Man Discovers 9-carat Diamond in Arkansas State Park

It is the second-largest ever discovered at the state park since it opened in 1972.

Earlier this month, a 33-year-old visitor to Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park found the second-largest diamond in the park’s history.

Kevin Kinard visited the park on Labor Day with some friends to sift through the diamond search area. For a few hours, he walked up and down the plowed rows and picked up anything that looked like a crystal. When their search was over, Kinard and his friends went to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where park staff identifies visitor finds and registers diamonds.

“I almost didn’t have them check my finds, because I didn’t think I had found anything,” Kinard said in a park blog post. “My friend had hers checked, though, so I went ahead and had them check mine, too.”

An employee went through Kinard’s finds and set aside a marble-sized crystal, one that Kinard didn’t think much of. “It kind of looked interesting and shiny, so I put it in my bag and kept searching,” he said. “I just thought it might’ve been glass.”

A staff member took Kinard aside and explained that he had stumbled across a nine-carat diamond.

“I honestly teared up when they told me,” Kinard said. “I was in complete shock!”

“Conditions in the diamond search area were perfect for Mr. Kinard to find his diamond,” Park Assistant Superintendent Dru Edmonds said in the blog post. “Park staff plowed the search area on August 20, just a few days before Tropical Storm Laura dropped more than two inches of rain in the park. The sun was out when Mr. Kinard visited, and he walked just the right path to notice the sunlight reflecting off his diamond.”

The diamond weighs 9.07 carats and is a brandy brown color, with a metallic shine. It is the second-largest ever discovered at the state park since it opened in 1972. The only larger diamond was a 16.37-carat white Amarillo Starlight, discovered in August 1975.

To honor his friends who accompanied him during the discovery, Kinard chose to name his diamond the Kinard Friendship Diamond.

So far in 2020, 246 diamonds have been discovered and registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park. On average, visitors discover about one or two diamonds in the park each day. But typically, the finds are much, much smaller than Kinard’s. The total weight of all diamonds discovered in 2020 is 59.25 carats.

Last year, a visitor to the park found a 2.12-carat diamond in the fields.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitter, on Instagram or at

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