SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - In his first trip to the state of Arkansas, while visiting Crater of Diamonds State Park, Dean Filppula of Shreveport found a 2-carat diamond.
"I saw it and from what I know about diamonds, I knew immediately it was a diamond," said Filppula.
Filppula, an offshore Steward, was on vacation when he decided to visit the Arkansas State Park.
"I had never been to the state before and thought it'd be cool to go," he said.
His experience turned out better than expected. After roughly three and a half hours looking through dirt in the State Park's 37 and a half acre field, Filppula spotted a sparkling yellow diamond.
According to Crater of Diamonds State Park statistics, since 1972, 31,476 diamonds have been unearthed. Filppula says his excitement grew when he saw the reactions of people working at the park.
"They got excited. They got more excited than I did I think and that was pretty cool seeing their reaction," Filpulla said.
Filppula knew he wanted to sell the diamond. He took it to Lee Michaels in Shreveport where he met Greg Johnson. Johnson is the Senior Vice President and has been working with fine jewelry for 35 years.
"It's not too often we get a situation like this," said Johnson.
Johnson says it's rare for someone to come to them about cutting a diamond, let alone a diamond they unearthed themselves.
In order to properly appraise the diamond's worth, it needs to be sent off to a diamond cutter. Johnson agreed to pay the diamond cutting expenses since Filppula brought his rare find to them.
"To own your own diamond, that you found personally, not too many people can say that," said Johnson.
Filppula has named the diamond "MERF" in honor of his mother's initials.
Johnson says once they send the diamond to the diamond cutter, it usually takes about two weeks to be appraised and returned.
Once Filppula finds out how much his 2-carat find is worth, he's going to decide what to do with it.