Here are 5 essential diamond truths that will give you a better grasp of the industry as a whole.
Diamonds were formed around one to three billion years ago, long before we, humans were on Earth. Research shows that diamonds originate 100 miles beneath the Earth’s surface but were pushed up towards the Earth’s surface by severe volcanic eruptions that occurred 300-400 million years before. This means that Diamonds were present below the Earth’s surface even before Dinosaurs roamed. As a result, the diamonds are certainly one of the oldest items that any of us will ever possess.
The total number of diamonds recovered in a year peaked in 2005 and is likely to decrease significantly over the next decade or so. The underground volcanic pipes that hold the diamonds are called diamond-bearing kimberlites. Diamond-bearing kimberlites are extremely difficult to find and most of the diamonds recovered these days come from kimberlites that were discovered decades ago. Therefore, diamond production all around the world is gradually decreasing, making diamonds rarer as every day passes.
Statistics show that the annual recovery of 1 carat diamonds will fill up one exercise ball and the annual recovery of 5 carat diamonds and/or above, is likely to only fill up one basketball. This goes to show that diamonds are pretty scarce.
According to reports, 2017 was the strongest year ever for diamond jewellery in the world. Millennial consumers happen to represent 59% of value of diamond jewellery’s total demand while amounting to only a quarter of the total population. Millennials have a stronger interest and seem to value products that offer components such as rarity, authenticity and preciousness, which gives a clear indication as to why millennials represent such a large proportion of total diamond demand, as nothing says rare, authentic and precious like a billion-year-old diamond. In a world where things are getting increasingly fast and artificial with the growth of technology, diamonds carry a significant and deep, emotional meaning.
Conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamonds, originate from war-torn countries, usually from the African continent. Conflict diamonds are often used in these countries as mediums of exchange to pay for weapons to continue fighting and it has been deemed illegal to buy or sell conflict diamonds. However, these diamonds are now a thing of the past, African rebellions have receded and strict controls and regulations (e.g. the Kimberley Process) have been implemented within the industry to ensure that no diamonds coming from conflict-zones are traded in the market. These regulations have ensured that 99.8 percent of diamonds are Kimberley Process compliant, and almost all major producers have put in place safeguards to guarantee their diamonds are produced responsibly.
Statistics show that the diamond industry supports the livelihood of 10 million people world-wide, including 1.5 million small-scale miners and their families in Africa as well as South America, who provide the world with 15 percent of its diamonds. A great example of the contribution of diamonds to the world is Botswana. Botswana has transformed from an extremely poor country to a middle-income country. Every child in Botswana now receives free schooling till the age of 13 all due to the diamond revenues that are generated by Botswana, which amounts to one-third of the nation’s GDP. Another example would be the Indian state of Gujarat. In Gujarat, the diamond sector alone employs about 1 million people and funds schools and hospitals. Diamond mining also leaves a very small environmental footprint, and no harsh chemicals that can cause any harm to land or air quality are used to retrieve the diamonds from beneath the surface. All mining companies are carefully monitored by governments and local communities.