kimberlite, noun

Forms:
Also with initial capital.
Origin:
EnglishShow more Coined in 1886 by H.C. Lewis, being named for the place of its discovery, Kimberley (+ English suffix -ite forming names of minerals).
Geology, Diamond-mining
blue ground. Also attributive.
Note:
In worldwide use.
1887 H.C. Lewis in Papers on the Diamond (1897) 50There appears to be no named rock-type having at once the composition and structure of the Kimberley rock...It is now proposed to name the rock Kimberlite...Kimberlite is a rock sui generis, dissimilar to any other known species.
1899 Edinburgh Review (U.K.) Apr. 319This ‘blue’ rock — named ‘Kimberlite’ by Professor Carvill Lewis — is really of a dull green tint, due to its impregnation with iron oxides.
1920 F.C. Cornell Glamour of Prospecting 37He had just returned from a trip south to the Gibeon district, and he showed me some samples of excellent ‘blue ground’ — Kimberlite — he had found there.
1931 G. Beet Grand Old Days 97For the exploitation of the kimberlite pipes, or craters, elaborate methods of open-cast and underground mining have been evolved in the past fifty years.
1968 S. Tolansky Strategic Diamond 27The diamond..has usually been brought to the surface region encased in a rock called ‘blue ground’ (from its colour) or alternatively called ‘kimberlite’.
1973 A. Hocking Diamonds 5Volcanic diamond-bearing kimberlite shoots to the surface, cools to form the pipe. The elements erode exposed blue ground, thus scattering the diamonds it contains.
1976 A.R. Willcox Sn Land 219The soft substance in which the first in situ diamonds were found (later called Kimberlite) was known as the ‘yellow gravel’. Below it was the hard ‘blue ground’. This was actually the same material in unweathered form.
1984 A. Wannenburgh Natural Wonder of Sn Afr. 157Kimberlite pipe, a cylindrical mass of rock formed when magma drilled from the interior of the earth to the surface by gas explosions cooled together with rock fragments plucked from the formations through which it passed.
1985 A.J.A. Janse in Glover & Harris Kimberlite Occurrence & Origin 29Kimberlites are rare rocks because their surface expressions are very small in extent, but they are widely spread theoughout all continents.
1993 Business Day 23 Nov. 7UK company Reunion Mining has found two clusters of kimberlite near the shores of Lake Kariba.
blue ground. Also attributive.
Derivatives:
Hence kimberlitic adjective.
1972 Daily Dispatch 14 July 10This time the geologists found abundant evidence of ilmenites and garnets of kimberlitic quality — the two chief indicators of diamond.

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18871993

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