Mined diamonds aren’t forever
Since the 1400s, when diamonds were becoming a highly desired fashion accessory for Europe’s aristocrats, the value of these gems has steadily increased. When vast new mines opened during the 19th and 20th centuries, the demand for these precious gems grew.
However, while some of the earliest diamonds were gathered from rivers and streams in India, most of today’s diamonds are mined from deep in the earth. And these sources are drying up.
Most diamond mines are past peak production levels
Deeper, more expensive, more dangerous mining is required to locate the remaining diamonds
Budgets for mine exploration have been reduced and few new mines are expected to open
Mined diamond production has fallen by more than 25% in less than 10 years
Mined diamonds won’t keep pace with demand over the next 30 to 40 years:
Mined diamond production is expected to decrease by more than 70 million carats per year
Demand for diamonds is expected to grow to 250-300 million carats per year
Only 25 to 50 million carats of mined diamonds are expected to be available
Mined diamonds through time
First reference to diamonds in India, in Sanskrit manuscript, written by Kautiliya.
Pope Innocent III declared waiting period between betrothal and marriage, with rings to signify the couple’s commitment
Louis IX of France decreed that diamonds were reserved for the king.
Diamonds were worn not just by royals, but by aristocrats.
First diamond engagement ring presented by Archduke Maximilian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy.
Belgium became diamond cutting and trading center.
Diamond faceting enhances brilliance.
French chemist Antoine Lavoisier proved that diamond was composed of carbon.
21-carat diamond found beside the Orange River in South Africa.
83.50-carat deposit found, leading to the opening of the first large-scale mining operation, the Kimberly Mine.
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) founded.
GIA introduced diamond grading system: the 4Cs (color, clarity, cut, carat weight).
Canada became the third largest diamond producer with discovery of diamond deposits in the Northwest Territories and Alberta.