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Hunting Diamonds and Gemstones with a Metal Detector
They say diamonds are a girl's best friend but how about a metal detecting enthusiast's? Diamonds and gemstones are fun to find and can bring a nice, tidy profit to an already growing collection. Unlike other precious metals though they require a little bit more knowledge and skill to locate.
To begin with, diamonds are gemstones that occur naturally in the formation of coal. They are primarily found in areas where erosion and volcanic activity have occurred in the past. Diamonds and gemstones formed by these natural occurring phenomenon are carried by the flow of rivers, glaciers and streams where they can end up with other rocks and debris. In their natural state, they are not the cut and polished gem that everyone knows and loves. In fact, diamonds look just like normal rocks and most metal detecting enthusiasts pass over them because of their appearance.
The majority of diamonds dug from the ground today are actually mined for by large corporations in South Africa. While the United States does have diamonds throughout, commercial diamond mining has since ended due to low production. There is a former diamond mine located in Arkansas called the Crater of Diamonds State Park that does allow tourists to hunt for diamonds at a nominal fee. Although diamond foraging is permitted, the park does not allow metal detectors.
Diamonds found in the United States are mostly prospected by hobbyists with a diamond detector. While a metal or diamond detector cannot specifically find gemstones, diamonds or pearls, they can find indicator minerals around the precious rock. The prospector will use the presence of these indicator minerals as a sign where a volcanic or gold pipe may lay. This lets the prospector know he or she is close to where the diamonds originally formed.
These indicator minerals can include magnetite, glassy green olivine, chromium garnets and black picroilmenite. Interestingly enough, these are the very same minerals that gold prospectors use to find their payload. This is why a gold metal detector can also be a diamond detector if the prospector knows what they're looking for. Diamond detectors will typically operate at a much higher frequency than other metal detectors and have a greater sensitivity to gold nuggets. They are also highly functional in mineralized soil and have a deeper detection depth.
Finding natural and uncut diamonds in a sand or mud deposit is exciting even though most prospectors have better luck finding diamonds that have already been affixed to jewelry. There are more than a thousand pieces of jewelry misplaced every year including rings, watches, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces that contain diamonds or gemstones. In fact, statistics state that for every thirty gemstones lost there is one misplaced diamond. These pieces of lost jewelry are typically found by metal detectorists in outdoor concert venues and pavilions, golf courses, restaurants and beaches. A multi-purpose metal detector is perfect for finding jewelry with diamonds because the metal is typically made from copper, silver, platinum and gold.
Whatever the state of the diamond, prospecting for these precious gems makes a rewarding treasure hunting experience. What's even better is that hunting for diamonds and gemstones means that gold and other precious metals are not too far off. Armed with the right diamond detector and a head full of knowledge, a prospector can dig up the dream of a lifetime!