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How does a diamond get from the mines to the stores?

Friday, July 29th, 2011

“Finding the rough diamonds is only the first step. Once diamonds have been mined and processed out of the ‘overburden’ (that is, the kimberlite rocks in which they are imbedded), the rough crystals are sorted and categorized according to their size, color, shape and other characteristics. At this point, a diamond can follow one of two routes.

The most common route is through the channels of DeBeers’ Central Selling Organization (CSO). Many people are familiar with DeBeers mainly because of their advertisements and commercials and because of the famous motto that they coined in the early half of the 20th century: “”A Diamond is Forever.””

While DeBeers’ market influence has decreased somewhat over the last few years, they still control the majority of the world’s diamond production (an estimated 30% to 40% of annual diamond production). The purchasing arm of the CSO not only buys diamonds from member mines around the world; it also finances mining technology for governments which do not have the means to mine their own deposits. Most of what is bought through the CSO is sent to London to be offered to buyers through DeBeers marketing arm, the Diamond Trading Corporation (DTC).

The DTC holds ten week-long selling sessions called ‘sights’ each year. These sights are by invitation only, and only a handful of diamond manufacturers from around the world (called ‘sightholders’) are allowed to attend. These sightholders may chose to cut the rough diamonds they buy themselves, or they may chose to sell some of the rough diamonds to smaller manufacturers.

These smaller manufacturers cut the rough diamonds and sell the polished gems either to jewelry manufacturers (who set the diamonds into finished pieces of jewelry and then sell the jewelry to jewelry retailers), or to diamond wholesalers (who then, in turn, sell the diamonds to diamond retailers).

In the less common route from mine to market, some independent miners elect not to sell their mine production to the DeBeers cartel. Instead, they offer newly mined diamonds directly to other world buyers. These buyers, in turn, may chose to cut and sell the diamonds themselves, or pass the diamonds along within the industry in a manner similar to that described above. ”

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Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Western customs require that the engagement rings are to be worn by a woman on her left hand ring finger to demonstrate that she is engaged to be married. However, in modern day usage, the engagement ring is given to a lady by a man at the time of proposing marriage and agreement of which would lead to her wearing the engagement ring, which is presented as a betrothal gift and signifies the official acceptance to marry in the future.

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