LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (NEXSTAR) — As a bank manager, 33-year-old Kevin Kinard is used to cashing in. But discovering a 9 carat diamond at a state park? That was a find he wasn’t prepared for.
“I honestly teared up when they told me,” he said. “I was in complete shock!”
Kinard made the discovery at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in western Arkansas. Visitors can pay a fee to explore the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area. On Labor Day, Kinard hit it big – almost without knowing.
Despite thinking what he found was glass, Kinard, who lives in Central Arkansas, picked up a marble-sized crystal that had a rounded, dimpled shape.
“It kind of looked interesting and shiny, so I put it in my bag and kept searching,” he said.
At the end of the day, officials confirmed it was indeed a diamond. At 9.07 carats, it was the second-largest diamond discovered at the park.
“Congratulations to Mr. Kinard on finding this impressive diamond – the second largest found at the park since 1972,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism said in a news release. “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.”
The only larger diamond found over the five decades the park has been operating was the 16.37 carat white Amarillo Starlight, discovered in August 1975.
“Mr. Kinard’s diamond is very large, with a brandy brown color. It has a rounded, dewdrop shape and a metallic shine typical of all Crater diamonds,” said Assistant Superintendent Dru Edmonds.
The park reports 246 diamond finds in 2020 weighing a total of 60 carats.