While perusing the fine jewelry display cases at a jewelry store, or searching the electronic catalog of a jeweler’s collection of loose diamonds, one of the last questions that may come to mind is: how did these sparkling specimens get here? The process is not a simple one, and it is even more interesting to consider the ultimate origin of the diamond. https://inesarenas.com/

Diamond mining used to be centered in Africa, but is now a worldwide industry. In Africa, alone, countries that mine diamonds include Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Central African Republic. Other countries include Brazil, Guyana, Canada, Russia, and Australia. Each year, only about half of the diamonds mined are of gem quality. This is what makes the jewelry-grade diamonds so valuable.

The other half of the mined diamonds are “near-gem” or “industrial” quality. Diamonds are mined by pipe mining and by alluvial mining. In pipe mining, diamonds are extracted from volcanic pipes. Hundreds of tons of ore are mined for each gem, on average! Once the rock is removed from the ground, diamonds are separated from it in a screening plant. In alluvial mining, diamonds are extracted from riverbeds or beaches along the ocean. These diamonds were eroded from the volcanic rock millions of years ago. Bulldozers are used to access the diamond-rich layer of earth, which is then also transported to a screening plant.

In their final stages, diamonds are cut, polished and inspected before they are put on display and sold. Some of the most likely geographic destinations for your diamonds may include Antwerp, Belgium and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Antwerp is known as the diamond capital of the world. This is often where large collections of rough diamonds are processed into the sparklers that we traditionally associate with the term “diamond.” Amsterdam is also one of the key destinations for rough diamonds. All around the city one can see ominous old buildings with a deep history in the diamond trade. Of course, these are not the only places where diamonds are processed. There are specialists all over the world who cut and curate diamonds which are used in jewelry, for their rare and beautiful optical characteristics, as well as for use in industry, for their hardness and utility in tools and material coatings.

By the time loose diamonds land in place where you get a chance to admire them and perhaps consider your purchase, they have traveled throughout the world, and have seen a lot during their travels. From the point of mining, stops along the way include where they are cut and polished, where they are inspected, where they are purchased in bulk, and where they are ultimately sold to the traditional consumer.

By yanam49

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