Kalel Langford was in southern Arkansas for a baseball tournament last weekend, but it was a different kind of diamond that brought the teenager national attention.
The 14-year-old had always wanted to visit Crater of Diamonds State Park, where visitors can keep the diamonds they find, and when he finally got the chance Saturday he wasted little time in discovering a diamond.
“We had only been at the park for about 30 minutes when he found it,” Craig Langford, the teen’s father, said, according to a park news release Thursday. “Its color was so dark that we weren’t sure if it was a diamond, but we knew we needed to have it looked at.”
They took it to the Diamond Discovery Center and discovered that not only was it a diamond, it was the seventh-largest diamond found at the park since 1972 when the unique park was established.
The diamond was 7.44 carats. The largest diamond found by a visitor was a 16.37-carat white diamond in 1975. The second largest was an 8.82-carat white gem in 1981. Kalel’s diamond is the largest brown diamond in nearly 40 years, topped only by an 8.61-carat gem found in 1978.
“Kalel’s diamond is about the size of a pinto bean, and it’s very dark brown, similar to coffee,” park interpreter Waymon Cox said. “Overall, the gem has a frosted appearance and is shaped somewhat like a pillow or a kite.
“This diamond is a truly extraordinary find.”
About an inch of rain had fallen on the plowed search area during the prior week, making conditions ideal since heavy rain can uncover larger diamonds near the surface, Cox explained.
“It was just a few inches from a stream of water with a bunch of other rocks that were about the same size,” Kalel said.
When it came to naming the diamond, that was easy since Kalel has what is an unintended connection to the DC Comics superhero Superman, whose birth name was Kal-El.
So Kalel named his gem Superman’s Diamond, and he plans on keeping it as a souvenir, though that could change in time considering its undetermined worth.
An 8.52-carat white diamond found at the park in 2015 was cut into a 4.6-carat triolette shape that was later valued at $500,000 by the American Gem Society.