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Wednesday, 19 September 2007

French Coral diamond. A yellowish 7.25-carat rough stone reportedly discovered in Nevada County, Cal­ifornia. Date and ownership unknown. French cut. A square form of cutting with a square table, the edges of

which, rather than being parallel to the edges of the girdle outline, are placed at 45° to it. Facets other than the table may vary in number and shape.

French Equatorial africa. A former French African colony before the es­tablishment of the present indepen­dent nations of gabon, Republic of Congo (formerly Moyen, or Middle, Congo), Central African Republic and Chad. Diamond production is entirely alluvial and is concentrated in the Central African Republic, al­though Gabon is a minor producer. Prospecting is being undertaken elsewhere. The principal producing companies are Compagnie Miniere de I'Oubangui Oriental (CMOO), Societe de Recherches et d'Exploi-tation Diamantiferes (SOREDIA), Societe Miniere Intercolonial (SMI), Compagnie Miniere de Carnot, Societe Miniere de I'Est Oubangui, and S.A. de Recherches et d'Exploita-tions Minieres Centre Oubangui (SAREMCO). As in French West Af­rica, the percentage of industrials is approximately 66%. Annual produc­tion is on the order of 100,000-150,000 carats.

French Sudan. See mali federation.

"French West Africa." A former French colonial grouping that was made up of a number of smaller col­onies, including Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Dahomey, Upper Volta, French Sudan and Niger. Of these, Guinea and Ivory Coast, now republics, are the princi­pal diamond producers. The alluvial mines of Guinea are similar to those of Sierra Leone, and are probably extensions of the latter fields. The

most important mines are in Haute-Guines, midway between Beyla and Kissidougou. The mining companies are Societe Cuineenone de Re­cherches et d'Exploitations Minieres (SOCUINEX), Societe de Recherches et d'Exploitations Minieres en Cote d'lvoire (SAREMCI), Societe Miniere de Beyla, and Societe Diamantifere de la Cote d'lvoire (SODIAMCI). Na­tive miners also work alluvial dig­gings in the same area, exporting much of their production to Liberia illegal channels. Total an­nual production varies from approx­imately 200,000 to more than 300,000 carats. The proportion of industrials is about 66%. through

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