How a diamond is creating?
We decided to split this article into two parts, because the material is rather voluminous and it will be difficult to fit everything into one. Within the framework of this publication, we will consider the process of obtaining diamond from diamond ore, and in the next one we will consider the cutting and getting a diamond.
Diamond Ore Mining
In the picture above you can see the mining and processing plant. It is here that a diamond begins its journey, which will subsequently become a diamond. It was here that it first met man. However, before that, nature has worked for billions of years on the appearance of a precious mineral.
Diamonds are formed in geologically stable regions of the continents at a depth of 100-200 kilometers, where temperatures can reach 1100-1300 degrees Celsius and a pressure of 35-50 kilobars. Due to these conditions, carbon from graphite is transformed into another modification – diamond, which is densely packed with atoms. After that, diamonds are brought to the surface by kimberlite magma during volcanic explosions, thus forming kimberlite pipes. They are considered to be the place of origin of diamonds.
It is quite difficult to find kimberlite pipes. Specialists have long studied the geological history of ancient platforms. They need to find out at least its approximate location. However, this doesn`t mean that there will certainly be diamonds. After research, reconnaissance from the air is carried out. Above the surface of the earth, electromagnetic anomalies are analyzed, which cause elements that signal the presence of diamond ore.
Then they begin to dig a quarry. This also creates certain problems, since the kimberlite pipe may be located in wetlands. Often, workers have to not only dry the terrain, but also change the riverbed, as well as carry out an artificial hydraulic system.
But there is more. Among other things, it is necessary to create a complex drainage system, because due to the constant flow of water into the quarry, the soil becomes wet, which causes problems for diamond miners. A separate drainage system is created in some quarries. To do this, 75 wells are installed around it, and a powerful pump is located below, so that each well pumps out up to 100 cubic meters of water per hour.
Why did we talk about this procedure? In order for a philistine can understand where the price of diamonds comes from. Diamonds themselves are quite expensive, because they require the involvement of a huge group of people and equipment for mining, as well as spending enormous resources. But mined mineral are only raw materials for diamonds. 0.4 carats per ton of ore dug, and 0.2 grams per carat.
But this is only the beginning. The ore itself is worthless and it is impossible to see diamonds in it with the human eye. After all the above procedures, the ore is sent to the beneficiation plant, where no less interesting processes take place.
Diamond ore is poured into a receiving hopper, where a hydraulic hammer crushes it into pieces and pushes it through a massive grate. Next step is the complex process that is needed to cut off all that is superfluous.
First, the raw materials are sent to a fine grinding mill. Then the ore goes through the process of de-cladding – the separation of ore into water and sand. The liquid fraction is the tails that are no longer needed. The sand goes further to the screening area, where it is sifted on mechanical screens.
Further, the obtained substance is irradiated in X-ray-luminescent separators, where diamonds are separated from other elements. The fact is that a diamond starts to glow when an x-ray radiation hits it. Smart electronics immediately sees this and separates it from the rest of the stones.
Received stones are removed from the separator and then viewed manually. Experts under a magnifying glass look at each stone and separate the diamonds, sorting them by size.
Then the diamonds are handed over to another expert. They re-check them and then sell them to companies engaged in the production of diamonds, that is, the cutting. It should be noted, that at this stage the stones lose a little weight, because they undergo a mandatory dry cleaning. Plaque, dirt and other elements are washing. But the mass is not lost too much, a fraction of a percent.
The process of diamonds certification takes 3 weeks. During this time, experts several times check the 4 main signs of classification:
It would seem that there are only 4 signs. However, the classification of diamonds has 8,100 positions.
Then the diamonds on the vibrating machine are divided again into groups. After that, a number of experts check them with their own hands through a magnifying glass. But several times. As a result, one batch can be sorted into several dozen species only by shade and shape.
Thus, diamonds are obtained, which are subsequently sent to enterprises for the cutting.
In the next article, which will be released very soon, we will consider in detail the process of cutting a diamond. Stay with us.