What I learned about diamonds during my trip to Yellowknife

by MartaLast updated Feb 11, 2023Category: Uncategorized

Yellowknife, the capital of Northwest Territories in Canada, is known not only for its stunning views of Aurora Borealis, but also for its diamond mining industry.

During my visit to Yellowknife, I learned a lot about diamonds and in this article I would like to share with you few pieces of information that imprinted the most in my memory.

First of all, let’s start from the origins - where do diamonds come from? So this little precious rocks can only be found in extinct volcanoes and only inside the rock called kimberlite. However, not all kimberlites will contain diamonds and not all volcanoes will have kimberlite. “How there hell do we have volcanoes at the north of Canada?!” - you might wonder. Very easy! 400 million years ago what we now call Canada was actually located around equator - it was really hot in here and volcanoes kept erupting, creating future possibilities for existence of our diamond industry. So all diamond mines are actually funnels - they follow the shape of a volcano.

Usually, mines will exist for 20-50 years (depending on diamonds’ reserves) and, after extraction is finished, will be disassembled, all the trash will be taken away and natural habitat will be restored - diamond mining is very environmentally friendly in Canada!

Only a fraction of mined diamonds is used by jewellers, majority of them are extracted for industrial usage. So industrial diamond usage brings much more money than personal. Basically, diamonds mines exist to satisfy industrial needs and fine jewellery production is just a byproduct of it.

Speaking of diamond jewellery, there are few main characteristics of a diamond that affect its price - size, clarity, colour and cut. I was presented with two diamonds that had almost identical size, clarity and cut, but different colours (one was near colourless, another one was yellowish). And it’s fascinating how that affects the price - yellowish diamond was 2.5 times cheaper!

The cut is also very important. If you look straight at the pointy side of a diamond through magnifying glass, you must see 8 hearts going in circle and if you look at a flat part - you should see 8 rays. Only properly cut diamonds will have all 8 of each.

To conclude I’d like to say that there is so much knowledge that is available for us, but sometimes we don’t even realize that we need it. That’s why exploring and learning is a key and luckily we don’t have to travel far to do that - we can buy books just from the comfort of our couches and watch fascinating documentaries and films!

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