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Tourist on vacation finds huge diamond

By Frances Cha, CNN
updated 4:19 AM EDT, Thu August 15, 2013
Boy Scout Michael Dettlaff, 12, found this 5.16-carat honey-brown diamond just 10 minutes into his search at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park. Boy Scout Michael Dettlaff, 12, found this 5.16-carat honey-brown diamond just 10 minutes into his search at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Boy Scout, 12, finds 5.16 carat at Arkansas state park
  • Arkansas's Crater of Diamond State Park is only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public
  • New gem is the 328th diamond found by a park visitor this year

(CNN) -- "Remember the time Mikey found that massive diamond at that park?"

That's how one North Carolina family is going to remember this summer.

Boy Scout Michael Detlaff, 12, was visiting an Arkansas park with his family on July 31 when he found a 5.16-carat "honey brown diamond" in the park's "diamond search area."

The park's response?

"It is thrilling any time a child finds a diamond here."

The Arkansas' Crater of Diamond State Park is the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public and this isn't the first time a diamond has been found, nor is it even close to the biggest diamond discovered at this amazing park.

Visitors can dig for diamonds in the park's 37.5-acre plowed field, which was a diamond mining site before it became a state park in 1972.

John Huddleston, the farmer who originally owned the property, is credited with starting a diamond mining rush when he first found diamonds in Murfreesboro in 1906.

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Free diamonds

White, brown and yellow diamonds are found at the park.
White, brown and yellow diamonds are found at the park.

The park's policy is finders keepers, which means Michael Detlaff went home with his diamond, which he named "God's Glory Diamond."

Mining.com estimated his find to be worth between $12,000 and $15,000 after being cut and polished.

"Michael had only been searching for about 10 minutes when he found his diamond," said Park Interpreter Waymon Cox in a press release. "In fact, Michael's dad was renting mining equipment to begin his own diamond search when Michael showed the gem to him at the park's Diamond Discovery Center!"

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Michael's find was the twelfth diamond weighing more than one carat found at the park this year, and the 27th largest diamond found since the opening of the park.

One thing we don't get -- how are there any diamonds left? Why hasn't this place been mobbed tourists on a daily basis going over every grain of sand with a magnifying glass and blunt instruments to ward off greedy fingers poaching their immediate territory?

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Fun facts about the Crater of Diamonds

• The three colors of diamonds found at the park are white, brown and yellow.

• 40 different types of rocks and minerals other than diamonds can also be found at the park. Other gems include amethyst, peridot and garnet.

• Buildings dating to the park's mining days remain on the premises, such as the Mine Shaft Building and the Guard House.

• Due to recent heavy rains, many of the recent finds were right on the surface of the field.

• The park says two diamonds a day are found on average.

• The largest diamond ever found on site was a white diamond weighing 40.23 carats unearthed in 1984 during the park's mining days. It's the largest diamond found in North America to date.

• The largest diamond ever found by a park visitor was a 16.37-carat diamond.

• Hilary Clinton borrowed the 4.25-carat Kahn Canary diamond, also a park find, to represent Arkansas's diamond site at a gala celebrating her husband's inauguration.

• Michael Detlaff's find is the 328th diamond found by a park visitor so far this year.

• Most diamonds found in the park are too small to be cut and are kept simply as souvenirs.

Crater of Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, Arkansas; +1 870 285 3113; 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; admission $7 for adults, $4 for children, campsites cost approximately $17-21 per night; rental equipment starts at $2.50 per bucket/shovel/knee pads

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