GUWAHATI: The glittering stones that caused a mad rush of “diamond” hunters in Nagaland’s Mon district were quartz, according to geologists who visited the site.
Official sources said a team from the state’s Geology and Mining Department had on Friday visited the remote Wanching village where the stones were found.
“The team believed these are quartz. It carried back some samples for further analysis to be certain about the findings,” Mon District Magistrate Thavaseelan K said on Saturday.
He said a lot of the stones were sold to people in Assam for lakhs of rupees by the villagers.
“I don’t know if the people purchased the stones believing them to be diamonds. But quartz also has some applications,” Thavaseelan said, adding “They dug out a lot of stones. I was told almost every household has got some stones. Apparently, a whole lot of stones were found at the site”.
Some locals said mass digging had stopped but some villagers were still digging.
Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. It is used as oscillators in radios, watches, and pressure gauges, and in the study of optics. Quartz is also used as an abrasive for sandblasting, grinding glass and cutting soft stones.
On November 25, a villager had stumbled upon a sparkling stone while farming. A video of it that went viral on social media excited the villagers so much that they started digging all over.
In fact, not just the villagers, even defence personnel visited the site to find out if the stones, dug out from too close to the surface, were indeed diamonds.
There are coal and petroleum deposits in Nagaland. Mon is known for its good quality coal. It is available also at the place where the stones were found.