Namibian Diamonds

To provide for the establishment of a board to be known as the Diamond Board of Namibia; to define the objects and the powers, duties and functions of the Diamond Board, to provide for the establishment of a fund to be known as the Diamond Board fund; to provide for the establishment of a fund to be known as the Diamond Valuation fund; to provide for the management and control of diamond valuation fund; to provide for control measures in respect of the possession, the purchase and sale, the processing and the import and export of diamonds and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Diamonds in The Rough

Diamonds are created deep in the earths crust at very high temperatures and under incredibly high pressures. As magma works its way to the surface through deep fractures, it sometimes traps diamonds within it. As this molten mixture of magma, minerals, rock fragments and diamonds approaches the earth’s surface, it begins to form an underground pipe like structure shaped like a champagne flute.

The source of all diamonds deposits around the world are kimberlite pipes. These pipes are diamondiferous igneous rock formations that occur in the earths crust, Kimberlites are deep rooted vertical conduits that reach down beneath the earths crust and it is through these conduits that volcanic rock travels from the earths mantle to the surface.

Namibia’s Diamonds, after being liberated from Kimberlite hosts, journeyed for more than 1,000 kilometres to the Atlantic Coast along the Orange River. During this voyage, they were subjected to intense abrasion over and over again, and as a consequence, only the best gems without inclusions, flaws or imperfections survived. As a consequence, Namibia diamonds are the highest quality, with the highest average value per carat in the world.

(Abstracted from the book: Diamonds of Namibia, A Beautiful Journey)

Mid Stream

The mid stream is the most highly focused technical area of the diamond manufacturing process. The Namibian mid stream industry receives the rough and the professionalism of this sector and the technological know-how are beyond reproach. The Namibian jewelry designer must profit from the creativity of design, which is essential for the sale of polished diamonds.

Due to the structure if the diamond pipeline’s mining sector, the midstream must act at the gatekeeper for the whole value chain. The mid streams stakeholders need to know the precise wholesale transaction prices for polished diamonds and derive from it the cost of rough diamonds.

Down Stream

The retailer must have to profit from bringing the polished diamond to the market, matching Namibian and international consumer needs, taste and budget. The retailer must provide a long-term service and the constant stable supply to the market to be profitable. Each sector of the process adds value to the diamonds journey from mine to finger.

The Kimberley Process

The Kimberley process was designed to steam the flow of conflict diamonds onto international markets. It is a joint initiative introduced by governments, industry and civil society. The use of rough diamonds to finance rebel movements against legitimate governments was an incredible dilemma before the Kimberley process was introduced.

In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds. By November 2002, negotiations between governments, the international diamond industry and civil society organisations resulted in the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) . The KPCS document sets out the requirements for controlling rough diamond production and trade. The KPCS entered into force in 2003, when participating countries started to implement its rules.

Final Product

Diamonds are one of the world’s, and specifically Africa’s, major natural resources. An estimated US$13 billion worth of rough diamonds are produced per year, of which approximately US$8.5 billion are from Africa (approximately 65%). The diamond industry employs approximately ten million people around the world, both directly and indirectly, across a wide spectrum of roles from mining to retail. Global diamond jewellery sales continue to grow, increasing three-fold in the past 25 years, and are currently worth in excess of US$72 billion every year.

The final stage of the diamond pipeline is when retailers sell diamond jewellery to the consumer. The value of diamond jewellery sold each year is approximately US$72 billion, which includes the cost of the diamonds, precious metals and other gems. The USA represents the largest market (50%), followed by Japan (15%), Italy (5%), India (3%), China (2%), The Gulf (2%) and other countries (23%). According to independent research, diamond jewellery is the most highly sought-after category of luxury goods, both by women for themselves and by men for gifts.

(An extract from the World Diamond Council)