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Diamonds' journey from sweat to smiles

Last updated on: February 20, 2013 14:39 IST

Diamonds' journey from sweat to smiles

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Almost all of the diamonds that exist today began their journey more than one billion years ago in superheated molten rock and under intense pressure, hundreds of kilometres below the Earth's surface.

By the time they come to the retail market, they have to go through another journey across continents. An estimated 65 per cent of the diamonds originate in Africa and a good percentage of this is illegally acquired and sold.

The rough diamonds then travel to India or China for cutting and polishing. Finally, they end up in major diamond importing countries such as US and Israel.

Let's look at journey of diamonds in pictures.

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Image: An employee of Sotheby's auctioneers displays the Beau Sancy diamond.
Photographs: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters
Tags: , China , Earth , Israel , Africa

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An illegal diamond 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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Diamonds' journey from sweat to smiles

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An aerial view shows an illegal mine in the jungle, south of Venezuela. Like African countries, Venezuela is also a major diamond producer.

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Photographs: Jorge Silva/Reuters
Tags: Venezuela

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Diamonds' journey from sweat to smiles

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Miners form a human chain while digging an open pit at the Chudja mine in the Kilomoto concession near the village of Kobu, 100 km (62 miles) from Bunia in north-eastern Congo.

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Photographs: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

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Diamonds' journey from sweat to smiles

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Workers wash dirt and rocks in a river running through an open pit in Sierra Leone's diamond-rich eastern province.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Diamond and gold buyers wait for miners and customers outside a shop in Santa Elena de Uairen, south of Venezuela.

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Photographs: Jorge Silva/Reuters

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A miner pauses to smoke while working near the town of Ikabaru in the south of Venezuela.

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Photographs: Jorge Silva/Reuters

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Diamonds' journey from sweat to smiles

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A miner works underground in a Petra Diamonds diamond mine in Cullinan, outside Pretoria.

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Photographs: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

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Diamonds' journey from sweat to smiles

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A truck unloads ore in a Petra Diamonds underground diamond mine in Cullinan, outside Pretoria.

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Photographs: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

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Israeli diamantaire Avraham Eshed uses a pair of tweezers to hold a diamond at the Israel Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv.

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Photographs: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters

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An employee of Shefa Yamim diamond exploration company sifts through rocks in search of precious stones at the firm's laboratory in Acre, northern Israel.

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Photographs: Baz Ratner/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 the western Indian state of Gujarat.

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Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
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Israeli diamantaires inspect diamonds at the Israel Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv.

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Photographs: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters

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

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Photographs: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

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A worker inspects a 5.46 carat diamond before certification at the HRD Antwerp Institute of Gemmology.

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Photographs: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

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A couple window shop at the DeBeers diamond boutique on Christmas eve on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

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Photographs: Fred Prouser/Reuters

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A saleswoman is reflected in a mirror as she tries on jewellery at the Israeli Diamond Centre store in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv.

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Photographs: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters

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A Christie's employee places a necklace featuring the Evening Star, a 39 carat, D colour Golconda diamond, into a display case in New York.

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Photographs: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

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

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Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
Tags: Mumbai

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A man puts an engagement ring on a woman's finger during a photo opportunity at a jewellery store in Tokyo.

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Photographs: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters
Tags: Tokyo

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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 color, Flawless) (left) and a Fancy Intense Yellow diamond ring (57.02 carats) during an auction preview in Geneva.

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Photographs: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

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A model wears a diamond necklace by Cartier, estimated at 200,000 - 250,000 pounds (about $412,777 - $515,923), which formed part of the collection owned by Anne Moen Bullitt and will be sold in December's Fine Jewellery & Iconic Jewels from the 20th Century sale, at Bonhams auctioneers in London.

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Photographs: Stephen Hird/Reuters

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Singer Alison Krauss wears $2 million dollar shoes, made out of Kwait diamonds and designed by Stuart Weitzman, as she arrives for the 76th Academy Awards in Hollywood.

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Photographs: Mike Blake/Reuters

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A staff member lifts the largest D color internally flawless diamond ever to appear at auction from its display box at Sotheby's auction house in London.

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Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters
Tags: London

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