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Miners use shovels and sluicing equipment to search for diamonds near the Vaal River in South Africa.
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Historical Reading List: The Diamond Fields of South Africa: Part 2 (1893-2014)

Within a few years of their discovery, the diamonds deposits of South Africa produced more diamonds than what had come from India in two millennia.

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An early black and white photo that shows deep trenches dug into the ground in the search for diamonds. Ladders and ropes help the miners excavate and traverse the mine.
Article
Historical Reading: The Diamond Fields of South Africa: Part 1 (1868-1893)

The discovery of diamonds in South Africa in early 1867 marked the start of an historic period of diamond exploration.

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Baltic Amber map
Article
Historical Reading List: Baltic Amber

Amber has been found in various parts of the world, but the main historical source is the land that surrounds the Baltic Sea.

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Article
Historical Reading List: The California Gold Rush

The California gold rush − the largest gold rush in the history of the world − changed the social, economic, political and cultural history of the American West.

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Santa Terezinha De Goias Emeralds
The Santa Terezinha De Goias Emerald Deposit

Brazil has become a leading producer of emeralds; this article examines one of the most significant deposits.

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Update on Emeralds from the Sandawana Mines, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s Sandawana mines have been an important producer of emeralds for 40 years.

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Sapphires from Australia

An overview of Australia's recent significance in the production of blue sapphire.

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The Yogo Sapphire Deposit
The Yogo Sapphire Deposit

Yogo Gulch, discovered more than 100 years ago, is one of four major sapphire-producing areas in Montana, United States.

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Detail of the reconstructed Amber Room
The History and Reconstruction of the Amber Room

Chronicles the history of this cultural landmark, originally assembled for the Prussian king between 1701 and 1714, and its reconstruction by the Soviet Union starting in 1979.

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Article
G. Robert Crowningshield (1919–2006)

A look back at the groundbreaking research of G. Robert Crowningshield

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