~Diamonds Are Forever~
The Diamond is a solid form of the element Carbon. It has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of ANY natural material and are used often in industrial applications like cutting & polishing.
Only two impurities can contaminate it, Boron & Nitrogen causing colour defects like blue (Boron) and yellow (Nitrogen)
Most Natural diamonds are incredibly old, aging between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years old! They are formed 150-250 kilometers in the Earth’s mantel. Volcanic eruptions carried them to the surface.
The name diamond actually came from Ancient Greek ἀδάμας (adámas) 'Proper, unalterable, unbreakable, untamed' They are thought to have been mined and recognized first in India where a significant alluvial deposits could be found along rivers like Penner, Krishna and Godavari many centuries ago. They have been known in India for 3000 years, but most likely 6000 years
Fun fact! A common misconception is that diamonds form from highly compressed coal. Coal is formed from buried prehistoric plants, and most diamonds that have been dated are far older than the first land plants. It's possible that diamonds can form from coal in subduction zones, but diamonds formed in this way are rare, and the carbon source is more likely carbonate rocks and organic carbon in sediments, rather than coal. MYTH BUSTED.
Production and distribution of diamonds is largely handled by a few key players, and concentrated in traditional trading centers.
Most important being Antwerp. 80% of all rough diamonds, 50% of all cut diamonds and over 50% of all rough, cut and industrial diamonds combined are handled.
Another important diamond center is New York City where almost 80% of the world's diamonds are sold.
Approximately 130,000,000 carats (26,000 kg) of diamonds are mined annually, with a total value of nearly US$9 billion, and about 100,000 kg (220,000 lb) are synthesized annually.
Around 49% of diamonds originate from central and Southern Africa. However, significant sources of the mineral have also been found in Canada, India, Russia, Brazil and Australia.
In some of the more politically unstable Central African & West African countries, revolutionary groups have unfortunately taken control of diamond mines using the proceeds to fund their operations. Diamonds sold through this process are known as "conflict diamonds" or "blood diamonds"
To respond to public concerns, United Nations, Diamond Industry and Diamond-Trading nations introduced the Kimberly Process in 2002. They aim to ensure that the conflict diamonds don't get intermixed with diamonds not controlled by rebels. This is done by requiring diamond-producing countries to provide proof that the money they make from selling the diamonds is not used to fund criminal or revolutionary activities. Despite the efforts in place, conflict diamonds constitute 2-3% of all diamonds.
Here in Canada, the Canadian Government has set up a body known as the Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct to help authenticate Canadian diamonds. This is a stringent tracking system of diamonds and helps protect the "conflict free" label of Canadian diamonds.