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'.....

    2. Technically true, but you know very well that your wording here is carefully constructed to manipulate the belief that these are in fact diamonds. You do not use the word "quartz" once in your article (the average layman has no idea the difference between "beta silicon dioxide" and a diamond), nor do you ever mention that these crystals are not real diamonds and are different in composition. It is only shown in your chart where they are referred to only as "Lake County Diamonds", implying that they are indeed diamonds. Statements such as "like all diamonds, they can cut glass" imply that the stone in question is, like all diamonds, a genuine diamond. You can pretend all you want that you are innocent here, but you very clearly are presenting skewed information to your buyers. It is dishonest and unethical.

    3. Geckoz,

      You seem confused on a great many counts here to the point that I'm not sure what I'm dealing with in your be it senility, minor strokes, drunk-posting or other. However, I'll do my best to enlighten you.

      You are arguing with me over somebody else's writing. REMEMBER: I only reposted information from a much older pamphlet authored by somebody else I do not know.

      Quite contrary to your charge, I AM NOT selling anything to anybody here, least of Lake County Diamonds!

      I DID include the caveat that I DO NOT vouch for all the details contained in the pamphlet quote. However, because it does contain much useful information I am sharing it, but I am not going to edit the piece as it is not my place to do so. It is to be read "as is."

      It is fairly obvious to anyone other than a complete and utter nincompoop that Lake County Diamonds are not actual diamonds.

      Unless somebody is somehow reading my blog post about Lake County Diamonds without any prior knowledge of them AND they are not reading my post carefully which they should always do anyway when reading anything at all, then there should be no confusion. I DO NOT take personal responsibility for any other nincompoops other than myself!

      You can pretend all you want that you are innocent of being confused here and barking up the wrong tree and missing the point of the post and its context, but you very clearly are presenting skewed a skewed interpretation of my post and the pamphlet quote I share. It is intellectually dishonest to distort my blog post the way you did unless you are having some sort of personal difficulties of the sort I mentioned at the beginning in which case you have my sympathies but please do not disturb me with these trolling comments.

    4. Kim,
      Thank you for "A Comparison of Lake County Diamonds to African Diamonds". I was trying to find the difference between the two and found your page. I am not by any means a diamond expert but you gave me the best quick discription that I was able to find in my 45 minute search and rule out pages morning. I was looking because watching Prospectors on the weather channel made me remember I have a jar of LCD's and was curious about they were not diamonds.
      Those nincompoops are obviously lacking a Web page of their own and I would have deleted their comments.
      You helped this average CLDs owner to know the simple basic answer to my curiosity, as well as the legends and I thank you!

    5. Bloodhound,

      You are quite welcome and I'm glad this blog post was useful to you. Hold onto those LCDs as they are becoming harder and harder to come by as more and more lands upon which they are contained become less accessible for various reasons from development into vineyards to people being more uptight about trespassing than in the days of yore.

  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.

    1. Sherrie,

      Sorry for the delay in responding to you. Do you still have those Lake County Diamonds?

    2. I have quite a selection ranging in all sizes and color. mostly clear and some highlighted orange. my grand parents were quite the adventuring type.loved rocks,crystals, minerals and Indian artifacts.we live in the Sacramento area so they had acquired a bread pan sized baking dish about 3/4 full.I am very curious and have no idea of worth.

    3. Anonymous,

      There are two ways to go about this. The cold and impersonal way would be to go on eBay and see what others are charging for similar material. The more personal and interactive way would be to attend one or more gem & minerals shows in your area and/or attend one or more rockhounding club meetings in your area and in whatever case bring your stuff and get multiple opinions and see what your baseline is. I hope this helps.

  5. I remember finding them as a child when my father would take us to the lake. I live in Washington and would like to get my a few. I don't have a stash of money, but I am interested in buying 3 in their raw form. This is more for a memory for me. Would anyone be willing to help me fill this memory. Thank you,Debbie