Today I am writing a bit about 3 areas that I find dear to my heart namely Southern Africa, Australia and North America! Areas that I lived, love, have awesome friends and family and of course that have awesome diamonds!
Argye mine located in the Kimberley region in the far north east of Western Australia. Owned by Rio Tinto, this mine is the world’s largest single producer of volume of diamonds.  However, due to low proportion of gem quality diamonds it is not the value leader.  It does produce 90-95% of the world’s supply of pink diamonds. Also a large part of the Champagne diamonds I love!    
Diavik is also owned by Rio Tinto, located in Canada it is a very large mine.   It is located north of Yellowknife and south of the Arctic Circle on an island.  The island is connected by an ice road.  It is also an important part of the regions economy employing more than 700 people and producing more than 8 million carats annually.
Ekati diamond mine is owned by BHP Billiton and located south of the arctic circle in the Northwest Territories of Canada.  The Ekati is Canada’s first operational diamond mine.  Diamonds mined here are sold under the Aurias trade name    Authenticity is verified through Canada Mark service.  CanadaMark service is also owned by BHP Billiton Diamonds, Inc.
Baken diamond mine is located along the lower Orange River in South Africa.  It is
owned and operated by Trans Hex.  The average size stone for 2004 was 1.29
carats.   In 2004, this mine produced a 78.9 carat D color flawless diamond that sold for more than 1.8 million dollars (US), as well as a 27.67 pink diamond that was sold for over 1 million US dollars.
The one big thing that makes South African lower Orange river and Nambian diamonds so unique is that they are "Spoel diamante" meaning they are the remnants of diamonds being spilled/pushed through rivers and eventually oceans where they are eventually "mined" off the ocean floor or sand dunes. The diamonds that actually made it through this tedious test over ages are the best and clearest diamonds that survived and that is why diamonds from Southern Africa's "sper gebied", West coast oceans and lower Orange river basin are always of the top quality in clarity and class.
Merlin is the second of only two diamond mines in Australia.  No longer operating it was owned by Rio Tinto and sold to Striker Resources, who has explored the possibilities of reopening the mine.  
Orapa is the world’s largest diamond mine.  It is located 240 Km west of Francistown.  The mine is owned by “Debswana” which is a partnership between DeBeers and the government of Botswana. This mine operates 7 days a week.  It maintains pre primary and primary schools for its employee’s children.   There is also a 100 bed hospital and game park.  This mine began production in 1971 and is the oldest mine owned by the Debswana Company.
The Premier mine located in Cullinan, South Africa produced the largest gem diamond ever in 1905.  The Cullinan Diamond weighed 3,106.75 carats.  This mine also produced the Golden Jubilee diamond which weighed 545.67 carats.  This mine is owned by the De Beers Company and was renamed The Cullinan Diamond Mine in 2003 in celebration of its centennial.
Southern Africa is one of the places in the World when it comes to large diamonds boasting the biggest part of all the World's largest diamonds. Growing up in an area such as Southern Africa these gems that is the pinnacle of the gem world captured my imagination and also showed me that the mineral world is just as stunning as the animal and nature kingdom of Africa! 
Diamonds are truly an amazing piece of nature and the fact that it was made by natural forces in such a perfect crystallographic manner makes it something of beauty. Natural diamonds will always be the peak of human recognition of status and beauty. What a privilege to have these beauties from earth!  
My personal view on this fascinating industry is that a natural diamond is a beauty of nature, it is hard to mine and high costs involved as you can see from the remote regions people have to go to to mine them. These above mines are the majority of the world supply so they are rare.
Natural Diamond create jobs and support a lot of communities around the world and in my opinion do more good for this planet with recyclable natural systems and strict government policies to re-instate any mined area to recover the surface natural habitats. Based on my research on laboratory grown diamonds is that to create such synthetic gems need more energy as they simulate the high pressure high temperature inside earth, make more hazardous waste that damages the environment, have no regulation to the waste and processes they create and enrich only the owners of these labs. So coming from a land of diamonds and seeing the upliftment in societies and the good to nature and mankind in general I am a natural gem person and always will be, there is nothing like it in feel and beauty!
David van Niekerk
Tagged: diamonds