A growing number of people have taken to panning for gold as a hobby. Popular programs on Discovery Channel and National Geographic have romanticized the notion that gold and riches are only a few shakes away.
For Dan Fagnan of St. Croix County, Wisconsin, his big strike came as he sifted through mud pulled from a new well drilled in a buddy’s backyard. Amongst the mud appeared a rough stone which appeared to be glass. Fagnan nearly discarded the rock to look for more small flecks of gold.
What Fagnan nearly discarded was a 1.22 karat rough diamond. The stone was verified through a jeweler in town. The jeweler had the stone confirmed by a mineralogist.
“Everyone thinks I’m a fruit loop for panning for gold,” he told the New Richmond News of his hobby. The newspaper noted that the local gold Fagnan finds is often small flakes that don’t amount to much.
“My dad told me it’s unlikely to find a diamond here, but diamonds can actually be found anywhere in the world,” Greaton told the newspaper.
While diamonds are rare in Wisconsin, it is possible to find small stones across the globe.
Fagnan plans on using the stone in a necklace. It will be a gift to his unborn daughter.