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The shine and dark side of diamonds

Last updated on: May 28, 2013 09:35 IST

Amazing images reveal shine and dark side of diamonds

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About 130,000,000 carats (26,000kg) of diamonds are mined annually, with a total value of nearly $9 billion, and about 100,000kg are synthesized annually, according to pubs.acs.org.

Roughly 49 per cent of diamonds originate from Central and Southern Africa, although significant sources of the mineral have been discovered in Canada, India, Russia, Brazil, and Australia, says minerals.usgs.gov.

The mining and distribution of natural diamonds are subjects of frequent controversy such as concerns over the sale of blood diamonds or conflict diamonds by African paramilitary groups, according to web.archive.org.

The diamond supply chain is controlled by a limited number of powerful businesses, and is also highly concentrated in a small number of locations around the world, it says.

Let's take a look at how some break their backs searching for the elusive gem and at some dazzling diamonds.

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Image: A model wears a diamond necklace by Cartier, estimated at $412,777 - 515,923, in London.
Photographs: Stephen Hird/Reuters

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The shine and dark side of diamonds

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Mustapha Kamara, 46, washes muddy gravel in the hope of finding diamonds in Sierra Leone's eastern town of Koidu.

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Photographs: Katrina Manson/Reuters

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The shine and dark side of diamonds

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A labourer works in a diamond open cast mine near Kpetewama in Sierra Leone.

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Photographs: Reuters

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The shine and dark side of diamonds

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Artisanal diamond miners work at Tumbodu, north of the town of Koidu, in eastern Sierra Leone.

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Photographs: Simon Akam/Reuters

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The shine and dark side of diamonds

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Women dig into the tailings of a diamond mining pit in eastern Sierra Leone.

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Photographs: Victoria Averill/Reuters

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A villager holds some diamonds dug out from a mine outside the village of Sam Ouandja, northeast of the Central African Republic.

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Photographs: David Lewis/Reuters

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A view of a diamond cutting factory in Botswana's capital Gaborone.

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Photographs: Joan Sullivan/Reuters

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Employees work at a diamond cutting and polishing factory in the Surat in Gujarat.

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Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
Tags: Gujarat

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The shine and dark side of diamonds

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A diamond is polished at a workshop in Antwerp, Belgium.

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Photographs: Yves Herman/Reuters

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The shine and dark side of diamonds

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An employee works with diamonds at a jewellery factory in China's southern city of Shenzhen.

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Photographs: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
Tags: Shenzhen , China

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Diamonds are displayed at the certification level of the World Diamond Centre in Antwerp, Belgium.

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Photographs: Yves Herman/Reuters

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An employee checks diamonds at a jewellery factory in China's southern city of Shenzhen.

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Photographs: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
Tags: Shenzhen , China

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The shine and dark side of diamonds

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A diamond encrusted golf ball is put on display prior to the Moravia Silesia Open golf tournament in Celadna, the Czech Republic.

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Photographs: Petr Josek/Reuters

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A 8,560 euros diamond ring is displayed in Brussels, Belgium.

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Photographs: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

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A Sotheby's employee holds a 30.48 carat, D colour, Internally and Externally Flawless Type IIA diamond in New York. The diamond is priced between $3.3 million and $3.8 million.

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Photographs: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters
Tags: IIA , Sotheby , New York

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A jewel made with diamonds is inspected in a shop in Antwerp, Belgium.

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Photographs: Yves Herman/Reuters

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A model wears a Cartier diamond and pearl bandeau, estimated at $150,000 - $200,000, beneath a Cartier pendant necklace, priced between $800,000 - $1,200,000, both owned by billionaire US heiress Doris Duke, at Christie's auctioneers in London.

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Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Reuters

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The shine and dark side of diamonds

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A diamond is displayed at the certification level of the World Diamond Centre in Antwerp, Belgium.

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Photographs: Yves Herman/Reuters

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Sotheby's employee Marta models an extremely rare Van Cleef and Arpels 6.43 carat vivid pink diamond ring at the auction house in central London. The ring is priced at $6-$7 million.

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Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

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A staff member lifts the largest D colour internally flawless diamond ever to appear at auction from its display box at Sotheby's auction house in London. The diamond weighs 103.83 carats and is priced between $8-10 million.

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Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters
Tags: Sotheby , London

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A visitor holds a 17 carat diamond at a Petra Diamonds mine in Cullinan, outside Pretoria, in South Africa.

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Photographs: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

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President of the Israel Diamond Exchange Shmuel Schnitzer looks at an 11 karat South African diamond in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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Photographs: Reuters

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A necklace featuring the Evening Star, a 39 carat, D colour Golconda diamond, estimated to sell for between $3.6 and $5.5 million, sits in a display case in New York.

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Photographs: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

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A Christie's employee wears a sapphire (33.23 carats) and diamond ring by Repossi, centre, a 30.52 carat diamond ring (D colour, Flawless), left, and a Fancy Intense Yellow diamond ring (57.02 carats), right, in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Photographs: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

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Rough diamonds during their sorting process are seen at the Botswana Diamond Valuing Company in Gaborone.

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Photographs: Juda Ngwenya/Reuters

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An employee at a merchant's workshop inspects diamonds while grading them in Mumbai.

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Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
Tags: Mumbai

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An employee of Sotheby's auctioneers displays the Beau Sancy diamond during a media preview in Zurich, Switzerland. The historic 34.98 carat diamond has an estimate price of $2-4million.

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Photographs: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

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The 'Martian Pink', a 12.04-carat Fancy Intense pink (Type IIa) diamond, is shown during a media preview at Christie's, in Hong Kong.

According to the company, the diamond is worth an estimated value of $8 to $12 million.

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Photographs: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

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An illegal dealer from Zimbabwe displays diamonds for sale in Manica, near the border with Zimbabwe.

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Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

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A man holds 'The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse' on displayed at the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition in Qatar. The handbag incorporates 18 kt gold, 4,517 diamonds, weighs 381.92 carats and is valued at $3.8 million - setting the world record for the most expensive handbag, according the Guinness World Records.


Photographs: Fadi Al-assaad/Reuters

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