A self-professed rock hound, Ed Blackford '99, followed his interest to the extreme.
Blackford's tales were of the quest for diamonds and gold in South America and attendant logistical challenges. His Dec. 3 presentation in the Hurlburt Auditorium concluded the Fall 2013 Museum of the Earth Sciences lecture series.
"I was hooked when I found my first diamond, a quarter-carat stone that I panned out of a creek we were bridging," said Blackford, operations manager of Dream Hole Mining Company. A perfect seven-carat diamond was just one of many diamonds discovered by Blackford's fellow prospectors during his three-year stint in the former British colony of Guyana on the northern coast of South America.
Blackford's presentation, titled "Legend of El Dorado," recapped his experience in search of the gems and minerals that inspired Portugese and Spanish conquistadors, Sir Walter Raleigh and the prospectors featured in the Discovery Channel's "Gold Rush" television series.