About Diamonds

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 for them. 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 belt. 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, sawing 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.