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Colourless, yellowish to yellow, brown, black, blue, green or red, pink, champagne-tan, cognac-brown, lilac (very rare)
Adamantine, Greasy
Specific Gravity:
3.5 - 3.53
Crystal System:
From Greek "adamas", 'invincible'. First known use by Manlius (A.D. 16) and Pliny (A.D. 100).
Diamond is the hardest natural substance known. It is formed deep in the mantle and is only brought to the surface via kimberlite pipes, lamprophyres, eclogites and other rocks that originate deep within the mantle. It is also found in alluvial deposits, along with quartz, corundum, zircon and other minerals, derived from such rocks, and in certain meteorites.

The formation processes of the variety carbonado are unclear.

The coexistence of diamond and carbonate minerals in mantle eclogites is explained by the reaction: dolomite + 2(coesite) -> <- diopside + 2(diamond) + 2O2 (Luth, 1993).

Visit for gemological information about Diamond.

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Classification of DiamondHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

1 : ELEMENTS (Metals and intermetallic alloys; metalloids and nonmetals; carbides, silicides, nitrides, phosphides)
C : Metalloids and Nonmetals
B : Carbon-silicon family
Dana 7th ed.:

3 : Semi-metals and non-metals

1 : Elements and Alloys (including the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au)

Pronounciation of DiamondHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of DiamondHide

Adamantine, Greasy
Transparent, Translucent, Opaque
Colourless, yellowish to yellow, brown, black, blue, green or red, pink, champagne-tan, cognac-brown, lilac (very rare)
Hardness Data:
Mohs hardness reference species
Perfect octahedral {111}
3.5 - 3.53 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.515 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of DiamondHide

RI values:
nα = 2.435
Strain birefringence common (Raman and Rendall, 1944; Lang 1967; Howell 2012).
Max Birefringence:
δ = 2.435 - Isotropic minerals have no birefringence
Surface Relief:

Chemical Properties of DiamondHide

CAS Registry number:

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society

Crystallography of DiamondHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 3.5595 Å
Unit Cell V:
45.10 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Octahedral crystals, also dodecahedrons, cubes, tetrahedral. Often has curved faces.
macle is a spinel twin {111}

Crystallographic forms of DiamondHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Diamond no.15 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Diamond no.107 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Diamond no.108 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Diamond no.124 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

Synonyms of DiamondHide

Other Language Names for DiamondHide

Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa):Алмаз
Bosnian (Latin Script):Dijamant
Mongolian (Cyrillic Script):Алмааз
Norwegian (Bokmål):Diamant
Norwegian (Nynorsk):Diamant
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Дијамант
Simplified Chinese:金刚石
Traditional Chinese:鑽石
Vietnamese:Kim cương

Varieties of DiamondHide

BortA black variety of Diamond.
Diamond material unsuitable for gems because of its shape, size, or
color and because of flaws or inclusions. It also occurs in finely
crystalline aggregates and is usually crushed into finer material.
CarbonadoA massive, opaque, gray, brown, or black variety of diamond used as an abrasive and in rock drills.

Five different theories for the formation of carbonado have been discussed (cf. Sautter et al. 2011).

Nano-Polycrystalline DiamondA completely transparent, polycrystalline synthetic consisting of randomly oriented, very tightly bonded nanoscale-sized diamond crystallites.

Using a sintering process, the material is created in a multi-anvil press at 15 gigapascals (2.18 million ps...
Stewartite (of Sutton)A magnetic, ferrouginous variety of Diamond (bort) [Clark, 1993 - "Hey's Mineral Index"].
Originally reported from Kimberley pipe, Kimberley, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Graphite3 photos of Diamond associated with Graphite on
Calcite2 photos of Diamond associated with Calcite on
Pyrite2 photos of Diamond associated with Pyrite on
Pyrope2 photos of Diamond associated with Pyrope on
Almandine2 photos of Diamond associated with Almandine on
Serpentine Subgroup1 photo of Diamond associated with Serpentine Subgroup on
Ilmenite1 photo of Diamond associated with Ilmenite on
Garnet1 photo of Diamond associated with Garnet on
Grossular1 photo of Diamond associated with Grossular on
Olivine1 photo of Diamond associated with Olivine on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

1.CB.05bChaoiteCHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm
1.CB.05aGraphiteCHex. 6mm : P63mc
1.CB.10bLonsdaleiteCHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide 6mm : P63mc 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

1.1CopperCuIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.2SilverAgIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.5GoldAuIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.8ZincZnHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.9CadmiumCdHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.12MercuryHgTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.14MoschellandsbergiteAg2Hg3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m)
1.19Weishanite(Au,Ag)3Hg2Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.21AluminiumAlIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.25GraphiteCHex. 6mm : P63mc
1.26ChaoiteCHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm
1.27LonsdaleiteCHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.29TinSnTet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
1.30LeadPbIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.31AnyuiiteAuPb2Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I4/mcm
1.31NovodnepriteAuPb3Tet. 4 2m : I4 2m
1.32LeadamalgamPb0.7Hg0.3Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I4/mmm
1.33ArsenicAsTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.34ArsenolampriteAsOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
1.37DomeykiteCu3AsIso. 4 3m : I4 3d
1.38Algodonite(Cu1-xAsx)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.40KutinaiteAg6Cu14As7 Iso.
1.41AntimonySbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.42StibarsenAsSbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.43ParadocrasiteSb3AsMon. 2 : B2
1.44HorsforditeCu, Sb
1.45CuprostibiteCu2(Sb,Tl)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P4/nmm
1.47AurostibiteAuSb2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
1.48DyscrasiteAg3SbOrth. mm2 : Pmm2
1.49BismuthBiTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.50MaldoniteAu2BiIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
1.51SulphurS8Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Fddd
1.52RosickýiteSMon. 2/m : P2/b
1.53SeleniumSeTrig. 3 2 : P31 2 1
1.55ChromiumCrIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Im3m
1.57IronFeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Im3m
1.58ChromferideFe3Cr1-x (x=0.6)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Pm3m
1.59FerchromideCr3Fe1-xIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Pm3m
1.61NickelNiIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.63Taenite(Fe,Ni)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.65AwaruiteNi3FeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.67PotaritePdHgTet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P4/mmm
1.70CabriitePd2CuSnOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pmmm
1.72Atokite(Pd,Pt)3SnIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.76Osmium(Os,Ir,Ru)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.82PlatinumPtIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m

Fluorescence of DiamondHide

Some - blue, also phosphorescent

Other InformationHide

Thermal Behaviour:
Greatest thermal conductivity known. A sizeable stone held in the hand feels cold, hence the slang name "ice".
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:
Cutting and grinding due to extreme hardness. Used for the windows on the Venera space craft to photograph Venus' surface.

Diamond in petrologyHide

Accessory component of (items highlighted in red)

References for DiamondHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Goeppert, H.R. (1864) Ueber Einschlusse im Diamont. Haarlem: De Erven Loosjes.
Emmanuel, H. (1867) Diamonds and Precious Stones; Their History, Value, and Distinguishing Characteristics, 266pp., London.
Lindley, A.F., Capt. (1873) Adamantia - The Truth about the South African Diamond Fields. WH&L Collingridge, London.
Richmond, J.F. (1873) Diamonds, Unpolished and Polished. New York: Nelson & Phillips.
Dieulafait, L. (1874) Diamonds and Precious Stones. London: Blackie & Son.
Reunert, Theodore (1893) Diamonds and Gold in South Africa. London: E. Stanford.
Bonney, T.G., Prof., editor (1897). Papers and Notes (of H.C. Lewis) on the Genesis and Matrix of the Diamond. Longmans, Green & Co., London, New York and Bombay.
Williams, Gardner F. (1902) The Diamond Mines of South Africa - Some Account of their Rise and Development.
Crookes, Wm. (1909) Diamonds. London; Harper Brothers, first edition.
Cattelle, W.R. (1911) The Diamond. New York, John Lane Co.
Fersmann, A. von and Goldschmidt, V. (1911) Der Diamant, 274pp. and atlas Heidelberg.
Smith, M.N. (1913) Diamonds, Pearls, and Precious Stones. Boston: Griffith-Stillings Press.
Laufer, B. (1915) The Diamond - A Study in Chinese and Hellenistic Folklore. Chicago: Field Museum.
Wade, F.B. (1916) Diamonds - A Study of the Factors that Govern their Value. New York: Knickerbocker Press.
Sutton, J.R. (1928) Diamond, a descriptive treatise. 114 pp., London: Murby & Co.
Farrington, O.C. (1929) Famous Diamonds. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History Geology Leaflet 10.
Palache, C. (1932) American Mineralogist: 17: 360.
Williams, Alpheus F. (1932) The Genesis of the Diamond. 2 volumes, 636 pp. London.
Palache, C., Berman, H., and Frondel, C. (1944) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 146-151.
Raman, C.V. and Rendall, G.R. (1944) Birefringence patterns in diamond. Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Science, A19, 265-273.
Fersman, A.E. (1955) (A Treatise on the Diamond) Kristallgrafiya Almaza Redaktsiya Kommentarri Akadeika. Izdatelstvo Akademii: Nauk, CCCP.
du Plessis, J.H. (1961) Diamonds are Dangerous. New York: John Day Co., first edition.
Tolansky, S. (1962) The History and Use of Diamond. London: Methuen & Co.
Champion, F.C. (1963) Electronic Properties of Diamonds. Butterworths, London, 132pp.
Berman, E. (1965) Physical Properties of Diamond, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Van der laan, H.L. (1965) Te Sierra Leone Diamonds. Oxford: University Press.
McIver, J.R. (1966) Gems, Minerals and Diamonds in South Africa.
Lang, A.R. (1967) Causes of Birefringence in Diamond. Nature, 213, 248-251.
Chrenko, R., McDonald, R., and Darrow, K. (1967) Infra-red spectrum of diamond coat. Nature: 214: 474-476.
Meen, V.B. and Tushingham, A.D. (1968) Crown Jewels of Iran, University of Toronto Press, 159pp.
Lenzen, G. (1970) The History of Diamond Production and the Diamond Trade. New York: Praeger Pub.
Bardet, M.G. (1973-1977), Géologie du diamant, Volumes 1 thru 3, Orléans.
Giardini, A.A., Hurst, V.J., Melton, C.E., John, C., and Stormer, J. (1974) Biotite as a primary inclusion in diamond: Its nature and significance American Mineralogist: 59: 783-789.
Smith, N.R. (1974) User's Guide to Industrial Diamonds. London: Hutchinson Benham.
Prinz, M., Manson, D.V., Hlava, P.F., and Keil, K. (1975) Inclusions in diamonds: Garnet Iherzolite and eclogite assemblages. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth: 9: 797-815.
Treasures of the USSR Diamond Fund (1975) (in Russian with limited English).
Orlov, Y.L. (1977) The mineralogy of diamond. Wiley & Sons, 235 pp.
Bruton, Eric (1978) Diamonds. Radnor: Chlton 2nd. edition.
Gurney, J.J., Harris, J.W., and Rickard, R.S. (1979) Silicate and oxide inclusions in diamonds from the Finsch kimberlite pipe. In F.R. Boyd and H.O.A. Meyer, Eds., Kimberlites, Diatremes and Diamonds: their Geology and Petrology and Geochemistry, Vol. 1: 1-15. American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.
Pollak, Isaac, G.G. (1979) The World of the Diamond, 2nd. printing. Exposition Press, Hicksville, New York, 127 pp.
Legrand, J. et al (1980) Diamonds Myth, Magic and Reality. Crown Publishers, Inc., New York.
Newton, C.M. (1980) A Barrel of Diamonds. New York: published by the author.
Devlin, Stuart (undated) From the Diamonds of Argyle to the Champagne Jewels of Stuart Devlin (Goldsmith to the Queen). Sing Lee Printing Fty., Ltd. Hong Kong.
Lang, A.R. and Walmsley, J.C. (1983) Apatite inclusions in natural diamond coat. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 9: 6-8.
Milledge, H., Mendelssohn, M., Woods, P., Seal, M., Pillinger, C., Mattey, D., Carr, L., and Wright, I. (1984) Isotopic variations in diamond in relation to cathodoluminescence. Acta Crystallographica, Section A: Foundations of Crystallography: 40: 255.
Sunagawa, I. (1984) Morphology of natural and synthetic diamond crystals. In I. Sunagawa, Ed., Materials Science of the Earth's Interior: 303-330. Terra Scientific, Tokyo.
Grelick, G.R. (1985) Diamond, Ruby, Emerald, and Sapphire Facts.
Meyer, H.O.A. and McCallum, M.E. (1986) Mineral inclusions in diamonds from the Sloan kimberlites, Colorado. Journal of Geology: 94: 600-612.
Meyer, H.O.A. (1987) Inclusions in diamond. In P.H. Nixon, Ed., Mantle Xenoliths: 501-522. Wiley, New York.
Navon, O., Hutcheon, I.D., Rossman, G.R., and Wasserberg, G.J. (1988) Mantle-Derived Fluids in Diamond Microinclusions. Nature: 335: 784-789.
Sobolev, N.V. and Shatsky, V.S. (1990) Diamond inclusions in garnets from metamorphic rocks: a new environment for diamond formation. Nature: 343: 742-746.
Guthrie, G.D., Veblen, D.R., Navon, O., and Rossman, G.R. (1991) Submicrometer fluid inclusions in turbid-diamond coats. Earth and Planetary Science Letters: 105(1-3): 1-12.
Harlow, G.E. and Veblen, D.R. (1991) Potassium in clinopyroxene inclusions from diamonds. Science: 251: 652-655.
Navon, O. (1991) High internal-pressures in diamond fluid inclusions determined by infrared-absorption. Nature: 353: 746-748.
Gems & Gemmology (1992) 28: 234-254.
Harris, J. (1992) Diamond Geology. In J. Field, Ed., The Properties of Natural and Synthetic Diamonds, vol. 58A(A-K): 384-385. Academic Press, U.K.
Walmsley, J.C. and Lang, A.R. (1992a) On submicrometer inclusions in diamond coat: Crystallography and composition of ankerites and related rhombohedral carbonates. Mineralogical Magazine: 56: 533-543.
Walmsley, J.C. and Lang, A.R. (1992b) Oriented biotite inclusions in diamond coat. Mineralogical Magazine: 56: 108-111.
Luth, R.W. (1993) Diamonds, Eclogites, and the Oxidation State of the Earth's Mantle. Science: 261(5117): 66-68.
Harris, H. (1994) Fancy Color Diamonds. Fancoldi Registered Trust, Lichtenstein.
Schrauder, M. and Navon, O. (1994) Hydrous and carbonatitic mantle fluids in fibrous diamonds from Jwaneng, Botswana. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 58: 761-771.
Bulanova, G.P. (1995) The formation of diamond. Journal of Geochemical Exploration: 53(1-3): 1-23.
Shatsky, V.S., Sobolev, N.V., and Vavilov, M.A. (1995) Diamond-bearing metamorphic rocks of the Kokchetav massif (Northern Kazakhstan). In R.G. Coleman and X. Wang, Eds., Ultrahigh Pressure Metamorphism: 427-455. Cambridge University Press, U.K.
Marshall, J.M. (1996) Diamonds Magnified. Nappanee Evangel Press, second edition.
Schrauder, M., Koeberl, C., and Navon, O. (1996) Trace element analyses of fluid-bearing diamonds from Jwaneng, Botswana, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 60: 4711-4724.
Sobolev, N., Kaminsky, F., Griffin, W., Yefimova, E., Win, T., Ryan, C., and Botkunov, A. (1997) Mineral inclusions in diamonds from the Sputnik kimberlite pipe, Yakutia. Lithos: 39: 135-157.
Navon, O. (1999) Formation of diamonds in the earth's mantle. In J. Gurney, S. Richardson, and D. Bell, Eds., Proceedings of the 7th International Kimberlite Conference: 584-604. Red Roof Designs, Cape Town.
Taylor, L.A., Keller, R.A., Snyder, G.A., Wang, W.Y., Carlson, W.D., Hauri, E.H., McCandless, T., Kim, K.R., Sopbolev, N.V., and Bezborodov, S.M. (2000) Diamonds and their mineral inclusions, and what they tell us: A detailed "pull-apart" of a diamondiferous eclogite. International Geology Review: 42: 959-983.
Kaminsky, F.V. and Khachatryan, G.K. (2001) Characteristics of nitrogen and other impurities in diamond, as revealed by infrared absorption data. Canadian Mineralogist: 39(6): 1733-1745.
Izraeli, E.S., Harris, J.W., and Navon, O. (2001) Brine inclusions in diamonds: a new upper mantle fluid. Earth and Planetary Science Letters: 18: 323-332.
Kendall, Leo P. (2001) Diamonds: Famous & Fatal, The History, Mystery & Lore of the World's Most Precious Gem. Barricade Books, Fort Lee, NJ, 236 pp. (IBN 1-56980-202-5).
Hermann, J. (2003) Experimental evidence for diamond-facies metamorphism in the Dora-Maira massif. Lithos: 70: 163-182.
Klein-BenDavid, O., Izraeli, E.S., and Navon, O. (2003a) Volatile-rich brine and melt in Canadian diamonds. 8th. International Kimberlite Conference, Extended abstracts, FLA_0109, 22-27 June 2003, Victoria, Canada.
Klein-BenDavid, O., Logvinova, A.M., Izraeli, E., Sobolev, N.V., and Navon, O. (2003b) Sulfide melt inclusions in Yubileinayan (Yakutia) diamonds. 8th. International Kimberlite Conference, Extended abstracts, FLA_0111, 22-27 June 2003, Victoria, Canada.
Logvinova, A.M., Klein-BenDavid, O., Izraeli E.S., Navon, O., and Sobolev, N.V. (2003) Microinclusions in fibrous diamonds from Yubileinaya kimberlite pipe (Yakutia). In 8th International Kimberlite Conference, Extended abstracts, FLA_0025, 22-27 June 2003, Victoria, Canada.
Navon, O., Izraeli, E.S., and Klein-BenDavid, O. (2003) Fluid inclusions in diamonds: the Carbonatitic connection. 8th International Kimberlite Conference, Extended abstracts, FLA_0107, 22-27 June 2003, Victoria, Canada.
Izraeli, E.S., Harris, J.W., and Navon, O. (2004) Fluid and mineral inclusions in cloudy diamonds from Koffiefontein, South Africa. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 68: 2561-2575.
Klein-BenDavid, O., Izraeli, E.S., Hauri, E., and Navon, O. (2004) Mantle fluid evolution - a tale of one diamond. Lithos: 77: 243-253.
Hwang, S.-L., Shen, P., Chu, H.-T., Yui, T.-F., Liou, J.G., Sobolev, N.V., and Shatsky, V.S. (2005) Crust-derived potassic fluid in metamorphic microdiamond. Earth and Planetary Science Letters: 231: 295.
Klein-BenDavid, O., Wirth, R., and Navon, O. (2006) TEM imaging and analysis of microinclusions in diamonds: A close look at diamond-growing fluids. American Mineralogist: 91: 353-365.
Garai, J., Haggerty, S.E., Rekhi, S., and Chance, M. (2006) Infrared Absorption Investigations Confirm the Extraterrestrial Origin of Carbonado-Diamonds. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 653, L153-L156. []
Gurney, J.J., Helmstaedt, H.H., Richardson, S.H., and Shirey, S.B. (2010) Diamonds through Time. Economic Geology 105, 689-712.
Tappert, R. and Tappert, M.C. (2011) Diamonds in Nature: a guide to rough diamonds. Springer, 142 pp.
Shkodzinsky, V.S. (2011) Nature of different compositions of inclusions in diamond. Zapiski RMO (Proceedings of the Russian Mineralogical Society) 140, 92-99 (in Russian).
Howell, D. (2012) Strain-induced birefringence in natural diamond: a review. European Journal of Mineralogy, 24, 575-585.
Shirey, S.B. and Shigley, J.E. (2013) Recent Advances in Understanding the Geology of Diamonds. Gems & Gemology 49, 188-222.
Nasdala, L., Grambole, D., Wildner, M., Gigler, A.M., Hainschwang, T., Zaitsev, A.M., Harris, J.W., Milledge, J., Schulze, D.J., Hofmeister, W., and Balmer, W.A. (2013) Radio-colouration of diamond: a spectroscopic study. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 165, 843–861.

Internet Links for DiamondHide

Localities for DiamondHide

This map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.

Locality ListShow

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