The Esperanza Diamond
The transformation of the Esperanza diamond
A remarkable story of the Esperanza diamond found in Arkansas from Jewelry News Network
The story begins in June with the Colorado resident heading south to Arkansas with her boyfriend, Travis, at the wheel. They are traveling to see a family friend of his in the Northeast corner of the state. Their vacation budget was limited, and fun was concentrated around inexpensive activities.
Travis is a mining enthusiast. It was his idea to visit the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark. to dig in the dirt.
They paid the state park fee of $8, received the customary introduction to the park and education on diamonds. This is likely the only open-to-the-public diamond mine in the world. It is actually a field, not a dark, cavernous hole in the earth. The bad part about the mine not being a cave is that it is hot in the summer months.
Twenty minutes into their digging, Oskarson is searching for shade. As she makes her way to an area of the park near a tree, she noticed a clear stone. Oskarson had never seen a rough diamond before, so she stuck it in her pocket thinking it was quartz—another mineral abundant at the site, along with calcite, garnet, and a plethora of other semi-precious stones.
She hands the stone to Travis, regroups after her break in the shade and keeps digging. Hours later they take their findings to the state park rangers for inspection. The ranger on duty takes the stone and excuses herself. She comes back several times telling the couple to please wait. Needless to say, their patience paid off.
The ranger finally returns to congratulate Oskarson on her find. It was indeed a diamond. A large diamond weighing 8.52 carats. Oskarson’s initial reaction was a combination of colorful phrases not suitable for work. She promptly apologized to the people gathered around her and immediately went into shock.
Fast forward to September 2015. Oskarson has assembled a crew of professionals to help auction the Esperanza diamond (Spanish for Hope), named for Oskarson’s niece.
Oskarson is auctioning the diamond (which will be turned into a jewel) in December to fund her dream of becoming a homeowner. She works as an administrative professional for a non-profit in Denver. They help mentally disadvantaged adults find caring homes. Her pay is small compared to the stacks of good deeds she does on a daily basis.
Oskarson’s new diamond family consists of Neil Beaty, independent certified gemologist appraiser in Denver, his wife Sheri Allen, Mike and Evert Botha, a father and son team (respectively) who own Embee Diamonds, Prince Albert, Canada, and the Stanley family, owners of Stanley Jewelers, North Little Rock, Ark. The one thing they have in common beyond the Esperanza Diamond is they are members of the American Gem Society, a jewelry trade association.
This is where the fun begins. Neil and Sheri Beaty have taken Oskarson’s dream to heart and are helping to maximize her “big bag of money” as Neil states, at the end of this process. Neil taps into his AGS connections to continue this American story.