian family were thrilled when 7-year-old Chloe Found came across a massive 2.42 carat diamond at Ellendale mine in outback Western Australia.
In total, over 300 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park just since 2020. Here‘s a breakdown of some of the most noteworthy finds by kids:
- 11 diamonds weighing over 1 carat found by children under 15 in the past 5 years
- Over 60 stones weighing between 0.50 – 1 carat registered to kids since 2018
- The average diamond found here weighs less than 1/10th of a carat
So while the odds seem daunting, patience and persistence do pay off for young visitors. Parks like this offer a unique opportunity for families to hunt for real treasures.
By The Numbers: Diamond Discoveries at Crater of Diamonds State Park
Let‘s take a deeper look at the numbers around discoveries at America‘s only public diamond mine:
- 75,000+ diamonds found since the site opened in 1906
- Average of 1,200 diamonds registered every year currently
- Largest ever was the 40.23 carat Uncle Sam found in 1924
- Only around 1 in 37,500 visitors finds a gem over 2 carats
- Over 60% of diamonds found are small under 1/4 carat
- 1 in 10,000 visitors will find a diamond over 1 carat
While Aspen‘s huge find is an outlier, the data shows visitors still have thrilling odds of finding smaller gems to take home. Any diamond found by one‘s own hand is sure to feel priceless!
Expert Insights on Finding Diamonds
According to chief interpreter Waymon Cox, "Diamonds are where you find them." The park contains volcanic rock known as lamproite that brought the diamonds to the surface over 100 million years ago. He explains that rain gradually erodes the diamonds out of the lamproite, scattering them across the search area:
"The diamonds weren’t contained in a vein or ore body like many other gems and precious metals. During volcanic eruptions long ago, hot magma brought them to the surface from over 90 miles below. They crystallized under high temperatures and pressures about 100 miles down before volcanic action carried them upward."
While diamonds themselves are rare worldwide, geologists say this unique confluence of geological conditions is what makes Crater of Diamonds so prolific. Its 37 acre ploughed portion has turned up over 30,000 stones, including Aspen‘s remarkable discovery.
Park interpreters offer tips to visitors on where to search:
- Look for surface areas that are highest or slope down – diamonds erode downhill
- Search plow ridges and visibly dark, fertile soil – this indicates diamond-bearing volcanic rock
- Visit after a rain when more diamonds are churned up closer to the surface
- Bring tools for sifting soil and gravel carefully to spot diamonds mixed in
While finding something as special as Aspen‘s 2.95 carat stunner involves a healthy dose of luck, the right tools, techniques, and know-how can significantly improve your odds of finding a true treasure.
Analyzing The Media Frenzy Over Aspen‘s Story
It‘s no surprise that Aspen Brown‘s heartwarming tale of discovery went viral nationally. Some key reasons it grabbed headlines:
Has a universally captivating narrative – ordinary child has extraordinary luck and makes a fantastical find
Appeals to our sense of wonder – it‘s like a real life fairy tale come to life
Relatable Americana story involving a local Arkansas family
Taps into people‘s buried fantasies of discovering hidden treasure
Reminds people of family trips and adventures with their own kids
Diamonds intrinsically fascinate people due to their beauty, value and allure
She found it at 7 years old, on her 7th birthday – the coincidences grab attention
For a news cycle or two, young Aspen became America‘s diamond darling. Her pictures and story charmed both journalists and audiences alike. While her 15 minutes of fame may have passed, her discovery is now another chapter in Crater of Diamonds lore.
Why We‘re So Enchanted By Diamond Discovery Stories
On a deeper level, why do diamond discoveries like Aspen‘s dazzle our imaginations so much?
They allow us to momentarily access our childhood sense of wonder. The boredoms and disenchantments of adult life evaporate as we experience this little girl‘s euphoria vicariously. Her innocence reminds us of the joys of exploration we‘ve left behind.
They represent hopes of transcending the ordinary. The humdrum feels suspended when we tag along on Aspen‘s fantastical journey. Her story allows us to dream we might also stumble upon some sliver of magic amid the mundane.
They offer a refreshing dose of serendipity. In a world where outcomes often feel predetermined, there‘s something deeply rebellious about Aspen‘s blind luck. Her openness to possibility let the cosmos bestow upon her a perfect birthday surprise.
They remind us of life‘s buried treasures. Aspen‘s gleeful discovery reflects the gems hiding in plain sight all around us. Her story is a call to unveil our world with new eyes.
Facts About Diamonds They Don‘t Teach In School
Since we‘re on the subject, here are some fascinating facts about diamonds most folks don‘t learn in science class:
Diamonds are the hardest substance on Earth – They score a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, making them incredibly resistant to scratching or cutting.
Diamonds can form underground or in space – Meteoric diamonds are theorized to form in supernovas or when asteroids collide with stars.
Diamonds can be dated over 3.5 billion years old – The earliest diamonds formed in underground rock billions of years ago.
Almost all gem diamonds are cut and polished – Mined diamonds are cut to maximize their inner brilliance and fire.
Some famous diamonds have vanished – The Koh-i-Noor, Orlov, and other historic stones disappeared in war and coups.
Black diamonds are becoming increasingly popular – These "carbonado" diamonds are black opaque gems found in South America and Africa.
Synthetic diamonds are now manufactured – Lab-grown diamonds have nearly identical properties to natural ones at lower cost.
Now you can impress even geologists and jewelers with your diamond knowledge!
Planning Your Own Diamond Hunting Adventure
Does Aspen‘s story have you eager to try prospecting for your own diamonds? Visiting Crater of Diamonds State Park can make for an unforgettable family adventure. Here are some tips if you want to try your own luck:
- Daily entry fees are around $10 for adults and $6 for kids
- Consider booking a cabin or campsite to extend your stay
- Spring through fall are the busiest months – winter has fewer crowds
- Weekdays are typically less crowded than weekends
- Bring your own digging tools, bucket, knee pads, gloves, water, snacks
- Wear clothes and shoes you don‘t mind getting messy
- Follow the rules – only dig in designated areas, fill in holes, keep what you find
- Patience is key! Plan to spend hours carefully sorting through dirt
- Stop at the Diamond Discovery Center onsite to learn more about the history and geology
While you aren‘t guaranteed to uncover a gem, the memories made searching side by side will stay with your family forever. Who knows – you may just get incredibly lucky!
As Aspen‘s dad said, her diamond find has everyone in the family more enthusiastic about science and nature. Her story shows how a single moment of wonder can spark a lifelong curiosity.