Monthly Meeting – November Talk

“Diamonds” talk by Mr John Munt

You cannot stand at the bottom of Haverfordwest High Street and fail to notice, on the corner of Hill Lane, Bisley Munts the Jeweller.  Today 6th November we were treated to a fascinating talk about “Diamonds”, which took us to the sea off the coast of West Africa, to Brazil, India and then Russia.

John Munt explained how diamonds were formed with the use of interesting photographs together with replicas.  Most are found in the southern hemisphere and during the mining process, which can be open cast, underground and under the sea. Some 2500 tons of rock is processed to find 1 ounce of diamonds it looked very dangerous and back-breaking work.

A large proportion of the rough diamonds find their way to an anonymous building in Holborn, London where they are sorted and graded.  Similar perhaps to Billingsgate or Smithfields although the product being rather more valuable.  The process of cutting the diamonds originally undertaken by hand is now done by means of computer and laser guided machines, depending on the size of the gem this can take days, weeks, months or, in the case of a large stone, years.  Photographs showed beautiful pieces of jewellery with gems cut in various shapes and designs.  Yes, they definitely could be a girl’s best friend.   We can all recognise the portrait of Henry the VIII in his beautiful jerkin but did we did we know it was studded with rough diamonds.  No surprise it disappeared!

The name, Bisley Munt?  In 1706 a Mr Munt met and married a Miss Bisley so now you know!!

Penny Thomas