The origin of the name is obscure, some have simply attributed the name as being the nickname of the man who found the diamond, W. O. Bassum, however, his has never been substantiated.
As the diamond was the biggest ever found in the United States it seem only right that it was given a special name. The original Uncle Sam was the cartoon embodiment of the government of the United States of America. The most famous image of Uncle Sam is from a WWI recruiting poster by James Montgomery Flagg. The cartoon character was dressed in the patriotic colors of red, white and blue. 'Uncle Sam' has since become synonymous as a patriotic image of the US - and Uncle Sam shares the same initials as the United States. This would seem to be the most likely origin of the diamond's nickname.
History of the Uncle Sam Diamond
The Uncle Sam was discovered in 1924 on the site of the Crater of Diamonds state park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. The name of the man who found the diamond was W. O. Bassum who was a worker at the Arkansas Diamond Corporation. The stone weighed 40.23 carats as a rough diamond crystal, was colored white and was the biggest diamond ever found in the US. The Uncle Sam diamond has been cut twice and the cuts have resulted in a 12.42-carat emerald-cut diamond. discovered this white diamond.
How the Uncle Sam Diamond was formed
The land in Arkansas, where the Uncle Sam diamond was found, is situated on the eroded surface of an ancient volcanic pipe. Diamonds are formed when extreme heat and extreme pressure cause carbon atoms to crystallize forming diamonds approximately ninety miles under the earth's surface. Diamonds reach the surface of the earth via volcanic pipes, or channels. When a volcano finally erupts, as one did in ancient Arkansas, diamonds are also deposited on the surface.
History of the American Diamond Rush
The History of the Diamond rush started in Pike County, Arkansas during 1906 when a farmer called John Wesley Huddleston found two stones on his land. Huddleston sent the stones to a jeweller in Little Rock called Charles S. Stifft. Charles Stifft confirmed that the stones were genuine diamonds. Further verification was requested and the stones were sent to New York where "…after subjecting them to every test they were pronounced diamonds of fine grade." In an interview with the Arkansas Gazette John Huddleston told his story. Huddleston became famous and the American Diamond Rush began! John Huddleston sold his diamond-bearing land for $36,000 to a group of men who began the Arkansas Diamond Company. Horace Bemis bought the adjacent land and formed the Ozark Diamond Corporation. Despite the Diamond Rush and the yield of diamonds no one was able to make a fortune. The land bought by Bemis was sold to the Millar family but their mine was destroyed by arson in 1919. The adjacent land was bought by Mrs. Ethel Wilkinson. Both plots of land were opened as tourist attractions and eventually purchased in 1969 by General Earth Minerals of Dallas, Texas who continued to run the land as tourist attractions.
The Crater of Diamonds
In 1972 the State Of Arkansas bought the land for a state park for $750,000. It is called the Crater of Diamonds State Park. The Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only publicly owned diamond site in the world where visitors may search for diamonds and keep what they find! The land has yielded over 70,000 diamonds including the Uncle Sam Diamond. The biggest diamonds found are as follows:
- The "Uncle Sam " 40.23 carats found in 1924
- The "Strawn-Wagner " 3.03 carats found in 1990
- The "Kahn Canary" 4.25 carats found in 1977
- The "Amarillo Starlight" 16.37 carats found in 1972
The Uncle Sam Diamond
The above Uncle Sam history details important historical events and dates. Fascinating information about the history of the Uncle Sam stone providing comprehensive facts, information and about the history of the famous diamond.
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