The day the biggest diamond was found – level 3
Africa is a place where people can find really big diamonds. Something very special happened on January 25, 1905, at a diamond mine in South Africa.
During a regular inspection at the mine about 6 meters underground, one man saw something very shiny in the wall above him. It was the largest diamond in the world. It weighed 0.6 kilograms.
The diamond was bought by a local government in Africa, which decided to give the diamond to the king of Britain as a present. The king was worried that the diamond might be stolen in transit from Africa to London. He arranged to send an “official” diamond with many guards. However, the real diamond was sent in a simple box.
In London, somebody had to cut the diamond. Cutting diamonds is a very special job and is a science.
The gem cutter studied the diamond for six months before he started his work. Then on the first attempt, the steel blade broke, with no effect on the diamond. On the second attempt, the diamond broke exactly as planned. Then the diamond cutter fainted from nervous exhaustion.
The diamond was cut into nine large stones and about 100 smaller ones. These stones are valued at millions of dollars.
Difficult words: mine (a deep hole in the ground where people find stones such as gold, silver, or diamonds), science (a very special area of study), gem cutter (a person who cuts diamonds or other stones), blade (the cutting part of a knife), faint (to collapse and lose consciousness), exhaustion (when you are extremely tired).
What techniques did these gem cutters use to ensure the diamond would break exactly as planned?
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