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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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4. Diamonds

We have seen how over the centuries metals have played a key part in technological development. This was development of an increasingly sophisticated kind as the advance of the industrial revolution gathered pace in the 19th and 20th centuries. Precious minerals have also been part of this process, in particular diamonds. The common image of diamonds is as jewellery used to adorn beautiful and rich women, which made diamonds desirable, but hardly essential, in the process of human advance. However, along with these gem stones that were fashioned into jewellery, there were a huge number of much less valuable, industrial diamonds, and it was they that had a key role to play in the advance of technology. Later we will see how the diamond ...

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