|A legal alien searches for diamonds among the stars (pencil sketch by the|
GemHunter copyright by Dan Hausel).
Me, I'm known as the GemHunter. You can find some of my posts on my website, Facebook, books, papers, blogs, and blogspots. I like to prospect and love to write. I am the most successful gold, diamond, gemstone and mineral hunter ever to kick rattlesnakes in the sagebrush of Wyoming, just not good at making money on all of my discoveries. Yes, others have made money from my discoveries, but I'm not good when it comes to finances, which is why I have old field boots, a rusty rock hammer, and an old Honda Fit.
So, carbon, the basic building block of diamonds, graphite and people is created during nuclear fusion in stars and later disseminated in nebula following supernovae explosions. Considerable carbon was also created during the Big Bang (13 billion years ago) when the universe erupted from either nothing, or a ball of energy. There, meditate on that thought. What did the universe look like at the very beginning. Was there any mass? Was there any energy? And if there wasn't, where did they come from - and was there a real beginning for the universe?
|Dozer cut across Sherman Granite (pink) and a diamond-bearing kimberlite|
(blue ground) in Wyoming (photo by Dan Hausel).
So, it is apparent we are not going to dig deep enough to reach these diamond shoots, so they somehow need to come to us. And since diamond is unstable at the earth’s surface where atmospheric pressures are insignificant compared to pressures at 90 to 120 miles or more deep, these gems must make it to the earth's surface at a very fast rate; otherwise, they will end up being a number 2 pencil lead (graphite).
|Diamondiferous kimberlite breccia, Canada|
|The North American Craton showing locations of some |
diamondiferous kimberlite and lamproite districts (after
Diamondiferous kimberlites and lamproites are essentially restricted to cratons and cratonized terrains. The easiest way to think of a craton is to think of them as the very old and ancient continental cores – or rock outcrops that are >1.5 billion years old. Some of the oldest parts of these continental cores are referred to as Archons that consist of rocks >2.5 billion years old. So if you were to start prospecting for diamond-rich kimberlite volcanoes, your chance of finding one will be a heck of a lot better in the very old Archons, since essentially every commercial diamond-rich kimberlite that has been mined in history, has been located in Archons. But there are exceptions, such as the diamond-bearing lamproites at Argyle Australia, Murfreesboro, Arkansas, Ellendale, Australia, and Golconda, India. These are located in the younger Proterozoic age continental cores (1.5 to 2.5 billion years old) (Erlich and Hausel, 2002).
|Snap Lake diamondiferous kimberlite from Canada (photo by Dan Hausel,|
specimen donated by Chuck Mabarak).
|A view of one of the Schaffer diamondiferous kimberlites in Wyoming.|
It lies under the open park that does not support any tree growth (photo
by Dan Hausel).
|Lake Ellen diamondiferous kimberlite, Michigan (photo by Dan Hausel).|
|Diamonds in the rough|
- Davidson, C.F. 1967. The so-called “cognate xenoliths” of kimberlites. In Ultramafic and Related Rocks. New York: John Wiley.
- Erlich, E.I., and Hausel, W.D., 2002, Diamond Deposits – Origin, Exploration, and History of Discoveries: Society of Mining Engineers, 374 p.
- Hausel, W.D., 1996, Pacific Coast diamonds-an unconventional source terrane in Coyner, A.R., and Fahey, P.L., eds., Geology and ore deposits of the American Cordillera, Geological Society of Nevada Symposium Proceedings, Reno/Sparks, Nevada, p. 925-934.
- Hausel, W.D., 1998, Diamonds and mantle source rocks in the Wyoming Craton, with a discussion of other US occurrences: Wyoming State Geological Survey Report of Investigations 53, 93 p.
- Hausel, W.D. 2006, Diamonds in Industrial Minerals & Rocks (7th Edition). Society for Mining Metallurgy and Exploration, p. 415-433.
- Hausel, W.D., 2008, Diamond Deposits of the North American Craton in Woods, A., and Lawlor, J., eds, Topics in Wyoming Geology, Wyoming Geological Association Guidebook. p. 103-138.
- Hughes, C.J. 1982. Igneous Petrology. New York: Elsevier. 551 p.
- Kennedy, G.C., and B.E. Nordlie. 1968. The genesis of diamond deposits. Economic Geology. 63:495–503.
- Lampietti., E.M.J., and D. Sutherland. 1978. Prospecting for diamonds-some current aspects. Mining Magazine, August: 117-123.
- Levinson, A.A., J.J. Gurney, and M.B. Kirkley. 1992. Diamond sources and production, past, present and future. Gems and Gemology 28:4. 234–254.
- McGretchin, T.R. 1968. The Moses Rock dike: Geology, petrology, and mode of emplacement of kimberlite-bearing breccia dike, San Juan County, Utah. Ph.D Diss. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. 188 p.
- O’Hara, M.J., S.W. Richardson, and G. Wilson. 1971. Garnet-peridotite stability and occurrence in crust and mantle. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. 32:48–68.
- Watson, K.D. 1967. Kimberlites of Eastern North America. Ultramafic and Related Rocks. New York: John Wiley.