Pat Sheahan, John Kaiser team up for diamond service

Pat Sheahan (left) and John Kaiser.Pat Sheahan (left) and John Kaiser.

As one of the only mining newsletter writers with a lasting interest in diamonds, John Kaiser has been receiving Pat Sheahan’s diamond literature service — a monthly PDF listing of technical papers that have been published on diamonds, plus notable diamond-related corporate press releases and media coverage — for years.

But Kaiser found the PDF format of limited use and in 2015, he approached Sheahan with a way to modernize the service, which Sheahan had first started in 1970.

“Pat puts all this effort into it, but because of the format, the way she was delivering it, I don’t think the audience was able to extract the value out of it to justify the effort she was putting in,” Kaiser says.

If the letter was in digital form, instead of being emailed out as a PDF it could be posted online with links to the technical articles, and could even be searched by topic or author, so Kaiser approached Sheahan with the idea.

Sheahan says she jumped at the chance.

“After Bob Bishop retired, John was always the one that I went to listen to because he believed in diamonds and he also was working extremely hard to be very good at what he does — and he is.”

Not only that, but Kaiser was willing to take on a lot of the technical details over from Sheahan, who doesn’t claim to be tech-savvy.

However, it still required Sheahan retrieving older references from archaic technology — including floppy disks, and adding proper keywords.

“He struggled and he pushed and he shoved and I finally got from 2004 to the present cleaned up to his requirements and I laugh because I’m supposed to be retired!” Sheahan says.

By early 2016, Kaiser had posted the references back to 2004 on his website. The two have since been working on getting the rest up in batches — including references back to 1849, Kaiser says.

Earlier this year, Kaiser asked Brooke Clements (a Hugo Dummett Diamond discovery award winner) to provide commentary on some of the technical articles.

“I persuaded him since he’s actually a geologist in this field to go through the abstracts and pick out ones that catch his attention, and to say, this is interesting for this reason,” Kaiser says.

Kaiser, meanwhile is flagging and commenting on media articles and wider diamond trends.

The information is easily accessible, searchable and available for free on Kaiser’s website.

“I’m hoping for a revival in the diamond space,” Kaiser says. “And having all this stuff available in one place would also be a gateway if people ever wanted to care about diamonds again and start getting up to speed with what’s going on in the space.”

To access the archive, go to Kaiser’s homepage ( and then follow the link to the Diamond Resource Centre.


–This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Diamonds in Canada magazine.


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