Fact: How to identify an uncut rough diamond

Fact: How to identify an uncut rough diamond

Identifying a diamond in the rough requires a more scientific approach that uses a combination of positive tests to identify an uncut rough diamond accurately.

According to Sciencing diamonds can scratch every other mineral, but only diamonds can scratch diamonds.”

It is further explained that diamonds don’t like water.

“So miners sometimes use grease to separate diamonds from other rocks and minerals. They pour a slurry of material

to be sorted across a greased table.

“The diamonds stick in the grease, while the rest of the material is carried across the table. Also, about 30 percent of

diamonds fluoresce under shortwave ultraviolet light, usually showing up as light blue but also possibly glowing white,

yellow, orange or red.”


A diamond and quartz in nature have very different crystal structures.

However, Charles Maia, a Master Goldsmith explained on Monday that the carbon atoms forming diamonds usually arrange

themselves into squat isometric crystals.

“Diamond crystals, measure almost the same in all directions whether single or twinned. The eight-sided crystals can

appear as two pyramids connecting base to base.

Meanwhile, a quartz’s silicon dioxide molecules align to form six-sided hexagonal crystals, usually longer than they are

wide. Quartz crystals grow so that only one end terminates in a hexagonal pyramid.


Earlier this month scores of rural dwellers descended on Kwahlanati near Ladysmith to ‘mine’ for ‘diamonds’.

Several people have posted videos and images on social media of what they believe to be large diamonds that they

have found in KwaHlathi.

A team of officials, geoscientists and mining experts from the national Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

conducted an inspection of the site on the 15th of June 2021.

KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development MEC Ravi Pillay said the tests conducted conclusively revealed that the stones

discovered in the area are not diamonds as some had hoped. What has been discovered is quartz.

“The value, if any, of the quartz crystals is yet to be established but it must be mentioned that the value of quartz crystals is very low compared to that of diamonds.”

By Cynthia N.

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