A Wisconsin man panning for gold in wet mud instead found a diamond, Yahoo News reports.
Dan Fagnan was sifting through the wet mud of his friend’s 120-foot well when he found an irregular-shaped transparent rock that he assumed was a piece of glass. He then took it to a jewelry store and learned that he had found a rough 1.22-carat diamond. The shop owner, Karen Greaton, was still skeptical and thought it could be silicon carbide or moissanite. She had the stone checked out by a mineralogist who confirmed that it was in fact a diamond.
Fagnan said his father told him it was unlikely to find a diamond in Wisconsin, “but diamonds can actually be found anywhere in the world.” However, they usually form near volcanoes.
It is possible that the stone was pushed southward from Canadian volcanic activity to Wisconsin and left here after the Ice Age.
Fagnan said he is planning to have the diamond put into a necklace for his soon-to-be-born child. Greaton said the jewelers decided not to cut the diamond because Fagnan would end up losing about 60 percent of it.
“It’s better just to keep it raw,” she said.
Fagnan recently started panning for gold around his home in St. Croix County, even though friends think he is a “fruit loop” because of it. He said “Wisconsin gold” is usually found in tiny flakes and isn’t worth very much, but that doesn’t stop him from looking. So when his friend offered him the chance to sift through the mud of a recently dug well, Fagnan jumped at the chance. This time his hobby finally paid off.