Cempaka is a small village 10 km from Banjarbaru, and 45 minutes from Banjarmasin. It is an old site of traditional diamond digging using very simple equipment. The digging is a collective work by a group, usually consisting of one family and its close relatives. Kalimantan has had several diamond mines since the 18th century when it was under Dutch rule.
In 1985 a large raw diamond of 116.7 carats was found in a 15 meter deep mine shaft. Martapura is a finishing centre for diamonds and precious stones, and is also the centre of diamond marketing. The town is 40 km from Banjarmasin, which has become a tourist attraction for its numerous shops carrying diamonds at purported bargains. The polishing work uses traditional as well as modern equipment.
The diamonds another jewellery is marketed at Martapura Plaza. Stone-craft of various origins and forms are easily found in the markets of Martapura. The price of jewellery ranges from as little as Rp.5000,- up to millions of rupiahs. You could bargain with the seller to get the cheaper price.
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Kalimantan Tour Guide Team.