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Woman finds 3.69-carat diamond in Arkansas state park

Posted at 7:37 PM, Apr 27, 2015

MURFREESBORO, Ark. -- Can a prayer for diamonds actually turn up a gem?

When you're exploring the fields at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, the odds are higher than usual.

"Are you going to bless me and let me find a diamond today?" That was Susie Clark's prayer on April 23, according to the state park service.

Soon after, Clark, who is from Evening Shade, Arkansas, saw a 3.69-carat white, teardrop-shaped diamond in the plowed field. Inspired by her prayer, Clark named it the Hallelujah Diamond. She plans to keep it.

The diamond, which is the largest found at the park so far this year, is about the size of a pinto bean, says park interpreter Waymon Cox. "And it's the largest one found since April 16, 2014, when a 6.19-carat white diamond, named the Limitless Diamond, was found at the park," he said, according to a park press release.

It's the 122nd diamond found at Crater of Diamonds this year.

Visitors get to keep what they find at the state park's 37.5-acre search field, which is named for an ancient eruption that scattered the area with gems.

The area, which became a state park in 1972, is the only public site in the world where -- for a small fee -- anyone can dig for diamonds and keep them.

It's not clear how much the diamond is worth, and park officials aren't trained to appraise them, according to the park website. But Oklahoman Tara Clymer sold a 3.85-carat diamond she found at the park last year for $20,000.

Park staff regularly plow the area to bring more diamonds to the surface for visitors to discover.

The 40.23-carat Uncle Sam, the nation's largest diamond, was found in 1924, and the "perfect" 3.03-carat Strawn-Wagner diamond was found in 1990. The Strawn-Wagner Diamond was cut in 1997 by the renowned diamond firm Lazare Kaplan International of New York. The now 1.09-carat diamond is on display at the park visitor center.

The park stretches for more than 900 acres along the Little Missouri River, but the diamond field is the main attraction. More than 75,000 diamonds have been discovered there since farmer John Huddleston discovered gems on what was then his property in 1906.