updated 9/22/2006 7:26:13 AM ET 2006-09-22T11:26:13

MURFREESBORO, Ark. — A Tennessee woman whose husband predicted she wouldn't have any luck gem hunting at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park made a sparkling discovery: a 1.30-carat diamond.

"I wasn't expecting to find anything and was just picking up pretty rocks," said Melissa Lacey of Knoxville.

At first, she thought the light yellow diamond was "a piece of dirty quartz." After it was identified by park staff, Lacey said she couldn't wait to show it to her husband.

The diamond was the size of a piece of candy corn. The largest diamond ever discovered in the U.S. was unearthed here in 1924. Named the Uncle Sam, the white diamond weighed 40.23 carats.

A freshly dug trench was opened to the public on Saturday. Soil from the trench was spread out over parts of the diamond field. Lacey found her diamond there Thursday.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park is the world's only publicly operated diamond site where the public is allowed to search and keep any gems found, regardless of their value.

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