Kevin Kinard visited Crater of Diamonds State Park regularly for more than 25 years, but never found a diamond until Labor Day 2020. Now he has the distinction of discovering the second largest diamond to ever come from the popular Arkansas tourist site, at just over nine carats.
How serendipitous that Kinard’s discovery, weighing 9.07 carats, was discovered on 9/07.
The bank manager from Maumelle, Arkansas, has been going to Crater of Diamonds in Murfreesboro since he was first taken there on a second-grade field trip. On this visit he decided to conduct a surface search, rather than wet sifting. He walked up and down the plowed rows picking up anything he saw that looked like a crystal – including the marble-sized diamond which he initially presumed was a piece of glass.
I almost didn’t have them check my finds, because I didn’t think I had found anything. My friend had hers checked, though, so I went ahead and had them check mine, too.
Park officials stated that conditions in Kinard’s search area were perfect for his chosen method. Groundskeepers plowed that section of the park on August 20. Just a few days later Tropical Storm Laura drenched the region with more than two inches of rain. The bright sunlight present on labor day was reflecting nicely from shiny objects on the surface, helping them stand out against the darker soil.
Thrilling for guests and staff
Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, extended congratulations and noted the positive nature of such discoveries:
Congratulations to Mr. Kinard on finding this impressive diamond, the second largest found at the park since 1972. A find like this is always thrilling for the park guest, as well as the park staff, who get to help identify the gem and share in the excitement.
More than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at Crater of Diamonds State Park since the first ones were discovered there in 1906. At the time of Kinard’s discovery, 246 diamonds had already been registered in 2020, for a total weight of 59.25 carats.
If you’d like to read about another epic Crater of Diamonds discovery, check out our GemBlog post: The Esperanza Diamond is still for sale.