Saturday, June 24, 2006

The History of Diamonds

The Greek word for unconquerable is "adamas" the root word for diamond. First discovered in India in the year 800 B.C., diamonds are found today in many parts of the world. The largest number of gem quality stones are produced in South Africa but diamonds are also found in Russia, Australia, South America and the United States. Much of the mining outside of South Africa produces industrial quality diamonds.

One of the first South African diamonds was discovered in 1866 by a young boy along the banks of the Val River. The diamond - the 21 carat Eureka - later became part of a gavel used by the premier of South Africa.

Soon after this amazing discovery, diamond diggers began finding other diamonds in the yellow earth along the Val and Orange Rivers. Below this yellow earth lay a far greater discovery, diamond-bearing layer of blue-grey rock called "blue ground" or "kimberlite." Kimberlite is located in circular "pipes" which are actually the mouths of extinct volcanoes several hundred feet deep. Variations in the structure and color of kimberlite account for the different grades and colors of diamonds.

This 60 mile coast of the Orange River, which divides South and South West Africa, is owned by Consolidated Mines of South West Africa, Ltd. (a part of DeBeers group). It has produced approximately 1 million carats of diamonds a year since 1956.

The largest diamond-bearing pipe in the United States is located in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. The largest diamond ever discovered in the US, the 40-carat "Uncle Sam" came from this pipe. Now a tourist attraction, the Murfreesboro Mine has yielded over 60,000 diamonds since it's discovery in 1906.

Kimberly Mine, which was closed in 1914, was the producer of 14,500,000 carats in diamonds.


Blogger Sergej said...

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1:42 PM  

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