Man Mining for Engagement Ring Materials Finds 2.2-Carat Diamond in Ark. Park: 'Dream Come True'
Christian Liden, 26, has already panned enough gold to make the band of the ring
Christian Liden has been dreaming of creating his own engagement ring for his bride-to-be since he was in eighth grade — and thanks to a recent lucky find, he's finally got all the pieces he needs to do it.
Liden, 26, found a 2.20-carat yellow diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas on May 7, bringing to a close a years-long search for raw materials to create the perfect ring, the park said in a news release.
"I saw it shining as soon as I turned the screen over and immediately knew it was a diamond," Liden said in the release. "I was shaking so bad, I asked my buddy to grab it out of the gravel for me!"
Liden, who lives in Poulsbo, Washington, has spent the last five years panning for gold, and in that time, found enough to make the band of the ring.
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With that part covered, he set his sights on finding the perfect way to top it all off, which led him and a friend to take off on a mining excursion earlier this month, armed with equipment they built themselves.
The pair were on their third day hunting at Crater of Diamonds and were about an hour into the search when Liden made his lucky find, the release said.
"Mr. Liden's diamond is light yellow, with a triangular shape and a sparkling, metallic luster. Like most diamonds from the park, it contains a few inclusions, making it one-of-a-kind," assistant superintendent Dru Edmond said in a statement.
Edmonds added that Liden had dreamed of creating a "special ring" for his future wife since he was in eighth grade, and that "now, he can make that dream come true."
Before heading back home to Washington, Liden plans to stop in Nevada to mine for opals, and hopes to one day design the ring with his fiancée using the diamond he found and other, smaller stones he's collected on his journey, according to the release.
Liden's find is the largest diamond found at the park since October, when someone uncovered a 4.49-carat gem, the release said. A total of 121 diamonds have been found at the park this year.