[Sca-cooks] OT OOP Diamonds was tedious process

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sun Nov 25 13:24:20 PST 2007

Malkin replied to my questions to her with:

<<< THLord Stefan li Rous asked:
> What do concentrations of chromium diopside and pyrope garnets  
> have  to do with probability of an area containing diamonds? Are  
> these  simply a common side-effect of the processes that also  
> create diamonds?

Everywhere that diamonds are found, chromium diopside and pyrope  
garnet are also found.  That doesn't mean that the presence of  
diopside and garnet mean there are also diamonds, only that the three  
are frequently found in the same location.  Locating the heaviest  
concentration of the red and green rocks means it is more likely that  
the pretty clear ones are near by.

> Were you using "ant-hill" sized samples or were you specifically   
> choosing samples from ant-hills?

The ants, dear little workers that they are, are capable of much .  
but there is a limit to the weight such a small body can pack.  The  
bigger rocks must be worked around but the rocks in the ant hills  
that are small enough to move, they pitch over the edge of the hole.   
Wind winnows out the  fines at the surface.  The ant hill is  
therefore a collection of whatever smallish pebbles that comprise the  
surface layer of the ground and a good sample of what sort of  
material is in the area.  The sample, therefore, was a selection of  
rocks found in the ant hills. >>>

Thank you. That was what I was suspecting. But what did you do if  
there weren't any anthills? Take a sample from the surface? That  
would seem to skew the samples from those areas. Or were there always  
enough ant hills in an area that you could find enough to meet your  

We have a fair amount of problems with ants down here, especially the  
imported red ones, that they are all over. But our winters also  
aren't cold enough to help kill them off seasonally.

> Do we know what areas diamonds were found in, in period? Since   
> faceting of jewels was a late period invention, did diamonds even   
> rank high on the scale of precious gems in period?

As to where Diamonds were found in period, my research was  
concentrated on an eight 64 mile square of Otherhill Artemisia .  
mundanely southwest Wyoming.  The grant was to search an area of  
known to have kimberlite.  Kimberlite is the matrix material that  
produces diamonds.  The stones found in the research project are all  
about the same size as one might find in ant hills.  They are as  
nature sends them.  They are rather pretty tied in with silver wire. >>>

Yes, I understand. Although you have some expertise in this area,  
this was actually a question directed to the entire list.  We've also  
talked about on this list that the culinary schools often don't teach  
much about food history.  There is little reason to expect your  
geology?, mineralogy? training to go much into the medieval history  
of stones or gems either, unless that was a personal interest of yours.

For a bit on medieval gem stones and some experimental archeology:
Rock-Crystal-art  (12K) 10/19/00    "Carving Rock Crystal According to
                                   Theophilius" by Lord Valdis of  
Gotland (humor)

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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