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Want to know everything about diamond industry before you purchase jewelry?

Introduction to the Diamond Industry

Diamonds are plain carbon crystals, cousin to graphite and soot, diamonds are the hardest known substance. This property makes diamonds invaluable for a variety of applications, from drilling rock to being a part of jewelry. Diamonds possess an extraordinary optical property that it has a brilliant sparkle. In India diamonds have been known since ancient times, and in India the first diamond industry flourished; India was the exclusive source of diamonds from about 900 BC to 1725, and this is the reason why all the famous diamonds around the world are originated in India. Diamonds soon became the favorite in jewelry; the first recorded diamond engagement ring was presented by Archduke Maximillian of Hamburg to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.

Diamonds have long been valued for their rarity besides their hardness and brilliant sparkle. Diamonds were formed millions of years ago in hundreds of miles underground at extreme heat and pressure. Diamonds are found in volcanic "pipes" made of a rock called kimberlite. Kimberlites of South Africa and Siberia have diamonds, and have a thriving diamond industry in both regions. Alrosa which have mines in the Russian regions of Siberia produce almost $3 billion worth of diamonds a year which is in fact 20% of the world's total. Diamonds are also be found in the southeastern United States, Canada, and Brazil, often less in commercial quantities.

The world's highest concentrations of diamonds are in the central and southern Africa, and those regions have become the world's illicit diamond-mining centers. The rich volcanic history has resulted in the creation of huge numbers of kimberlite pipes, most of which produce diamonds. Most often diamonds are mined from water-deposited sediments, where erosion has placed them. Africa produces around the majority of the 30 million carats of gem-quality diamonds produced each year. 100 million carats of bort, or industrial-quality diamonds, are produced annually by the entire industry. All the quality diamonds are funneled through diamond trading centers such as London, New York, and especially Antwerp, Belgium. Over half of the world's diamonds have been controlled by De Beers, since 1888 which is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

From the 1950's synthetic diamonds are also available, but they are most often used for industrial uses like drilling, polishing, grinding and cutting. About 400 million carats of synthetic diamonds are produced yearly for industrial purposes. Synthetic diamonds have also find use as semiconductors and even computer chips. Recent processes using extreme heat and pressures have produced spectacular colored gemstones, which will soon rival natural diamonds in quality and, in cost.