What are diamonds?
The word “diamond” comes from the Greek “Adamas”, meaning ‘indestructible’. Diamonds are allotropes of carbon. Indeed, they are the most concentrated form of pure carbon in the natural world and by far the strongest mineral on Earth.
The organic process of diamond formation requires four key elements: carbon, pressure, heat and time. Diamonds originate in the Earth’s mantle, at about 100 underground miles. There, diamonds have formed over billions of years from heated and pressurized carbon. Due to different natural reactions, diamonds ascend to the Earth’s surface in rare molten rock or magma that originates at great depths. Once this happens, diamonds are mined to then be sorted, cut and polished in order to bring out their luster.
Today, diamonds are mined in about 25 countries, on every continent except Europe and Antarctica. For 1,000 years -starting around the 4th century BC, India was the only source of diamonds; however, the major discoveries of mines in South Africa around the 1870s marked a dramatic increase in diamond supply. Additional major producers now include several African countries, Siberian Russia, Brazil and Australia.
The source of the diamond has a big impact on quality and the light it reflects. It is also crucial in ensuring that the sourced stones come from sustainable, ethical origins.
At 64Facets, we only source rough diamonds from sustainable trade partners, the majority of which are syndicate mines in Lesotho (next to South Africa, and where diamonds have unique properties), Congo, South Africa. We also have partners in Canada, Russia and Australia. Once mined, the rough diamonds are sent to a trading centre, where we buy them directly from the site holders keeping our supply chain as short as possible. They are then shipped to our factories in Surat India to be assessed, cut and polished.
Rough diamonds being inspected in the 64Facets factory in Surat, India