Park visitor finds 5.47-carat diamond - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/22/06-MURFREESBORO, Arkansas

Park visitor finds 5.47-carat diamond

To get an idea of its size, the canary diamond is shown next to a U.S. quarter. To get an idea of its size, the canary diamond is shown next to a U.S. quarter.
A Wisconsin man visiting a state park took home the ultimate souvenir: a 5.47-carat canary diamond.

Bob Wehle of Ripon, Wisconsin, found the diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro October 14. The park is the world's only publicly operated diamond site where visitors are allowed to search and keep any gems they find.

Wehle's 5.47-carat diamond is bright yellow and has no visible flaws, said Tom Stolarz, park superintendent. It is the second-largest gem unearthed this year at the park.

"At first glance, it makes you think of lemon drop candy," Stolarz said.

The largest diamond this year was found by a Texas couple. Donald and Brenda Roden of Point, Texas, found a 6.35-carat brown diamond in September.

Bill Henderson, assistant park superintendent, said park officials don't estimate values of the stones found by visitors. But he said Wehle's gem was identical in quality to -- but larger than -- a 4.21-carat flawless canary diamond found in the park in March that was valued by a New York diamond expert at $15,000 to $60,000.

The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was unearthed in Arkansas in 1924. Named the Uncle Sam, the white diamond weighed 40.23 carats.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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