Diamonds have been around for millions of years, and Indians
have been picking them up since pre-historic times.
It did, however, take until about a thousand years ago for people to start mining
Since then, new deposits
have been sporadically found.
Many of these deposits are almost circular areas, which were once the plugs to ancient volcanoes
There have, however, been theories that many diamonds came from meteorites
striking the earth.
In both volcano plugs, and meteorites, there would have been sufficient conditions to produce diamonds, and there is little evidence against either source.
Many diamonds can be found in streams near their alluvial deposits
These can be obtained by a process very similar to gold panning
This works because diamonds have a density
greater than most other minerals.
More usually, rock containing diamonds is mined, either by hand, or using machinery
(Many of the drill bits are themselves made of diamond.)
This rock is then crushed
, and diamonds extracted by a variety of methods.
Techniques relying on the luminescence
of diamonds are common, but many diamonds do not fluoresce
Often, then, the bits are put on a greased conveyor
When this is turned upside-down and washed, most of the sample falls off, but the hydrophobic
diamonds remain, and can be extracted from there easily.
When cutting diamonds it is important to remember that they are most easily cut along the four planes
of the octahedron.
A series of cracking
with diamond coated blades, and bruting
is required to create the desired shape.
(Bruting involves using one diamond to lathe another.)
The diamond is then polished using diamond powder (made from scrap and cheap diamond) and oil.