Most teenagers who go to a state park with their parents for vacation are lucky to come home with a trophy fish. Tana Clymer brought home a 3.85-carat diamond that is likely worth thousands of dollars.
Tana, 14, of Oklahoma City, found the diamond Saturday afternoon at the Crater of Diamonds state park in Murfreesboro, Ark. She named the diamond “God's Jewel.”
The park includes a 37-acre area where visitors can search for diamonds and other precious stones. Finders keepers. There have been nearly 400 diamonds found at the park this year, but few are of the size and quality of the diamond Clymer found, said Joan Ellison, a spokeswoman for Arkansas State Parks.
“At first I thought it was a marble until I laid it in my hand,” Tana said. “Then, I knew it was something.”
Tana's mother, Amanda Giordano, said she had been begging her husband, Brian Giordano, to take the family to the park for years. They settled on a fall break trip to the park after he read about a boy finding a 5.15-carat diamond there in July.
They arrived about noon Saturday and began searching. Tana dug for a while but found nothing. After searching on the surface of the ground for about 10 minutes, she saw what she thought might be a wrapper of some kind.
She poked it with a stick and realized it might be something.
“She screamed at me, ‘Mama, mama I found something.'” Amanda Giordano said.
They still had no idea just how big Tana's find was. They continued their visit to the park, arriving at the center where experts help identify tourists' finds just before it closed.
Workers took the stone back for testing. The family thought something might be going on when more and more workers were called back to look at the stone.
Finally, they got the news. The 3.85-carat canary diamond is gem quality. The park doesn't do appraisals, but a similar diamond found in 2006 went for $30,000.
“I kept asking my dad if I was dreaming,” Tana said. “I cried. I couldn't believe it.”
Tana said she and her parents are going to have the diamond appraised Monday and will put it in a safe-deposit box until they decide what to do with it.
Amanda Giordano said Tana is leaning toward selling the gem and saving the money for college.
“It's up to her what she wants to do with it,” Giordano said. “She was so humbled by all of it. She said a prayer right after she found it.”
Tana said she's only told a handful of friends about her find. She said she feels like she's won the lottery but doesn't know how much her ticket is worth.
“My dad keeps telling me not to get my hopes up, but it's too late for that,” Tana said.