ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — A schoolteacher from Nebraska left with a brandy-colored gem weighing just over two carats at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
According to Josh Lanik, 36, he was searching near the southwest edge of the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area when he picked up the diamond.
“We took the kids to look for amethyst on Canary Hill, and I was walking through an area where it looked like a lot of water had washed when I saw it,” Lanik says.
He found his diamond about 15 feet from the West Drain, a trench that runs along the western border of the park’s diamond search area.
Lanik showed the gem to his wife, who was searching nearby and dropped it into a brown paper sack with several other rocks and minerals.
Before leaving the park, the family stopped by the Diamond Discovery Center to have their finds identified. Lanik said that when he poured the contents of the paper sack onto the counter, a park employee put his brown gem into a pill bottle and took it into the office for a closer look.
After identifying and weighing the gem, park staff brought Lanik into the office and informed him that he had discovered the largest diamond found so far in 2019.
Park Interpreter Waymon Cox noted that recent record-breaking rainfall likely contributed to Lanik’s find.
“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.”
According to Cox, “Mr. Lanik’s gem is about the size of a jellybean and has a dark brown color, similar to brandy. It has a beautiful natural pear shape and smooth, curved facets that give the gem a metallic shine.”
Many visitors choose to name the diamonds they find at Crater of Diamonds State Park. Lanik named his gem the Lanik Family Diamond to remember this special experience with his family.
When asked whether he plans to sell his gem or keep it as a souvenir, Lanik said he plans to keep it, for now.