Diamonds, those twinkly bits of bling that we adore, aren’t scattered all over the world. In fact, only 22 countries are blessed with these dazzling treasures hiding beneath their soils.
Among them, a few are absolute champions in bringing these gems to the light of day, and today, we’re embarking on a sparkly journey to explore this glittering world together. Are you ready to dive in?
A brief pause here – ever heard of the Kimberley Process or Dr. Ashok Damarupurshad? The first is a global initiative to stop rough diamonds from conflict zones entering the market, and the latter is a diamond whizz from South Africa.
They tell us that Russia, with its sprawling tundras and deep mines, scooped up a jaw-dropping 42 million carats of rough diamonds in 2022 alone! This mind-boggling figure, as presented by VisualCapitalist, showcases the ranking of the leading countries in the diamond industry.
But wait, what is a carat, you ask? Well, a carat is the unit of measurement for the physical weight of diamonds.
Just to give you an idea, one carat equals 0.200 grams, which means it takes over 2,265 carats to make up just one pound. So you can imagine the enormous weight of diamonds produced by Russia!
But here’s where it gets fascinating. Size isn’t everything, at least in the diamond world. Botswana, smaller and producing fewer diamonds than Russia, is actually the heavyweight champion in terms of the value of diamonds produced.
In 2022, Botswana’s diamonds were valued at an astonishing $4.975 billion, overshadowing Russia’s collection despite being lighter!
And the surprises don’t stop there. Angola, although sitting at 6th place for production, soars up to snag the 3rd place when we talk diamond value. It’s like a dazzling reminder that it’s not just about size, but the quality that counts.
Zooming out a bit, if we glance over the regions, Africa shines the brightest as the leading diamond-producing continent, providing 51% of the global output by weight and 66% by value! A cool fact to tuck in your cap:
Diamond mining in Africa is actually a newbie, with its story spanning less than two centuries. Before that, these gems were discovered in enchanting locations from India to the Roman Empire.
But let’s be real – the history of diamonds isn’t all sparkle and romance. Terms like “blood diamonds” emerged in recent decades, highlighting a darker, grittier side of the industry. These are diamonds mined in conflict zones and, sadly, used to fund various insurgencies and criminal activities.
So, there we have it – a glimpse into the shimmering yet complex world of diamonds. From the heart of the earth, through complex networks of mining and trade, these gems have travelled, embodying a fusion of natural beauty and human inventiveness.