Diamond found at Arkansas Park expected to fetch $1 million

Diamond found at Arkansas Park expected to fetch $1 million

Bobbie Oskarso named her gem “Esperanza,” which is both her niece’s name and the Spanish word for “hope.” (Image courtesy of the Arkansas State Park)

The Esperanza Diamond, believed to be the most valuable precious rock ever discovered in the U.S., is now set into a custom-designed pendant and it is touring the country in search an owner.

Discovered in July last year at the Arkansas Crater of Diamonds State Park by Bobbie Oskarson of Colorado, the rare icicle-shaped 8.52 carats gem was recently polished and finished by master diamond cutter Mike Botha of Canada’s Embee Diamonds.

“The curves of the Esperanza dictated to a large extent what the final shape would be like,” he said in a statement, adding that following the natural icicle shape of the rough stone, one end of the polished diamond is wider than the other.

“This unique shape proved a challenge, but is celebrated in the pendant design." Botha said.

The diamond features a 147 facet, teardrop cut triolette shape (the first of its kind) and is both internally flawless and a “D” colour.

Diamond found at Arkansas Park expected to fetch $1 million

The sparkly, white diamond about half the size of a quarter is the fifth largest found since the park was established in 1972. (Image courtesy of the Arkansas State Park)

Arkansas Park officials said the gem is the fifth largest diamond found since the park was established in 1972.

The former mine that’s now bills itself as “the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public” has yielded quite a few finds in recent years. But the largest rock ever found at the park was a 16.37 carats gem discovered in 1975.

Black, Starr & Frost will auction the diamond through an open bidding process, which is open until Feb. 15. The diamond is estimated at $1 million.

Watch the transformation of Esperanza diamond in this mini-documentary: