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What is the journey from the diamond mine to the store?

  • Diamond extraction from the mine
  • The obvious route
  • The unusual route

Diamond extraction from the mine

The journey of a diamond starts in a mine somewhere in distant Australia, India, South Africa or Canada. There, rough diamonds are mined in kimberlite grooves. Once this has been done, the raw crystals are sorted according to size, colour, shape and other chemical and physical characteristics. From this point, there are two possible routes from the diamond mine to traders like BAUNAT.

The obvious route

The most obvious and safest route for you as a consumer is through the channels of De Beers, the largest mining group in the world, or one of the competitors such as the Australian Rio Tinto or the Botswana Debswana. De Beers is probably also the best-known mining company due to their commercials and their motto 'diamonds are forever'.

The mining companies organise sales sessions ("sights") where the diamonds, which have not been processed since they were mined, can be purchased by diamond crafters. These are exclusive events, by invitation only. The guests may choose to purchase the diamonds themselves or to sell them to smaller traders.

Then the smaller traders cut the rough diamonds and sell the polished gems either to jewellery creators or to diamond wholesalers. The jewellery creators then put them into finished jewellery to sell them to jewellers. The wholesalers sell them in turn to diamond retailers.

The unusual route

The other route is much less obvious and much less frequently used. Independent miners may choose not to sell their goods to a mining group such as De Beers. This is not very common because most mines are also operated by a mining group. The mine workers will then sell the proceeds from the diamond mine directly to other buyers. These buyers can in turn choose to cut the diamonds and try to sell themselves, or they can resume the process as in the obvious route.

Because in general more and more is being bought and sold online, diamonds have also found their way to the internet. BAUNAT makes it easy to purchase jewellery online at competitive prices. Moreover, BAUNAT is a fervent supporter of the Kimberley Process. This international partnership bans conflict diamonds from the international diamond trade.

Learn more about the import of diamonds in Antwerp or ask advice from the experts at BAUNAT.


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