Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Natures Finest: Lake County Diamonds

The scientific literature (both print as well as on the web) seems to suffer from a dearth of information about Lake County Diamonds. I came across a brochure about Lake County Diamonds back in 2008 or thereabouts at the visitor center along Highway 29 in Lakeport, CA. It was published by a home-based jewelry maker called Natures Finest which is also located in Lakeport. With the permission of business owner Sally I am sharing the information contained within said brochure below. However, I cannot confirm the accuracy of everything contained therein although I know that much of it is true based upon my own research and experience.

According to one Pomo Indian legend, these fiery gems are the "moon tears" shed by Moon over the forbidden love of her handsome young chieftain. Another legend has if that these stones are the crystallized tears of the Chieftain Kah-Bel who climbed the slopes of Mount Konocti to visit the gravesite of his beloved daughter, Princess Lupiyoma. Archaeologists tell us that Lake County Diamonds were placed on burial mounds by some local tribes as protection against dark spirits who, seeing the sparkle of the "moon tears", would think the moon was shining and flee.

Science has its own explanation for these wonders of nature. Lake County has been the scene of incredible volcanic activity throughout its ancient past. Mount Konocti, the area's defining landmark, is a dormant volcano where past lava flows of magma and basalt were contained under enormous pressure with temperatures of not less than 1,112 Fahrenheit. Heat and pressure resulted in the formation of beta silicon dioxide crystals - Lake County Diamonds - of unsurpassed clarity and the finest optical quality.

Lake County Diamonds are mostly clear and very hard, ranking from 7.5 to 8 (and possibly as high as 9) on the Mohs Scale, and like all diamonds, they can cut glass. They have been used commercially and industrially, but are in greatest demand as semi-precious gems. Lake County Diamonds may be set uncut for a rough natural look, or faced to set off their inner fire which compares in brilliance to African carbon diamonds.

When you purchase a Lake County Diamond, you get not only an exquisite one-of-a-kind natural gem, but also a piece of our region's natural history and romantic Native American past. 
A Comparison of Lake County Diamonds to African Diamonds
Composition: Lake County Diamond (beta silicon dioxide crystallized) ~ African Diamond (carbon crystallized)

Hardness: Lake County Diamond (7.2-8.0) ~ African Diamond (10)

Specific Gravity: Lake County Diamond (2.64) ~ African Diamond (3.52)

Refractive Index: Lake County Diamond (1.55) ~ African Diamond (2.40)

Birefrigence: Lake County Diamond (.009) ~ African Diamond (0)

Dispersion: Lake County Diamond (.013) ~ African Diamond (.044)

Toughness: Lake County Diamond (#5) ~ African Diamond (#3)

Natures Finest is located at 2740 Reeves Lane, Lakeport, CA 95453
Home phone: (707) 263-8856 ~ Cell phone: (707) 272-6870 ~



    1. Unfortunately, I do not... and I beg your pardon for being so tardy in responding to your question... there should be no reason any special training is needed to facet LCD's if one knows how to facet gemstones in general.

    2. yes i do.

  2. how much are they worth I got two handfulls from when I was a kid had them for twenty years

    1. Willslandscaping,

      Sorry for the delay in responding to your question (over a year), but the short is answer is not a ton of money but on eBay you might be able to finagle about $50 for them depending upon how big your handfuls are and how you market them.


  3. They are quartz not diamond. There are many sites around the globe where local rock hounds have used the word "diamond" to refer to this sort of quartz crystal. Quartz and diamond are different minerals in chemical as well as physical properties. I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble but it is only fair that people have honest information.

    1. Geckoz,

      Sorry to bust your bubble but my article does not claim they are diamonds. Au contraire, it very specifically goes into the details of their chemical composition. This suggests to me that you popped off here after reading only a paragraph or two which is not especially helpful to yourself or anybody else. Just sayin'.....

  4. My Name is Sherrie and live in Washington State. My Father pasted away and I have 3/4 of a baby food jar full of these crystals. some of the bigger ones are about the size of a quarter. I know that he has had these for over 50 years. I took them to several high end jewelers and non of them new what they were. They are very interesting and have a slight pink tint to them.