Diamonds are now mined all around the world. By the early 2000s, South Africa had been joined by other African nations as major producers of rough diamonds. These include the Democratic Republic of the Congo (previously known as Zaire) and Botswana. The former USSR opened its first major mine in 1960, and Russia is now one of the top producers by both volume and value. Diamond mining expanded dramatically with the opening of the Argyle mine in Australia in 1983 and the discovery of several diamond deposits in northern Canada in the 1990s.
Diamond mining in Russia’s eastern Siberia reads like an adventure novel. The setting: tundra, frigid temperatures and short days. The props: jet engines and explosives used to heat and soften the ice covering the kimberlite pipes; vertical, carrot shaped masses of igneous rock that can be a primary source for diamonds. The storyline: In 2013, Alrosa, Russia’s main diamond mining company, estimated that there were 970 million carats still waiting to be found in the frozen tundra.
Diamonds in Botswana lie in the typically hot, semi-arid eastern region of the country. These prolific diamond mines have brought a boom to their local economy, creating a growing middle class. The country is also a diamond hub, where approximately 40 percent of the world’s supply of rough diamonds are sorted and valued.
Diamonds are rare. The average yield in most diamond mines is 1 part diamond to 1 million parts host rock.
The Four Cs of Diamonds
DIAMOND CLARITY - Clarity grades assess the number, size, relief, and position of inclusions and blemishes. While a difference in a diamond's clarity will effect the value; it doesn't always effect the beauty of the diamond.
DIAMOND COLOR - The less color, the higher the grade. Even the slightest hint can make a dramatic difference in value. Family & Co. Jewelers recommends diamonds from D (the highest color grade) to I in color; especially for diamond engagement rings.
DIAMOND CUT - Cut (proportions, symmetry, and polish) is a measure of how a diamond’s facets interact with light. Diamond cut shouldn't be confused with diamond shape. When we speak of a diamond's cut we refer to how well the diamond is cut. An excellent cut diamond (this term is only used when grading a round brilliant cut diamond) will have the best light performance.
DIAMOND CARAT WEIGHT - Rarity means larger diamonds of the same quality are worth more per carat. Many people think of carat as diamond size, however it is diamond weight. To understand carat weights; think of a one carat diamond as one dollar. A three quarter carat diamond relates to 75 cents, a carat and a half diamond relates to a dollar fifty, etc.
No discussion of diamonds today would be complete without mentioning Above Ground Diamonds. A recent study performed by MVI Marketing revealed that 66% of all millennials would consider purchasing an Above Ground Diamond and 23% went so far as to state that they will definitely buy an Above Ground Diamond. Family & Co. Jewelers has always believed that our clients should have freedom of choice in their diamond purchasing decisions; therefore we offer Earth Mined Diamonds and Above Ground Diamonds. All of our diamonds are certified.