A diamond is one of the best-known and most sought-after gemstone. Diamonds have been known to mankind and used as decorative items since ancient times; some of the earliest references can be traced to India.

The hardness of diamond and its high dispertion of light – giving the diamond its characteristic "fire" – make it useful for industrial applications and desirable as jewelry. Diamonds are such a highly traded commodity that multiple organizations have been created for grading and certifying them based on the four Cs, which are color, cut, clarity, and carat. Other characteristics, such as presence or lack of fluorescence, also affect the desirability and thus the value of a diamond used for jewelry.

Perhaps the most famous use of the diamond in jewelry is in engagement rings which became popular in the early to mid 20th century due to an advertising campaign by the De beers company, though diamond rings have been used to symbolize engagements since at least the 15th century. The diamond's high value has also been the driving force behind dictators and revolutionary entities, especially in Africa, using slave and child labor to mine blood diamonds to fund conflicts.

World largest Diamond Mine
Diamond Mining: Inside Earth's Gigantic Holes
click here (diamond information)

about diamond and conflict caused by it

Yajan Singh

Diamond Mining In Sierra Leone (1) by Yajan Singh

Diamond mining

he mining industry of Sierra Leone accounted for 4.5 percent of the country's GDP in 2007[1] and minerals made up 79 percent of total export revenue with diamonds accounting for 46 percent of export revenue in 2008.[2] The main minerals mined in Sierra Leone are diamonds, rutile, bauxite,gold, iron and limonite.

Mining in Sierra Leone, especially diamond mining, has been seen as one of the key factors for instability in the country and one of the reasons for thecountry's recent civil war. Traditionally, benefits from diamond mining have ended up with private companies and corrupt officials rather than the country's government and people.[3] The Ministry of Mineral Resources is responsible for the management of the country's minerals sector and the Mines and Minerals Act 2009. Sierra Leone is a candidate for the Extraction Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). GoSL publishes data on licenses and payments by mining companies in their Online Repository established by Revenue Development Foundation, the repository was launched in January 2012

Impacts of diamond mining

Brilliant Earth was founded on the principle that luxury goods need not come at great human or environmental cost. To achieve this goal, we thoroughly scrutinize all of our suppliers to make sure that they maintain the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility. Our research into the practices and policies of the Canadian diamond mining industry has led us to believe that the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines in Canada's Northwest Territory (NWT) are some of the most progressive mining operations in the world. We believe that their comprehensive approach to environmental stewardship and community involvement is a model not only for the diamond mining industry but for a wide range of manufacturing and extraction industries.

Brilliant Earth purchases diamonds from the Ekati and Diavik Canadian diamond mines in the Northwest Territory (NWT) of Canada. The combined footprint of both of these mines is less than 20sq km. Even including the temporary ice road, which is open only during winter months, the total footprint of the two mines represents less than 0.005% of the total land in the NWT. This is not to say that because the area of these operations is small the environmental impact of these operations is irrelevant, but the small area makes understanding the impact easier. In our assessment of the Ekati and Diavik Canadian diamond mines, we evaluated both mining operations on environmental concerns, quality of labor and hiring practices, and integration into the local community. Special attention was also paid to the level of independent monitoring.

Steps of diamond mining

Mining, the extracting of ore, can be broken down into a three step process with diamonds. The first step is to extract the ore and two different practices are common in North America. In Colorado at the State Line Kimberlite District, open pit mining is the best choice for extracting the kimberlite ore. During this open pit mining, much of the ore is removed with land movers and shovels, loaded into trucks and carried to the processing area. Open pit mining is also common in Canada, but another method is used as well, the block caving method. During this process, columns are drilled down next to the pipe to the desired depth. Next, tunnels are drilled into the kimberlite and lined with concrete with holes in it to catch the kimberlite as it is blasted. The blasted ore falls into the tunnels and is transported to a crusher by way of a pulley system. The ore is then transported from the crusher to the processing area.

The second step of mining is to process the ore to seperate the diamonds from the rest of the ore. The ore is put into a large funnel along with a heavy fluid and is then mixed, causeing a rotation in the fluid. This process is much like panning for gold. As diamonds are more dense than the surrounding material, they tend to sink while the rest of the material rises to the top and spills out. According to the Natural Museum of History, "99 percent of the waste in ore is removed." To further seperate the remaining one percent of.waste, an X-ray diamond recovery machine is used. This machine is used in the State Line Kimberlite District in Colorado.The final step in mining is the seperation of diamonds into industrial grade and gemstone grade stones. This can be done at the mine or at a diamond center.