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Diamonds have been with us for a long time and still carry the symbol of wealth and glamour today. However, digging for diamonds isn’t a glamorous endeavor, and many people are unsure where to find those shiny “rocks.” So, here are a few things to look for when digging for diamonds.
When digging for diamonds, you should look around inactive craters because hot magma carries tiny diamonds to the surface of the earth’s crust. Diamonds come in many colors. If you want to be sure, try scratching a diamond with metal to test it. You can also look for a small glow in the ground.
In this article, I’ll tell you something about diamonds and their history, and I’ll provide six things you should look for if you decide to dig for diamonds. Digging for diamonds is a laborious task, so you’ll want to prepare yourself by reading this article.
1. Look for Diamonds Around Craters
If you’re not a part of some large mining company digging hundreds of miles into the ground, then you’re limited in your quest for diamonds. Naturally, you’ll need to work smart, meaning diamonds will need to come to you, which is why the first place to look for diamonds is small and inactive craters.
Once the magma’s cooled down, diamonds remain hidden in and around craters. That’s why Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas is a popular destination for tens of thousands of diamond diggers each year.
For more information, check out my article on possible locations where diamonds can be found: Can You Find Diamonds Everywhere?
Note: You should always be extra careful when digging for diamonds around craters. That’s why it’s crucial that such locations are approved by some agency or governmental body, such as the Crater of Diamonds in Arkansas.
2. Some Diamonds May Be Found on the Surface
Other than craters, diamonds can also be found on different kinds of surfaces worldwide. Apart from kimberlite rocks, you could dig for diamonds in alluvial gravels. Alluvial diamond digging is basically extracting diamonds around beaches and rivers, which is similar to how many people find tiny gold nuggets.
It Takes Time, Energy, and Patience To Find Diamonds
However, just because it’s possible to find diamonds “on the surface” doesn’t mean it’s easy. It takes real effort to find a tiny diamond speck, and that’s if you’re lucky. Also, when I say “on the surface,” I don’t mean that literally, as there’s still some digging to do.
Plus, if you’re doing alluvial diamond digging, get ready to be wet, cold, and muddy.
If you’re not patient, digging for diamonds might not be your cup of tea. More often than not, you’ll spend hours, if not days digging aimlessly, trying to find anything shiny, to no avail. Part of the reason diamonds are expensive is that they’re hard to find “in the wild.”
So, be ready to put in a lot of energy and time and possibly go home with an empty bag.
Even when you find a small diamond, you’ll need to do a lot of digging to make a decent amount of money since those tiny diamonds aren’t worth a lot on their own.
3. Many Diamonds Come in Different Colors
When digging for diamonds, you shouldn’t just look for those see-through, whitish diamonds we all know and love, as diamonds come in many colors. So, when you stumble upon a shiny yellow stone, don’t just throw it away, as it might still be a diamond.
Differently colored diamonds are valued differently, so you should also be aware of those values.
The Importance of Diamonds Based on Their Colors
The most common diamond color is white. However, they can come in many different colors, including:
So, how does the color affect the price? Well, the rarer the color, the more valuable a diamond is, which is why there’s a special category called fancy color diamonds that are extremely rare.
Those are diamonds with distinct colors, and the most valued are the fancy red diamonds.
That’s why jewelry gets so expensive when diamonds of different colors are used. Luxury watches are a popular choice for diamond decorations, and the prices are crazy. You should definitely check my article on expensive watches where I also discuss this aspect: Why Are Some Watches More Expensive Than Cars?
4. Look for Small Glow in the Ground
Many people who find even the smallest diamonds can’t forget how brightly they can shine. Luckily, this makes digging for diamonds a bit easier. When diamond digging, you should expect to see small glowing rocks.
I’m saying this because many people think that rough diamonds won’t shine because:
- They’re still not cut and polished
- Rough diamonds are covered in mud.
Diamonds shine even when they’re still rough. Cutting diamonds enhance their brilliance but expect some natural glow even before that.
Don’t worry about the mud, as diamonds don’t stick to mud like ordinary stones. Sure, they can become stuck in the mud, but they don’t get covered because mud falls naturally from these minerals.
5. If You Can’t Scratch It, It’s a Diamond
It’s not completely without reason that the name for diamonds originates from the Greek word “Adamas,” meaning indestructible. Moreover, the Mohs scale of hardness places diamonds at 10, and since the scale only goes to 10, this should tell you something.
Therefore, when digging for diamonds, you should always conduct your own hardness test.
It’s one of the most reliable ways to tell if you’re holding a diamond or some other mineral. Only diamonds can scratch other diamonds, so you should always have a pocket knife to try to scratch a mineral you find.
If it remains unscratched by your pocket knife or some other metal, chances are you’re holding a real diamond.
6. Look for Smooth-Edged Minerals
The term “rough diamonds” might be confusing for some people, as they might expect to find a really rugged piece of mineral and think it’s a diamond. Rough only means it’s not cut and prepared for jewelry yet, and it has nothing to do with its natural appearance.
In fact, rough diamonds are pretty smooth.
They might come in many shapes, from round to square, but natural diamonds are always smooth-edged. Even if you look at macle diamonds, which are triangularly shaped twinned diamonds, the edges are still quite smooth.
So, when you go digging, look for shiny but smooth minerals.
Rough Diamonds: The Essentials
We all know diamonds as those shiny stones that cost a small fortune and decorate several types of jewelry. However, what about rough diamonds found in the ground? Where did that diamond stone on somebody’s ring come from, and what did it look like initially?
Diamonds are carbon minerals found deep in the earth’s surface. So deep, in fact, that modern mines use huge machinery to dig holes a couple of hundreds of miles deep. “Carbon” might be a confusing part since other minerals made of carbon look nothing like diamonds.
Actually, graphite is the best example of this.
Diamonds form inside special rocks, the most common of which is kimberlite. This process occurs under immense pressure and at extremely high temperatures. The size of diamonds also varies based on these factors.
Our planet has been creating diamonds for millions of years.
According to some sources, diamonds were discovered and immediately considered high-value objects in India around the fourth century BC. It took thousands of years for African deposits to be discovered in the 1800s, further developing the diamond market.
Today, though, diamond mines aren’t that rare, as many countries around the globe have a few deposits. According to Statista, Russia’s currently number one in diamond mining, leaving Canada and Botswana behind by quite a margin.
Apart from Europe, the Americas, and Africa, many diamond mines also exist in Asia.
Is Digging for Diamonds Illegal?
Before you grab a shovel and decide to become a diamond digger, there’s something to be said about the legality of this “calling.” Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to go into the diamond-digging business.
Many countries worldwide made it illegal to dig for diamonds if you don’t have a mining permit.
Several diamond mines are closed for whatever reason, so diamond diggers will secretly go there to try and find unearthed diamonds. To avoid illegal diamonds, especially blood diamonds, many companies in the diamond trade business won’t even buy uncertified diamonds.
There’s still some hope. One of the few places you can go to, pay a few dollars, and dig for diamonds is the US. Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is famous for its diamond-digging activities that are entirely legal.
Therefore, you should always check your country’s policy on illegal diamond digging before you go diamond hunting.