Unseen Passage: Diamonds

Reading Comprehension

Chocolate diamonds that are actually brown diamonds are compared to the well-known white diamond, which aren’t of much worth. Diamonds are produced in mines. The best known diamond mines are in Australia, South Africa and Russia. The largest diamond mine was discovered in 1976 in the desert of Australia near a little creek named Lake Argyle. Diamonds are created under very extreme conditions of pressure and high temperature. It is a general misunderstanding that there exist only white colourless diamonds. Actually, diamonds exist in many different colours.

Of all the diamond mines in the world, almost 80% of the diamonds produced are brownish in colour. Because these were found in such large quantities compared to the other coloured diamonds, these were considered as low-valued diamonds, only good for the industrial sector. But, a famous man called Le Vian came with a marketing campaign to increase the popularity of the chocolate diamond. Instead of calling it a brown diamond, he gave it popular names like caramel, chocolate, cinnamon and cognac. Since his marketing campaign, chocolate diamonds are becoming very popular.

The value of a diamond is based on its shape, brightness and colour. Because white diamonds are rare, their value is based on the fact that there are not many white diamonds found around easily. But if you look at the shape and brightness, then the brightest diamond in this world known to men is the brown diamond. Before the development of the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia in 1986, most brown diamonds were considered worthless for jewellery; they were not even assessed on the diamond colour scale, and were predominantly used for industrial purposes.

However, marketing strategies changed in the 1980s and brown diamonds have become popular gems. The change was mostly due to the supply: the Argyle mine, with its 35 million carats (7,000 kg) of diamonds per year, makes about one third of global production of natural diamonds; 80% of Argyle diamonds are brown. The percentage of brown diamonds is lower in other mines, but it is almost always a significant part of the total production. Consequently, scientific research on causes of brown colour in diamond and ways to alter it has intensified.

Q. Answer the following questions:

  1. The wrong notion about diamonds is that ____________.
  2. Brown diamonds were considered low in value because __________.
  3. Brown diamonds became popular owing to ____________.
  4. The value of a diamond is based on its _________.

Answer

  1. there exists only white colourless diamonds.
  2. they were found in such large quantity
  3. the marketing campaigns of Le Vian.
  4. shape, brightness and color.

Q. Choose the correct alternatives:

  1. The white diamonds are rare because:
    1. they were considered as low value diamonds
    2. they are not found around easily
    3. Le Vian increased the popularity of chocolate diamond
    4. of their shape and brightness
  2. Brown diamonds were considered worthless for
    1. industrial purpose
    2. marketing
    3. jewellery
    4. None of the above
  3. Based on shape and brightness, which is the brightest diamond known to the mankind?
    1. white diamond
    2. brown diamond
    3. chocolate diamond
    4. Both (2) and (3)
  4. Find the word from the passage that means ‘a planned set of actions aimed at achieving a particular result’. (Para 2)
    1. campaign
    2. popularity
    3. cinnamon
    4. None of the above

Answers

  1. they are not found around easily
  2. jewellery
  3. both (2) and (3)
  4. campaign

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