Diamonds: Mighty Minerals

by: 

Mandes Dosdia
Apr 30, 2009

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The diamond is so timeless that it outlasts even the
longest marriages. Diamonds began to be mined in India
around 800 B.C. Before the Middle Ages, diamonds around the
world were seen as protective objects against evil or good
luck charms, and valued for their ability to reflect light.
According to an Australian diamond merchant, legend has it
that some mine owners perpetuated a myth that diamonds were
poisonous to prevent miners from swallowing them and taking
them out of the mine.

When carbon is exposed to great pressure and heat under
the sea level for billions of years, it turns into a
diamond which is a transparent form of pure carbon. In
general, the age of a diamond is around three billion
years. They are created below the earth at about 200
kilometers where they crystallize at high pressures.

While diamonds are formed well within the earth's crust,
they are brought to the surface through volcanic action
and eruption. Diamonds come up along with the hot magma
and are found almost all over the world. In addition to
diamonds, red garnets too were formed under the earth
crust and are generally found on the surface alongside
each other. Therefore, if you find red garnets, chances
are that diamonds too would be some where close by.

Diamonds may surface at other places too. At times the
inner earth crust is brought to the surface due to
collision of Teutonic plates of the continents. The
diamonds may also come up along with the crust. The great
pressure generated due to impact of meteors may also
cause diamonds to form. Diamond has derived its name from
the Greek word for unconquerable, because of its strength
and as it is unbreakable.

A beautiful one-carat diamond comes from 250 tons of are
that has been mined and processed. Today, around 25
countries supply the world with diamonds, with the majority
coming from Africa, Russia, Australia, and Canada. South
Africa is a great source of luxury diamonds.

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Diamond Mining

Diamonds may be found in different places and different
forms. Some of the likely places where diamonds may be
found are:

*~River beds and dried old waterways. This is called
dry digging.

*~Gravel and sand could be a source for diamonds by
carrying out wet digging.

*~Diamonds may also be found in areas near marine
deposits and beaches.

*~When carrying out open pit mining.

Diamonds are extensively used in all walks of life and
industry. While about 20 percent of mined diamonds are
used in jewelry, the rest are used in the industry. Some
industrial uses are as drill bits and cutting tools, in
machinery, mineral services, stone and ceramic products,
abrasives, construction, and transportation equipment.
Diamond truly is a possession that lasts for ever.