Public Invited to Watch Diamond Cutting September 9-12 in North Little Rock

Photo of the Esperanza diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park. Photo care of Arkansas State Parks.

Joan Ellison of Arkansas State Parks has sent word of an interesting opportunity. According to a detailed news release she sent, the public is invited to watch the cutting of a 8.52-carat white diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro this past June by park visitor Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado. Called the “Esperanza”, it has the record of being the fifth largest diamond found by a park visitor since the state park was established in the early 1970s.

The public viewing of the diamond cutting is being made possible via a collaboration between Stanley Jewelers Gemologist of North Little Rock and Embee Diamonds of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada,

According to the release, Oskarson’s gem will be cut by master diamond cutter Mike Botha, president of Embee Diamonds, during an  in-store event at Stanley Jewelers Gemologists, September 9-12. The store is located at 3422 John F. Kennedy Boulevard and hours for viewing the diamond’s cutting will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo of Mike Botha of Embee Diamonds. Photo care of the American Gem Society.

“Embee Diamond’s Mike Botha is a renowned diamond cutter who has worked with many large notable diamonds,” said Laura Stanley, vice president of Stanley Jewelers Gemologist in the news release. “As a member of the American Gem Society (AGS), he is looking forward to the opportunity to cut the “Esperanza,” an American diamond of very high quality. This is a spectacular 8.52-carat rough stone, a colorless crystal of extremely high clarity. Embee Diamonds has announced that Mike will transform what nature formed into a 147-facet triolette shape of his own design. Resembling a teardrop, this custom cut will be a composite of emerald and trapezoid giving the gem much brilliance. We are hoping it will be five carats.”

Once the diamond has been cut and polished, it will go to the AGS Laboratories for a final grading report. Next it will be mounted in a pendant created by U.S. designer Erica Courtney of Los Angeles and the gem will be offered for sale this fall.

Also of note from the release, Crater of Diamonds State Park staff plan to visit Stanley Jewelers Gemologists on Thursday, September 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the cutting of “Esperanza.” They will bring the “Strawn-Wagner Diamond” from the park so that it can also be on view that day.  This diamond was found in 1990 by Shirley Strawn of Murfreesboro and is among the stones that showcase the high quality that stones from the Crater of Diamonds State Park achieve. According to copy from the news release, “Originally weighing 3.03 carats in the rough, the stone was cut to a 1.09-carat gem and graded D Flawless, 0/0/0 (“Triple 0”), the highest grade a diamond can achieve. A diamond this perfect is so rare that many gemologists and jewelers never see one.”

Crater of Diamonds State Park is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. More details can be found at The park is located at 209 State Park Road in Murfreesboro.