French Tourist Finds 7.5-Carat Diamond in Arkansas State Park

Travelers have just been given yet another reason to visit America's state and national parks.

Earlier this month, Parisian tourist Julien Navas discovered a chocolate-colored diamond weighing 7.5 carats in the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, as reported by The Washington Post. It is the eighth-largest diamond found in the park since 1972 and one of the largest ever unearthed in the United States. "It was one of the most incredible surprises, after the birth of my daughter," said Navas.

The Crater of Diamonds has been fertile ground for gemstones: Since becoming a state park in 1972, approximately 35,250 diamonds have been found, totaling just over 7,000 carats. The largest found since then was a 16.4-carat diamond in 1975; prior to that, an impressive 40-carat diamond was found in 1924.

Navas was familiar with the park's reputation and had been searching for gems and gold since he was a child. But his trip to the United States was initially planned as a visit to the Peregrine lunar lander launch at Cape Canaveral.

"There are many articles in France about the Crater of Diamonds," Navas said. "I always had the idea [of visiting] in my mind. I often come to the United States, but this time, since I got engaged, I needed to find an engagement ring with a beautiful diamond for my partner."

Suffice it to say, Navas found quite a spectacular addition for that ring. In fact, he is even considering splitting the diamond, using it both for his partner's engagement ring and for a potential piece of jewelry for his three-year-old daughter. And while his partner is likely thrilled with the stone, she received an additional gift: Since the diamond was so significant, the park asked Navas to give it a name. Drawing inspiration from his future wife, he chose the name "Karina Diamond."

Perhaps it's time to plan a visit to the park.

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