Sorting a diamond from rock at Venetia Mine in South Africa
Almost all of the diamonds that exist today began their journey more than one billion years ago in superheated molten rock and under intense pressure, hundreds of kilometres below the Earth’s surface.
Blasted to the surface in the magma of vast explosive volcanoes, they sped upward at the speed of sound, too fast for their unique crystalline structure to degrade into more stable, common graphite. As the volcanoes eventually cooled, their hidden lode of diamonds remained trapped within vast cones of hardened magma known as kimberlite.
The Search for Diamonds
The first diamonds were found by chance - glittering pebbles beside the course of an ancient river, a white, shiny stone for a child to play with. Early prospectors followed the path of these alluvial diamonds to their source in the eroding kimberlite, sometimes a thousand miles away. Today our explorers, armed with knowledge of the specific geological conditions required to form diamonds, pursue them in some of the world’s most remote and inaccessible places using sophisticated science and advanced technology. Read more about Diamond Exploration
A De Beers prospecting team on location. Studying the variations in the Earth's gravitational pull is one method for detecting possible diamond deposits.
Carrying precious cargo to be processed in Namibia
We mine diamonds above and below ground, on desert beaches, at the bottom of the ocean and even beneath an Arctic lake. Our processing operations take care when liberating each carat from its surrounding kimberlite, recognising that, as a finite resource, the world’s supply shrinks with every diamond recovered.
Read more about Diamond Mining and Processing.
Bringing Diamonds to Life
Expert sorters select diamonds for their natural characteristics before passing them on to diamond cutters, the master craftsmen who provide the spark for the transformation of every diamond. It requires imagination, patience, years of experience and an intimate concentration to cut and polish a diamond and unveil its true brilliance.
Watch De Beers' experts sort diamonds
Eloquent and eternal
Rare and nearly indestructible, diamonds are an expression of deep human emotion. Diamonds speak of love, eternal commitment and everlasting passion, far more eloquently than words. Diamonds are potent symbols of joy shared in celebration - engagement, the birth of a child, an anniversary, or the achievement of a personal goal. The gift of a diamond makes life's most joyful moments unforgettable forever.