Endless talk of all things sparkly.

Almost a Diamonds Graduate: My GIA course studies…



I am officially half way through my GIA Diamonds courses, on the road to becoming a Graduate Gemologist. You sort of know you are on the right path when you are extremely enthusiastic while reading 47 pages of cubic, octahedral, and dodecahedral planes.  This has been a positive experience so far and anyone interested in taking courses from the Gemological Institute of America has my recommendation!  I will give another recap before traveling to California to take my Diamond Grading Lab sometime in the fall.  

Here are some fun facts that I’ve learned so far:

♦ Diamonds were once formed even before dinosaurs roamed the Earth. They were forming beneath the crust and stayed there for millions of years, until finally they were unearthed by people.

♦ All diamonds, pre-mining, came from alluvial deposits–meaning these diamonds were carried down rivers and deposited in river banks, even dry areas where rivers once ran, away from its source.  

♦ According to industry surveys, fewer than 1% of women will ever own a diamond of one carat or more. *We need to change this sad statistic!

♦ “After several years, cars end up in junk piles, while diamonds remain bright and beautiful as they were on the day they were purchased”

♦ “Overweight” diamonds are those that weigh more (in carats) than its face-up appearance would suggest. 

♦ Red diamonds are most rare of all diamond colors.

♦ Marine deposits occur when river currents are strong enough to carry diamonds out to Sea.  There are large deposits of diamonds of the coast of Namibia, Africa.

♦ Sometimes diamonds have really interesting inclusions, like a tiny garnet crystal.  Although some may consider it to be a negative, collectors and diamond professionals think it is an amazing phenomena.  

♦ There was once a diamond mine in Colorado, that has since been shut down.  Anyone can mine for diamonds in Arkansas where they have the only mine open to the public in the entire world–you can keep what you find.

♦ Huge ore trucks can carry 177 tons of ore.  And from that, maybe less than a handful of diamonds can be recovered.

♦ Diamond mines have circular rings surrounding them for a few reasons.  One, it allows the ore trucks to drive in and out of the mining area and two, it prevents cave-ins.