Diamonds – Botswana, Antwerp, Mumbai and Surat

Since the discovery of diamonds, the industry has become the single largest ‘manufacturer’ to contribute the most to the GDP of the country, about 35 percent, after all Botswana is responsible for 40 percent of the diamonds for all the jewelry in the world.

In this concluding part of the series, we shall be talking about the connection between Botswana, Antwerp, Mumbai and Surat.

Botswana is the largest diamond producing country in Africa and the second largest in the world after Russia. It was only in 1967 that diamonds were discovered in Botswana and within two years a mining company was formed under the name of Debswana with a 50/50 participation of the Botswana government and De Beers, the world’s largest diamond company that’s been in existence since 1888.

As it worked out, the diamonds from Botswana turned out to be of the highest quality per carat. One carat is 200 milligrams.

Since the discovery of diamonds, the industry has become the single largest ‘manufacturer’ to contribute the most to the GDP of the country, about 35 percent, after all Botswana is responsible for 40 percent of the diamonds for all the jewelery in the world. Despite this the GDP per capita remains at below 7,000 dollars. 

The one thing in favour of the country, no conflict or blood diamonds are said to be produced here.

Enter Antwerp. This city of less than half a million is the capital of the world’s diamond business. About 84 percent of all of the world’s rough diamonds and 50 percent of the cut diamonds pass through the diamond traders in this city. The entire trade is mostly controlled by one community.

Now comes the turn of Mumbai. The city has the largest diamond bourse in the world. Before and after they have been cut and polished in the noisy and dusty city of Surat, about 90 percent of the diamonds go through this hub.

Before we come to what the youth may learn in these countries, here are some tidbits about diamonds. Red and black diamonds are the rarest of them all and fetch enormous prices, many multiples of the usual ones. After that it’s the blue and yellow diamonds that are most expensive. In this year itself they discovered a diamond weighing 1,098 carats in Botswana. The largest diamond ever found is called the “Cullinan” with a weight of 3,100 carats. According to many astrologers, diamonds are not for everyone and can bring goodluck or badluck depending upon who wears them. The seven cursed diamonds that brought big time trouble to their owners are the Hope, the Black Orlov, Koh-i-noor, the Delhi, the Sancy, the Regent and the Taylor-Burton. There are stories about others too.


Those of you wishing to learn about diamonds and other gemstones can reach out to these institutions:


The Gemological Institute of India 

Institute of Gemology, India 

Gemological Institute of America in India 

International Gemological Institute, Antwerp 

HRD, Antwerp 


Education in diamonds and gemstones in a nutshell is about the colour, cut, carat and clarity. There are several other factors that have an influence on the price. All in all there are many areas in the science of gemology. The first thing an expert looks for is if a raw gem is a genuinely discovered one or if it has been synthesised in a laboratory and then there are several other specialised areas such as appraisers, lapidaries, and scientists. 

Many have said diamonds are just charcoal that handled stress really well. The fact is coal has not much or anything at all to do with diamonds. These stones come from pure carbon in the mantle and are formed under extreme heat and pressure and at other times in laboratories. Only experts can tell the difference.

Picture: Shutterstock / ID: 1058725781

Want to read more about gemstones? Learn about mining in Sri Lanka.

The Lure And Reward Of Gemstones – Sri Lanka


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