Last week we took a peek at where diamonds form. This week we range a little farther afield.
When people started using diamonds, they weren't wrested from the earth by huge, mechanized outfits. Ancient peoples lacked the technology to mine kimberlite or laproite pipes. Rather, diamonds were found much farther away transported there by weather and time.
Over time, kimberlite weathers and decomposes releasing the diamonds within. They are then carried way by rain.
At slow points in the river or stream they settle out. This rough and tumble journey destroys inferior crystals leaving only the best and strongest to be recovered from the riverbed.
In some places, like Namibia, the alluvial deposits stretch out into the ocean and special mining boats were invented to recover diamonds from the sea floor.
The diamonds of antiquity come mostly from the river valleys in the Golconda region of India. This region boasts a number of historically significant diamonds: The pink Darya-e Noor which resides with the crown jewels of Iran, the colorless Koh-i Noor that belonged to many men of power until it came finally to Queen Victoria and the British crown jewels, the deep blue Hope diamond which sits behind very thick glass in Washington, D.C., among others.
The Darya-e Noor, or "Sea of Light"
This leaves us with one more source for diamonds: science.