Only 30 minutes into a visit to the famed Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, 14-year-old Kalel Langford came upon something brown and shiny sitting on the ground. "It was just a few inches from a stream of water with a bunch of other rocks that were about the same size," he said.
While the rock's dark color initially made Kalel and his family doubt it was an actual diamond, they decided it was worth investigating. A short time later, park officials at the site's Diamond Discovery Center confirmed that Kalel had discovered a 7.44-carat diamond — the seventh largest since the park's founding in 1972.
"Conditions were ideal for Kalel to find his diamond," Park Interpreter Waymon Cox noted in a press release at the time. "About an inch of rain fell on the plowed search area during the week. A heavy rain can uncover larger diamonds near the surface. Diamonds have a metallic-looking shine and are often easier to spot on top of the ground."
Crater of Diamonds State Park spans 911 acres and includes a 37.5-acre plowed field where visitors can actively search for exposed diamonds. Since the site's discovery in 1906, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed, from a 2.03-carat white diamond found in October 2016 to a record-breaking 40.23 carat pink-tinted gem in 1924.
As for Kalel, he plans to keep the diamond as a souvenir of his visit to the park. In honor of the DC Comics superhero he shares a birth name with (Kal-El), he decided to name the stone "Superman's Diamond."
"This diamond is a truly extraordinary find," Cox added. "It was Kalel's dream to visit the Crater of Diamonds State Park, and now he will always be part of this park's remarkable history. We are all very happy for him."