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Diamond is a very rare mineral, whose name comes from the Latin word diamentum, which means invincible, indestructible and refers to its very hardness. Diamond is the hardest known substance in nature. The diamond structure is small crystals that usually take the form of an octahedron. It is so hard that its surfaces can only be scratched with another diamond, yet it is very fragile.


The price of diamond for a carat

Antwerp, a city in northern Belgium, is a major diamond trade center for about 500 years. The first stock exchange was founded in 1893, and currently there are four stock exchanges. Belgium is the only country in which there is more than one diamond exchange. Many raw material companies have set up their offices in Belgium, and the gracious approach of the authorities and the central geographical position have made this country a magnet for merchants from all over the world. About 1,500 diamond companies have offices in Antwerp. The Antwerp Stock Exchange is a member of The World Federation of Diamond Bourses.

Israel Diamond Exchange is a private company that connects over 3 200 members and companies dealing with all fields related to diamond business, import and export of raw materials, polishing, manufacturing and brokerage. Israel Diamond Exchange is the largest diamond exchange in Europe. It is equipped with advanced technology, weighing computer systems and other services. In the technology room, members of the stock exchange can use free of charge any of the most advanced technologies required for diamond trading, including advanced gemmological equipment. The Stock Exchange is a member of The World Federation of Diamond Bourses.

Diamond Dealers Club New York was founded in 1931 in New York by two lawyers, two years after the Great Depression in the United States. Today, there are about 2000 importers, traders and diamond manufacturers. DDC supports the American Diamond Exchange and deals with issues related to diamond trade, work ethic and regulation. The organization is represented in The World Federation of Diamond Bourses.

Diamond extraction

Diamonds can be found in extinct volcanoes, river beds and sandy shores. In the case of extinct volcanoes, a diamond containing ore is obtained by digging, which is then melted and rinsed. In the river beds and on the sandy coasts diamonds are mined by digging gravel and rinsing it. There is some non-known property of diamonds, namely high viscosity to greased areas. By rinsing the greased bed, the gravel runs over it without much problem, and the diamonds stick to the walls.

Diamond searching is also done by drilling in the ground by mining companies. Drilling to look for diamonds is different from other geological drilling because the solid diamond body is extracted from a large depth to be examined on the surface.

The drilling method uses diamond drills, the key technology of which is a diamond piece. The drill consists of industrial diamonds placed in a soft metal matrix. Diamonds are scattered across the matrix, and the matrix slowly lifts diamonds while drilling to reveal more precious minerals. The water is injected into the drilling rig to wash out the cut pieces of stone, as well as to reduce the heat generated by friction and to reduce the wear of the drills.

Currently, about 130,000,000 diamonds (26,000 kg) of diamonds are collected annually, totaling almost $ 9 billion.

Occurrence of diamonds in the world

The diamond deposit can be divided into primary, that is, in the place of origin and secondary, which were transferred to another place due to the action of water or other natural factors. Secondary deposits are known for a long time and are more important in terms of diamonds that have been extracted so far.

They occur in many places in the world. About 49% of the diamonds come from Central and South Africa, although significant mineral sources have also been discovered in India, Russia, Brazil, Australia and Canada.

  • South Africa, or mainly the Oranje and Vaal basins, found the largest and most famous diamonds.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo holds mostly crumbed deposits, diamonds are mainly industrial. The deposit supplies about 65% of world production.
  • Botswana
  • Namibia
  • Sierra Leone – especially in the Koidu region
  • Senegal
  • Angola
  • Kongo
  • Lesotho
  • Tanzania
  • Ghana
  • Ivory Coast
  • Burkina Faso
  • Guinea
  • Livery
  • India, especially the area stretching from the Hindu Peninsula in the river valleys: Penner, Kistnach, Gadavary. Diamonds are in the highest grade in terms of purity, gloss, transparency. Mining in India is very primitive and the deposits are almost exhausted.
  • Russia, mainly in the region of Yakutia, the Urals and the Kola Peninsula.
  • Australia, areas of the Gwadir and Darling rivers.
  • Brazil, mainly mining in Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Parana.
  • Canada
  • Diamonds are also found in the United States, but they have no industrial significance.

The largest companies involved in the extraction and production of diamond

Mining and distribution of natural diamonds are subject to frequent controversy, such as concerns about the sale of so-called blood diamonds or diamonds obtained by African paramilitary groups. Diamond supplies are controlled by a limited number of powerful companies and are concentrated in a small number of locations around the world. Here are the biggest diamond companies:

De Beers Group of Companies was founded in 1888 by Cecil John Rhodes, a British businessman. Its head office is in London. The company is a world leader in diamond exploration, diamond mining, diamond trading, diamond industry and manufacturing. The company’s revenue in 2012 was $ 6.1 billion. The company has many critics who claim that the company was founded with the intention of controlling the world’s diamond extraction. The company was called a “diamond cartel.” However in recent years, it has turned out that De Beers does not have as much control over the world’s resources as was thought.

Alrosa was founded in 1992 in Russia. Its head office is in Mirny, the Asian part of Russia, in the Yakutia region. In 2012, the company achieved $ 4.4 billion in revenue and became the largest diamond mining company in the world, coming from the discovery of a mine in Russia, to which Alrosa owns full ownership. Apparently the mines contain diamond stocks worth about $ 4 billion, and the company has the exclusive right to extract them. All of their mines are in Russia, and most of them are mined in the frozen steppes of Siberia. The company is listed on the Moscow Exchange (MCX).

Rio-Tinto Diamonds, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, named after the Spanish River Rio Tinto. In 1873 Scottish industrialist Hugh Matheson assembled a group of financiers to purchase the Rio Tinto mine from the Spanish government. Rio-Tinto Diamonds is different from many other diamond companies as it is a “mine-to-market” company, meaning that the process of extracting diamonds to jewelers is under the control of the company. They operate on five continents and have three mines, including one in Australia, known as the largest producer of pink diamonds in the world. Rio Tinto is listed on stock exchanges in Australia, New York and London.

Debswana Diamond Company is one of the few companies outside the western world. The company is headquartered in Botswana. He runs four mines in the country. These are Orapa, Letlhakane, Jwaneng and Damtsha mines. Unlike other mining companies, which are often the target of human rights activists who are worried about the production of so-called blood diamonds, the company has indeed proved to be a potent force in terms of economic growth in Botswana. Botswana was once one of the poorest countries in the world. Today the country has one of the fastest growing economies. Debswana is an important part of this growth.

Dominion Diamond Corporation was founded in 1980. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada. In 2012, the company made $ 700 million in revenue. Initially, the company was known as Harry Winston Diamond Corporation. It currently owns mines in Canada. The most famous is Lac de Gras. The Rio Tinto Group helps operate this mine, although Dominion still owns the entire mine. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Use of diamond

Diamonds have very different uses, as only 20% of all diamonds are put into the jewelery industry where diamonds become brilliants. The rest is applicable in the industry, among others:

  • production of abrasive materials and cutting and cutting tools,
  • for the manufacture of thermally conductive pastes,
  • for the manufacture of components in scientific and medical apparatus,
  • production of particle detectors, dosimeters,
  • for the manufacture of hardness meters and phonograph needles.

Diamonds are one of the most appreciated gemstones. Minerals have been desirable for ages, and as a result, both natural and synthetic materials have been tried for its imitation. Most often used as imitations of zirconium, corundum, topaz and many others.

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