12-year-old Boy Scout on vacation discovers huge diamond

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News
August 15, 2013

Sometimes digging for treasure really pays off.

Michael Dettlaff, 12, was visiting Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park with his family last month when he found a 5.16-carat "honey brown diamond" in the park's designated diamond search area.

"What they tell you you're going to find is these little diamonds [that are] so small," Michael told ABC News. "I kind of expected to maybe get a couple of those.

After being cut and polished, appraisers believe Michael's diamond will be worth between $12,000 and $15,000.

"Michael had only been searching for about 10 minutes when he found his diamond," said Park Interpreter Waymon Cox in a press release. "In fact, Michael's dad was renting mining equipment to begin his own diamond search when Michael showed the gem to him at the park's Diamond Discovery Center!"

"It is thrilling any time a child finds a diamond here at Crater of Diamonds State Park. Michael was excited to have found his own diamond, as just about any boy would be, but he was absolutely awestruck when he realized its significance," Cox added.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park is the world's only diamond-producing site that is open to the public. Visitors are invited to dig for diamonds in the park's 37.5-acre plower field, which is a previous mining site.

An average of two diamonds are found every day at the park. And fortunately for Michael, the park has a "finders, keepers" policy. The diamond, which the Boy Scout named "God's Glory Diamond," is his to keep.

"If it can get cut and it's valuable, I think I’d probably want to have it cut and sell it," Michael told ABC News. "If it's not, well, then it’s a souvenir."

Michael's find was the twelfth diamond found this year that weighs more than one carat. The impressive rock is the 27th largest diamond found in the history of the park. The largest? The 40.23-carat "Uncle Sam" diamond, the largest ever found in North America.