Natural diamonds are one of the most precious treasures the Earth has ever given humanity, scattered across the globe, these jewels are viewed with an unending sense of awe. Hence, began an exploration into understanding everything surrounding natural diamonds.
Over the years, the information unearthed about natural diamonds has been phenomenal. From their origin story to new mining technology to techniques that make them sparkle brighter in jewellery pieces, there’s still something new to learn about natural diamonds, every day.
So, if you’re looking to make this rare gift of nature your own, then here are some facts that will help you understand your purchase better.
The origins of natural diamonds
It’s common knowledge that natural diamonds form at depths below 150 km and at pressures 50,000x higher than the Earth’s surface. However, what’s little known is that these precious stones are found in places where the temperatures reach 40°C in summer and -40°C in winter.
What impact does the natural diamond industry have on the environment?
Contrary to popular belief, natural diamond recovery has now evolved into a much greener process.
The industry is now developing various carbon neutral technologies to intrinsically reduce the effects on the environment. Take for example, Mineral Carbonation. It’s a groundbreaking research program, which aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. This program uses Kimberlite, the rocks from which natural diamonds are extracted to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“Did you know? 99% of the excess materials from natural diamond recovery is actually just rock, kept on site and reclaimed as part of the natural landscape.”
It’s because of these steps and stringent guidelines placed on companies by UN & WTO initiatives such as the Kimberely Process, that today 99.8% of the world’s natural diamonds are certified as conflict free. In fact, you can trace the provenance of natural diamonds along the entire supply chain through blockchain technology, which proves that you have purchased an ethically sourced diamond of which you can be proud.
What do natural diamonds do for local communities?
Sourced with accountability and stringent guidelines, a natural diamond contributes to the growth of the region where it was discovered. From educating children to providing healthcare and livelihoods to millions, the industry is working tirelessly with and for local communities.
“Over half a million children in rural communities get access to education because of natural diamonds.”
Land and water conservation is at the core of NDC members’ values. Which is why, the world’s leading diamond producers conserve protecting over 2800 sq. kms of land, four times of what they use for diamond mining, which is almost double the size of New Delhi. A lot of this land helps protect endangered species. In fact, NDC members have safeguarded 200,000 hectares across Southern Africa to protect the endangered rhino. To conserve water, the natural diamond industry recycles 84% of the water used in diamond recovery, preserving tons of thousands of water for the local communities.
The natural diamonds industry can offer substantial benefits due to the significant share it has in value creation. For instance, 85% of procurement of goods, services and employees by leading natural diamond mining companies is locally sourced. Moreover, these leading companies contribute $9.64Bn to economies where they are located.
The livelihoods of 10 million people are supported by natural diamonds that are ethically sourced. Moreover,around 80% of the rough diamond value remains within the local community in the form of local purchases, employment benefits, infrastructure spending and more.
Between 80-90% of the world’s natural diamonds are cut and polished in Surat, one of the leading centres of the worldwide diamond industry, boasting an annual turnover of $24 billion. The gem & jewellery sector contributes to 7% of India’s GDP.
Over the years, the natural diamond industry has evolved into a force of environment and community conservation. Every natural diamond discovered has and will continue to help make the world a better, greener place. And as you make your first or next purchase, you are not just owning a precious stone, but investing in an heirloom that will leave behind a sparkling legacy for the generations to come.