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  • Writer's pictureHilary McCormack

Saudi Diamond Hunting

This fun day out is easy to arrange whether you have a 4x4 or an SUV with city tires (if you drive with caution on the rough stuff).

You were going northwest of Riyadh, aiming for Route 550, and continuing to this location which is not that far off the main road in the Horimlaa region. You will reach an area that doesn't really look that much when you first get there. For the real beauty of this moment, you have to train your eye to look past the scattered rubbish on the ground. Moving inland on foot and once over the first slight incline, your eye will begin to hone in on the little gems you are looking for.

A pendant size piece of Quartz

The ground is strewn with Quartz in all shapes and sizes. Once you find your first piece, you will not be able to stop trying to outdo yourself with more unique stones of varying sizes that range in color from a dull grey to a waxy white. Around the world, Quartz is used as a semi-precious gemstone in jewelry and other intricate stone carvings and can be found in abundance in this area. It is the perfect scavenger hunt for kids of all ages.

Volcanic rock surrounded by some small pieces of Quartz

And truth be told, perhaps other areas around Riyadh are good hunting grounds for these gems; it is just that I haven't been to them yet.

Quartz is a hard crystalline composed of silicon dioxide created under immense pressure and is the second most abundant mineral in the earth's crust without getting too technical.

Lots of delicate desert flowers

Desert diamonds or Saudi diamonds (An alternative to carbon diamonds) are qaysumah diamonds found on the surface of sandy areas of Riyadh, primarily in the central plains of Saudi Arabia.

You might not be alone on your hunting trip!

While hunting for these little treasures is half the fun, when you find some (and you will find lots of them), the next big decision is what to do with them; well, that is also a bit of creative fun.

Gems in all sizes

You can decide which of your collect is the most pretty and take them to the gold souk where the local goldsmiths can polish them up and turn them into a piece of jewelry with a very interesting providence that you can wear yourself or gift someone. So that's next Christmas covered!

Happy hunting.

Some extra info: On the way home, a good photo opportunity and some bonus sightseeing is a stop off at the nearby camel market, which is also on Route 550 (heading toward Riyadh). This nearby location shows as a supermarket on google maps! It is a vast market filled with fantastic photo opportunities and amiable locals. You can also get a cup of coffee here.

A proud camel herder showing off his ride

A very vocal matriarch.

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