The birth of a diamond began over 3.2 billion years ago; deep underneath the earth’s surface with pressures 50,000 times the typical atmosphere and temperatures boasting up to 1,300 degrees Celsius. These extreme situations create unique crystalline lattice structures which we refer to as a girls’ best friend.
Being knowledgeable about where diamonds come from and the journey they make on the way to your jewelry box is an important matter no one should take for granted. Unbenounced to many, and sadly so, mining for diamonds can bring out the worst in people. When I think of ‘Blood Diamonds’ I think of Lord of the Rings and the morals lost in many a character in order to gain a priceless possession. Sadly the similarities between the movie and some African war zones are uncanny. Luckily the morals of De Beers and other successful diamond companies are still in tack and precautions are being taken to help create a safe and professional environment for the workers and local civilians of mining zones throughout the globe.
The process of mining is shared between four branches or practices. The most common of these are Open Pit Mining, done above ground until Underground Mining is added. This procedure is technically complex and is done when option 1 becomes uneconomic. Here the method of extraction depends on the natural state of the kimberlite deposit and nearby rock forms. These ores of kimberlite typically are cone shaped with the larger end atop….due to the volcanic outcome. Marine Mining deals with diamond rich gravel smoothed into the ocean floor. Last but not least is Alluvial Mining; the search for buried diamonds that come to rest over millions of years of being carried by bodies of water and wind patterns.
Depending on which mining process is used, certain “whistleblowing” techniques are applied. De Beers set up whistleblowing to aid in keeping an ethically responsible manner at all times. Whistleblowing is an anonymous hotline if you will, scattered throughout 12 countries, anyone with a tip-off can safely contact DeBeers and inform them of unethical/unsafe acts surrounding the industry. This is not only a step in the right directed but DeBeers and the Kimberely Process, show the world that morality is important and a key player in true success.