A woman hiking in Arkansas State Park has pocketed a rare gem worth over $AUD22,000, according to the park service, and it’s hers to keep.
Noreen Wredberg, of California, was exploring the Crater Diamonds State Park on September 23 when something bright and brilliant yellow caught her eye.
“I didn’t know it was a diamond then, but it was clean and shiny, so I picked it up,” she said in a park press release.
The area is a couple of hours’ drive outside – the appropriately named – Little Rock, Arkansas, and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Around 50 diamonds are discovered every year in the park but most of the stones discovered are semiprecious quartz or garnets, which can be easily mistaken.
Ms Wredberg and her husband Michael didn’t believe their luck until the park’s Diamond Discovery Centre confirmed what they had was a flawless, yellow diamond.
“We really didn’t think we would find one, let alone something that big!”
Park Superintendent Caleb Howell recorded the find of a 4.38 carat stone as “about the size of a jelly bean, with a pear shape and a lemonade yellow colour”.
The Wredbergs are thrilled by the discovery but are in no rush to get it valued.
The price of yellow diamond ranges hugely, depending on the quality of the stone, according to USA Today.
Per carat a fine yellow diamond can range from $3600 to $28,700. One of the largest stones found in the past five years, Ms Wredberg’s find could be worth over $22,000 and is hers to keep.