Rough Diamonds

Some 800 years B.C., the Indians were already big suppliers of rough diamond and they remained so till the first half of the 17th century. For a long time, Golconda, located on the eastern side of the Deccan plateau, was an important diamond and gem-trading centre. Today this has become a historic souvenir; however, new prospections have started again. Since 1650 the production centres moved regularly. The diamonds mines in Borneo were the first to take over from the Indian mines, but only for a short period of time. Alluvial deposits were found in the Martapura and Tanah Laut districts, but their production was limited.
The first Brazilian mines were discovered around 1730. Large quantifies of diamonds were found in the Bahia and Minas Gerais region. Rumours spread questioning their value, which had an effect on the price of the rough stones.
After these incidents, Brazil remained the most important producing country till 1867, when the first discoveries were made in the Cape provinces. These discoveries were made in the riverbeds of the Orange and the Vaal Rivers, which led prospectors to the Kimberlite pipe.
Production was much bigger than that of Brazil. In 1902 new diamonds deposits were found near Pretoria and later in 1908 in German South West Africa. From that time diamonds production became organised in all countries where diamonds were found, in Africa, America and Asia.
In the 50th, Russia has taken an increasing part of world production. New producing countries such as China started later on, Australia with, at one moment, one third of world production, Canada with its promising Lac de Gras becoming the 3rd producer. Deposits in Finland, Sweden and Norway where there are some possibilities to find diamonds but it is still unknown about his rentability.
Eddy Vleeschdrager
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