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Vacationing teacher finds 2.12-carat diamond at Arkansas state park

MURFREESBORO, Ark. — This Nebraska teacher will surely win show-and-tell once the school year begins.

Josh Lanik, 36, was vacationing with his family when he discovered a brandy-colored gem at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas.

(Source: Arkansas State Parks)

(Source: Arkansas State Parks)

“It was blatantly obvious there was something different about it,” Lanik said, according to a press release from the park issued Monday. “I saw the shine, and when I picked it up and rolled it in my hand, I noticed there weren’t any sharp edges.”

The teacher from Hebron, Nebraska, showed the stone to his wife and then put the treasure in a bag where he collected other finds. The family spent two hours looking through the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area on July 24. Before leaving, they stopped by the Diamond Discovery Center in the park to see what kind of treasure they’d unearthed.

Unbeknownst to Lanik, he was carrying around the largest diamond found in the park so far this year. It weighed in at 2.12-carat.

More than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the park since the first ones were discovered in 1906. So far this year, 296 diamonds have been registered at the park, weighing a total of 53.94 carats.

“Mr. Lanik’s gem is about the size of a jellybean and has a dark brown color, similar to brandy,” park interpreter Waymon Cox said in the news release. “It has a beautiful natural pear shape and smooth, curved facets that give the gem a metallic shine.”

Cox noted that the recent rainfall likely contributed to Lanik’s discovery.

“About 14 inches of rain fell at the park on July 16. In the days after the rainfall, park staff registered numerous diamonds found right on the surface of the search area, including two weighing over one carat,” he said.

The park has a “finders keepers” policy. When asked if he would sell his gem, which he dubbed the Lanik Family Diamond, he told the park he plans on keeping it for now.

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