Today is coldest day in Philadelphia in at least 20 years...
The thermometer currently reads 6 degrees fahrenheit...with a wind chill of -14 degrees...
I honestly debated opening the store at all today...who in their right mind would willingly go shopping outdoors on Jeweler's Row today. Yet here I am...patiently awaiting those brave consumers who refuse to let a little arctic air get between them and their jewelry.
Today, I am reminded that many of the diamonds in the vault to my left were mined in conditions just like this!
The Mir Mine, located just outside the small Siberian town of Mirny, is the world's second largest man-made hole after Bingham Canyon Copper Mine in Utah. Here's a picture of the frostbitten beast herself...
The mine has been inactive since 2001, but at one point produced 10 Million carats of rough diamond a year.
Most astounding of all are the conditions in which this mine was developed. 7 months of harsh winter a year made the frozen ground almost impossible to mine, and the brief summer months turned the earth to slush. In fact, the diamond processing facility had to be moved some 20 km away from the mine to avoid it sinking into the ground. It got so cold in some years, that the oil and tires for the trucks needed to transport raw materials would freeze. Jet engines and Dynamite were often the only tools able to thaw the ground enough to reach the diamonds deep underground.
So if you think it's too cold to go shopping for a diamond...think about the siberian men and women who likely got frostbite just so you can have diamonds to shop for at all.
Stay warm Philadelphia...and try shopping our website from the comfort of your heated home!