Diamonds are one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world, and they play a significant role in jewellery. Incorporating a diamond into jewellery adds value to pieces and allows individuals to mark special moments. A diamond goes through a lengthy procedure before appearing on a jeweller’s display case, allowing shoppers to explore their options. It forms deep in the earth and is extracted, cut, and polished. So, diamond mining is a highly lucrative industry.
A common question when purchasing diamonds is, where are diamonds mined? The first known reference to diamonds dates back to the 4th century BC, when they were discovered in India. They soon became prized, and other parts of the world started to discover and mined diamonds. Today, many regions worldwide produce diamonds, with Canada being the third largest producer as of 2019.
Although diamond mining is a large industry, the social and environmental impact of diamond mining is also a concern. Many companies are investing in sustainable and ethical practices to mitigate these issues. Understanding how diamonds are mined can help you make informed decisions about your purchase.
History of Diamond Mining
Diamonds have been admired for their beauty and rarity for many years, but diamond mining as an industry only began in the late 19th century. When mined diamonds were first discovered in India, they were used for religious purposes and as decorative objects.
Diamonds became popular in Europe during the Middle Ages and were used as a symbol of wealth and power. The first diamond engagement ring was given by Archduke Maximilian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.
A common question when exploring the history of mined diamonds is, where are diamonds mined? In the 19th century, the discovery of diamonds in South Africa led to the development of the modern diamond industry. The early 20th century saw the development of new diamond mining techniques, such as open-pit and underground mining. The demand for diamonds increased in the 1930s and 1940s, particularly in the United States. Diamond mining is a global industry today, with mines in Canada, Russia, Australia, Botswana, and Namibia.
If you want to learn more about the history of a mined diamond or find out where are diamonds mined in Canada, visit Made You Look, Toronto’s best jewellery store, to speak to our team of experts. We can familiarize you with historical procedures and help you choose a diamond that best fits your needs. We can assist you if you’re looking for mined diamond rings, necklaces, or earrings. We also support ethical mining practices and supply lab-grown diamonds. Visit us to learn the difference between lab vs mined diamonds.
Process of Diamond Mining
You may be wondering, how are diamonds mined? Diamond mining is a complex process requiring expertise and specialized equipment to extract and prepare valuable stones. Here is a brief breakdown of how diamonds are mined:
Different areas are explored to determine if there are diamonds present. This involves geologists and other experts using various techniques, such as sampling soil and rock, to identify potential diamond deposits.
Once a diamond deposit has been identified, the mining site is prepared by clearing the land, building access roads, and installing infrastructure such as power and water supplies.
There are two main types of diamond mining: open-pit and underground.
- Open-pit mining: is the removal of large amounts of earth and rock to expose the diamond-bearing ore. The ore is then extracted and transported to a processing plant.
- Underground mining: is used when diamond deposits are deep beneath the surface. Miners use underground tunnels to access the ore brought to the surface.
Processing & Preparation
Once the diamond-bearing ore has been extracted from the mine, it is transported to a processing plant. At this point, people often wonder, what do diamonds look like before they are mined? When mined from the earth, diamonds look like cloudy rocks. At the processing plant, the ore is crushed and separated from other minerals and rocks, and it is then prepared to be graded, cut, polished, and gradually sold and distributed. One of the most critical steps in this process is evaluating the diamond on a diamond grading scale which can describe and classify diamonds in four crucial areas: Clarity, Color, Cut, and Carat Weight.
Evolving Mining Procedures
As more become aware of the negative influence of a mined diamond, there has been a growing awareness of the need for ethical mining practices, prioritizing human rights, social and environmental responsibility, and sustainable development. To address these issues, both international and Canadian mined diamonds are being created with ethical mining practices in mind.
Awareness of Ethical Diamond Mining
Whether you’re looking for internationally sourced or Canadian mined diamonds, your first concern may be, how are diamonds mined? Now that you have the answer, you may look for alternative production methods involving ethical diamond mining.
Ethical diamond mining supporting initiatives and programs designed to reduce the environmental impact of traditional diamond mining. For example, the Responsible Mining Index (RMI) is a benchmarking tool that assesses the performance of large-scale mining companies on economic, social, and environmental factors.
The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is another initiative that aims to improve the social and environmental performance of mining operations by providing a certification program for responsible mining practices.
At Made You Look, we prioritize ethical diamond mining to ensure no humanitarian issues in how diamonds are mined or transported. We understand that ethical diamond mining offers better working conditions and fair wages and allows us to reduce our carbon footprint.
Alternatives to Diamond Mining
Although mined diamonds are still a significant component of the industry, some customers look for alternatives to ensure they are making ethical choices. You can opt for lab-grown diamonds or alternative gemstones when you want to replace international or Canadian mined diamonds.
The only difference between lab vs mined diamonds is their origin, as they have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties. Unlike mined diamonds, the manufacturing process of lab-grown diamonds is safer for workers and the earth. It also takes a shorter time, reducing its cost. You can find many beautiful lab-grown diamond wedding rings, engagement rings, and other jewellery at Made You Look. Talk to our designers to understand how to choose between lab vs mined diamonds based on your individual needs.
If you want to avoid mined diamond rings or other mined diamonds in jewellery, you can opt for other gemstones, such as moissanite, sapphire, or ruby. These gems are often more affordable and have their unique beauty.
Importance of Learning About Diamond Mining
Learning about diamond mining is important, as it helps you make sustainable choices. Traceability is one of the key components of sustainability, as learning about a diamond’s origin will allow you to understand the impact of your purchase.
While the mining industry still faces many challenges regarding ethical and sustainable practices, there are signs of progress and increasing awareness of the need for responsible mining. At Made You Look, we prioritize traceability and transparency to ensure we know where the diamonds come from. This allows us to relay this information to our customers and make informed decisions together. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you in your journey to find the perfect diamond with the lowest environmental impact!