The History of North American Diamond Mines
While precious gems have been uncovered across the vast plains of the North American continent from New York to California, the diamond mining industry in this part of the world in particular was historically restricted to Arkansas and Colorado.
Between 1907 and 1933, near the small mining town of Murfreesboro, Arkansas, more than 90,000 diamond stones were discovered; each weighing in at about .25 carats. Since then, there had been minimal diamond findings in the United States until the Crater of Diamonds State Park, on the border of Colorado and Wyoming, began operating as an official diamond mine in June, 1996. Annually, the State Park mine churns out an average of 20,000 carats, and a whooping ¼ of those diamonds are deemed to be of ‘precious’ quality.
Precious gem miners made a legendary find on American soil at the Crater of Diamonds Park, when a diamond found at that site weighed in at 28.3 carats.
The famous Arkansas diamond mine continues to supply American jewelry makers with thousands of homegrown, natural diamonds per year.
As of late, it seems that Canada might be the next most promising diamond mining resource in the North American continent. Rich Canadian soil, underlain by thick deposits of ancient bedrock, is a probable jackpot for the existence of diamond-bearing kimberlite. The conditions in the Canadian rockscape are considered to somewhat mirror those that have historically produced enormously coveted diamonds, brought down in silt deposits swept down by melting glaciers.
The world’s most renowned diamond mining, of course, takes place in countries such as South Africa, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, India, Russia, and Australia. More than 90% of the world’s finest diamonds originate from one of these seven countries.
The diamond mining process is completed in a complex series of sorting and distributing methods, from locating and blasting kimberlite deposit sites to digging, extracting stones, removing debris, and professionally cleaning, weighing and appraising diamond gems.