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The Uncle Sam Diamond

Updated on April 11, 2012
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Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

The uncut Uncle Sam Diamond
The uncut Uncle Sam Diamond

Few realize how many famous diamonds are out there. Some might not even know how close to their homes these diamonds were found. In fact, few diamonds of world-wide repute have come from the United States. The largest one is called the Uncle Sam Diamond.

Where in America?

The Uncle Sam Diamond was actually found in Murfreesboro, Arkansas in the Crater of Diamonds National Park in 1924. This is the only public diamond mine not just in America but anywhere in the world! The part that makes this even cooler is the fact that you can keep any diamond that you find. Imagine that!

Murfreesboro is located southwest of Little Rock and Arkadelphia. It is the base of an old volcanic crater, the park plowed up a 37 acre field where you can search. But diamonds are not the only thing found there. You can find many other types of rocks such as quartz, garnet, jasper, amethyst, hematite, and peridot.

You can visit the park anytime throughout the year. Check with the park before you make a trip there. There are times when certain features are closed. Many features of the park include a gift shop and a water play area.

Warning: you do have to pay to get into the park. The price can change so call the park and find out what the current schedule is and how much the entrance fee is.

The Legend

The original owner of the property discovered diamonds on his land. You know what that meant! Diamond craze. He opened up a diamond mine which eventually failed. The state took over and turned it into a state park.

In 1924, a man by the name of W.O. Basham found the Uncle Sam Diamond and had it named after him. Then way is it called “Uncle Sam”? That was his nickname. He found this check of rock that turned out to be a 40.23 carat diamond in the rough that weighed around eight grams. Wow!

The Uncle Sam Diamond Today
The Uncle Sam Diamond Today

The Diamond

Today, the diamond is not 40 carats. It’s considerably less. It has gone through two cuttings with the final one leaving the diamond at 12.42 carats and in an emerald cut. It was not a perfect diamond. It was given a color grade of M which means it was not completely clear. It has a tinge of pink in it. The clarity grade was of high quality which means that aside from the pink tint there were very few flaws in to.

The diamond has passed through a few hands since Mr. Basham found it in 1924. The first owner was a jewelry company in New York called Peikin Jewellers. Then it moved to the American Museum of Natural History and then to a dealer, Sidney de Young. Now? It belongs to a private collector who bought it in 1971 for $150,000. Wonder what it’s worth today????

Other Diamonds from Crater Park

The Uncle Sam Diamond is not the only famous diamond that has come out of this Arkansas park. Many others have been found and are worth noting.

The Strawn-Wagner Diamond

This is considered the most perfect diamond examined by the American Gem Society. It got a perfect “Triple Zero” score. It was found in 1990 at 3.03 carats. It is now a 1.09 carat round diamond that is a one in a billion find.

The Kahn Canary Diamond

This diamond was found in 1977 at 4.25 carats and has been worn by Hillary Clinton at a few events. It is called ‘canary’ because of its yellow color. It naturally came in a cushion shape and was left completely uncut. That doesn’t happen often at all.

The Amarillo Starlight Diamond

This diamond was found in 1975 at 16.37 carats. Currently it is a 7.54 carat marquise dazzling diamond.

The Star of Arkansas Diamond

This white diamond was found in 1956 at 15.33 carats. It is now 8.27 carats.

The Star of Shreveport Diamond

This white diamond is another uncut diamond that was found in 1981 and is still its original 8.82 carats.

The Illusion Diamond

This white diamond was found in 2011 and is currently still uncut at 8.66 carats.

The Lamle Diamond

This brown diamond was found in 1978 at 8.61 carrots. Not every diamond is kept track of. This one has disappeared in the hands of various people.

Many other diamonds over 3 carats have been found in Crater Park. Who knows maybe you can find the next one.


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    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Very cool hub. I'm always interested in diamonds! I'll have to visit that place someday. Wish me luck!