Arkansas man finds 9-carat diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Kevin Kinard was visiting Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park when he discovered a 9.07 carat diamond. By Resell Larthridge, CNN

(CNN) -- Persistence pays.

Kevin Kinard was visiting Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park when he discovered a 9.07 carat diamond.

Kinard, from Maumelle, Arkansas, has been going to park since a second-grade field trip -- even though he had always come back empty handed.

He's 33 now. And he's got the second-largest diamond found in the park's history.

Kinard was at the park with friends on Labor Day.

"Anything that looked like a crystal, I picked it up and put it in my bag," he said in a news release from the park.

The bank branch manager then came across a marble-sized crystal.

"It kind of looked interesting and shiny, " Kinard said. "I just thought it might've been glass."

After hours of searching, the friends stopped by the park's Diamond Discovery Center to have their stones examined.

Moments later, Kinard was called into an office and given the good news.

"I honestly teared up when they told me. I was in complete shock," he said.
He decided to call his find the Kinard Friendship Diamond.

"It weighs 9.07, and I found it on 9/7. I thought that was so unique."

More than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the park since the first ones were discovered in 1906.

The park has a "finders keepers" policy, which is pretty generous considering the many large diamonds that have been found there, as regular CNN readers may recall.

Among the finds:
-- Teacher Josh Lanik who found a 2.12-carat diamond while on vacation last year -- surely a great show-and-tell once the school year began.

Josh Lanik, 36, was vacationing with his family when he discovered a brandy-colored gem at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas.
-- Fourteen-year-old Kalel Langford whose dream of finding a diamond came true after just 30 minutes in 2017.

-- Dan Frederick and his daughter Lauren, after less than an hour in the park on their first visit, found a 2.03 carat diamond in October 2016.

-- In June 2015, park visitor Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, discovered an icicle-shaped 8.52 carat diamond while digging around the Pig Pen, a 37-acre search field.

-- Susie Clark, who is from Evening Shade, Arkansas, in April 2015 found a 3.69-carat white, teardrop-shaped diamond in a plowed field in the park. Clark named it the Hallelujah Diamond.

-- Dean Filppula, an offshore steward from Shreveport, Louisiana, found a yellow 2.01-carat diamond in February 2015.

-- We even went hunting for one in 2015.

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