The Journey of a Uniquely American Gemstone: From Mine to Mounting, an Arkansas Diamond Matures in the USA


Over the summer, a story broke about a unique 8.52 carat diamond, one of the most significant finds ever in the history of the Arkansas Crater of Diamonds State Park. This diamond, which has since been named “Esperanza,” has been appraised, cut, graded—and will soon be designed and made into a piece of fine jewelry—all in North America, all by American Gem Society (AGS) members.

Since its formation in the layers of the earth’s crust, Esperanza has been, and continues to be, native to America.  The Arkansas Crater of Diamonds State Park is one of only four known olivine lamproite diamond mines in the world and the only active diamond mine in the United States.  June 24th proved to be a historically significant day for the state park and a personally lucky day for Colorado native and non-profit office worker, Ms. B. Oskarson, who literally unearthed a brilliant 8.52 carat rough diamond while visiting the park with her boyfriend.  Hers to keep, the stone traveled with Ms. Oskarson home to Colorado where she named this significant find the “Esperanza” diamond (Spanish for ‘Hope’) after her beloved niece.  Unfamiliar with the diamond world, Ms. Oskarson researched acclaimed appraisers and contacted well-known jewelry appraiser Neil Beaty, an Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser (ICGA) and AGS member residing in nearby Denver, seeking his expertise for an appraisal. 

Recently, the Esperanza diamond was cut by Master Diamond Cutter and AGS member, Mike Botha of Embee Diamond Technologies, at a special cutting and unveiling held in-store at AGS member retailer, Stanley Jewelers Gemologist in North Little Rock, Arkansas.  Upon completion of cutting and polishing, the diamond travelled to AGS Laboratories for the final diamond grading report.  The cut (featured on the right) is a one-of-a-kind, custom designed triolette shape.  A 3D digital model of the stone cutting will be forwarded in advance to the award-winning jewelry designer, Erica Courtney, for design inspiration and preparation. 

Ms. Courtney, another prominent AGS member, will design a one-of-a-kind mounting for the stone and craft a unique necklace featuring the large Esperanza diamond which will be sold at auction.

The future owner of the Esperanza necklace will have one of the largest and most significant, uniquely American jewels in history. From appraisal to inspection, from cutting to jewelry crafting, AGS members will be involved at every step in the process to ensure the highest quality product.  

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