Talk about a rock-solid birthday. A girl celebrating her 7th birthday this month found a rare 2.95-carat golden brown diamond at an Arkansas state park.
Aspen Brown, of Paragould, found the valuable, pea-sized jewel during a trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park with her father
and grandmother to celebrate her birthday on Sept. 1, according to Arkansas State Parks.
She was resting near a pile of large rocks atop the eroded surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcano when something shiny caught her eye.
“Next thing I know, she was running to me, saying ‘Dad! Dad! I found one!’” her father, Luther Brown, recalled.
Aspen hauled her loot to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where they confirmed that the birthday girl had indeed found a massive diamond.
To come across a gem of that size at the 37.5-acre diamond search area is an “exceptionally rare” find, Aaron Palke, a research scientist for the Gemological Institute of America, told Insider.
Most diggers — including professionals — only find diamonds throughout the park between .05 and .20 carats, roughly the size of a grain of rice.
“It’s very unusual to find a diamond like that in Arkansas,” Palke told the outlet. Not only was it a big rock, but professionals said it was in near-perfect condition.
“Aspen’s diamond has a golden-brown color and a sparkling luster. It is a complete crystal, with no broken facets
and a small crevice on one side, created when the diamond was formed,” said Waymon Cox, assistant park superintendent.
“It’s certainly one of the most beautiful diamonds I’ve seen in recent years.” But how much the rare stone is worth remains a secret.
In honor of her birthday and her incredible eye, Aspen decided to name the gem after herself.
The Aspen Diamond is the second largest found this year at the diamond-rich state park, topped only by a 3.29-carat brown stone discovered in March.
It is, however, the first large diamond registered since the the park completed an excavation project last month.