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3 posts from November 2009

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas continues to be the source of diamonds for the public who have a keen eye and are willing to do a little digging.  Every year, heavy machinery is used to uncover new material in the park’s 37 1/2 –acre diamond search area where park visitors can keep the diamonds they discover.  On average, over two diamonds a day are found by visitors to the park.

The last 12 months have been productive for diamond seekers and the following stories highlight some of those “shiny” discoveries.

Crater of Diamonds 4.68 Richard Burke Richard Burke and his wife, Carol, of Flint, Michigan had read about Crater of Diamonds State Park in a geology book and seen a feature about the park on The Travel Channel.  Crater of Diamonds 4.68 white The couple had been visiting Colorado panning for gold and fossil hunting when they decided to make the two day drive to Arkansas to try their searching skills on diamonds.  On September 30, 2008, Richard was searching a shallow ravine when he discovered a 4.68-carat white diamond that looks like a frosted ice cube.  He named the diamond the “Sweet Caroline” after his wife Carol and their favorite song, Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”

Crater of Diamonds 2.09 Rhonda Bankston On November 16, 2008, Rhonda Bankston of Baton Rouge, Louisiana was camping at the park and had decided to try her hand at diamond searching.  She had seen a segment about Crater of Diamonds State Park on the Travel Channel’s “The Best Places to Find Cash and Treasures” and was intrigued enough to try it.  On her second day of searching, she found a 2.09-carat white diamond that she later had faceted to a 1.04-carat cushion cut shape.  Crater of Diamonds 2.09 white Rhonda named her diamond “Dream Angel,” which is appropriate for a gem with exceptional white color and high clarity.  Crater of Diamonds had yielded many high quality diamonds and the most famous was the 3.03-carat Strawn-Wagner Diamond found in 1990 that was ultimately cut to a 1.09-carat D color, Flawless clarity, and Ideal cut diamond, which is the highest quality possible when it was graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory.

Crater of Diamonds 2.04 Glenn Glenn Worthington has visited Crater of Diamonds State Park for 30 years and has found many diamonds, written a book about the park, and produced a DVD demonstrating how to find diamonds at the park.  Crater of Diamonds 2.04 canary On April 9, 2009, Glenn was searching for diamonds by dumping buckets of mud over a screen.  He had decided to process one last bucket before the Easter weekend when he discovered his largest diamond.  The 2.04-carat diamond has a bright yellow color and has a smooth, lustrous surface and an elongated shape.  Glenn named his special find “Easter Sunrise” because of its appearance and the timing of his find.

Crater of Diamonds 5.75 brown On April 28, 2009, Mike Burns of Arab, Alabama, discovered a 5.75-carat white diamond.  Mike had traveled to Colorado with a good friend to look for gold but the property owner was not available where they wanted to search.  Prior to the trip, Mike’s wife, Linda, had mentioned she would like a diamond for their 20th anniversary and she repeated that comment on the phone when he called from Colorado.  She suggested he should get to Crater of Diamonds State Park so he could find a diamond for her.  Mike did go to the park and while walking along a wet creek bank spotted a shiny object.  After confirming his find was a white diamond, he named his gem “Arabian Knight” in recognition of his hometown high school football team.  Time will only tell if Linda gets her anniversary diamond.

Crater of Diamonds 2.35 Stephen Carter On May 13, 2009, Stephen Carter of Hot Springs, Arkansas discovered a 2.35-carat white diamond.  As Stephen was leaving the search area at about 6:00 pm, he noticed the sparkling white stone sitting on top of a mound of dirt alongside the furrows in the field.  Crater of Diamonds 2.35 The angle of the sun and his Billy’s vigilant eyes resulted in the special find.  Stephen and his wife had been experiencing tough financial times.  They had watched TV news coverage of a woman who found a diamond at the Crater of Diamonds.  The Carters thought that finding a diamond might be the answer to their financial troubles so they prayed for several weeks and made the trip to Crater of Diamonds.  On their fifth trip to the park, Carters said “Our prayers were answered” and they appropriately named the diamond “Faith.”

Crater of Diamonds 2.93 brown On October 20, 2009, Royce Walker of Lockesburg, Arkansas was operating a bulldozer for a contractor trenching the Crater of Diamonds State Park search area.  As he walked across the search area to give his son, Bobby, a lunch break he spotted something shiny in the dirt.  He picked up what turned out to be a 2.93-carat, dark honey brown colored diamond about the size of a pinto bean.  The diamond is shiny on one side and metallic looking on the other side with a broken edge indicating it was probably part of a larger diamond crystal at one time.

Crater of Diamonds 3.20 Billy Moore On October 30, 2009, Billy Moore of Murfreesboro, Arkansas found a 3.20-carat white color diamond with a rounded shape.  Billy named the gem “The Frosty” because of its rounded, white appearance.  Billy is a frequent visitor at Crater of Diamonds State Park.  While he has found approximately 400 diamonds in the park during his years of searching but the 3.20-carat is by far his largest find.


Magnificent Colored Diamond Sale

2.52 carat green diamond Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels” sale in Geneva November 17 was a high dollar success for colored diamonds and other colored gemstones but the highlight of the show was a green diamond ring.
Only a few natural green diamonds have been auctioned in recent decades and most of those had bluish or yellowish secondary color, which pointed to the importance of the sale of a 2.52-carat Fancy Vivid green color Cushion Modified Brilliant Cut diamond.  The rare diamond was claw-set in a platinum mounting with yellow gold head.

The cushion modified brilliant cut diamond was graded Fancy Vivid Green color, VS1 clarity, depth 63.9%, table 58%, measurements 8.80 x 7.35 x 4.70 mm, ratio 1.20, Excellent polish, Very Good symmetry, Faint fluorescence, and was laser inscribed “GIA 2106213537.”  While not the highest priced item at the auction, the $3.08 million sale set a world-record for price per carat for a green diamond at auction.

3.17 intense blue diamond Other colored diamonds sales made history too.  A 3.17-carat Fancy Intense blue diamond sold for $2.52 million and set a new world-record for price per carat for an Intense Blue diamond at auction.  The round brilliant cut diamond was set in a simple four-prong platinum mounting.  The natural Fancy Intense blue colored diamond has VVS2 clarity.

Roxburghe Rubies Set The Roxburghe Rubies, a necklace and earring set, sold for $5.77 million, five times the estimated price before the auction.  The necklace contains 24 cushion shaped rubies and 24 cushion-cut diamonds and the set dates back to the late 19th century.  The necklace was the property of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe and is thought to have been purchased from Garrards by the 5th Earl of Rosebery, as recorded in one of his diary entries.  The necklace is accompanied by its original turquoise velvet fitted case, embellished with the monogram R under a coronet, by R&S Garrard & Co, Goldsmith and Jewellers to The Crown, as well as by the original hand-written documentation detailing the weights of the stones.


Jewelers Mutual Personal Jewelry Insurance

It happened again today.  A client called us asking for a replacement ring for the lost engagement diamond ring we had sold them.  Unfortunately, they had not protected themselves by getting insurance for their diamond ring.

Jmiclogo Diamond Source of Virginia provides clients a free insurance appraisal with their diamond ring but it is the client’s responsibility to get the ring insured.  Many choose to get a scheduled property rider with their homeowners or renters insurance.  Another great option for jewelry insurance is through Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.

Jewelers Mutual is the leading insurer to specialize in jewelry and jewelry business insurance and has a Personal Jewelry Insurance Program that provides comprehensive coverage for personal jewelry.  The personal jewelry insurance policy provides coverage against the following:

  • Mysterious disappearance
  • Loss
  • Damage
  • Theft
The annual policy premium is based on:
  1. The retail replacement value of each jewelry item you insure
  2. The state/county where the person who possesses the jewelry lives
  3. The optional deductible you choose

If you need to insure your jewelry or just want to compare you current coverage and rates, get your free, no obligation quote and learn about coverage details, visit www.JewelersMutualinfo.com where you can enter A00108 as the unique Jeweler Code.