Imagine walking down the beach with the love of your life, hand-in-hand, enjoying the sunset over the ocean, while searching for diamonds instead of seashells. I can’t think of a more romantic and magical setting, seriously what more can a girl dream about in terms of finding the perfect diamond for her engagement ring? “Oh this old thing, we picked it up while strolling down the beach…”
And as far fetched as all this might seem at first glance, there actually is a 10,000 square mile tract of beachfront property in South Africa known as “the forbidden zone” where diamonds do actually wash-up on shore. These diamonds are 100% conflict free, there is no diamond mining involved, these diamonds took a 90 million year waterborne journey that began on a riverbank deep in South Africa, and gradually made their way to the pristine beaches of Namibia. There they are collected by De Beers, who maintains restricted access to the forbidden zone.
This article in Forbes provides some beautiful insight into where some of our diamonds originate from. However there is one remark that irks us a little bit: The author says that over the years, the sea currents have polished these Namibian diamonds to a state of unusual clarity and brilliance. We respectfully disagree with that premise, but concede that there is a bit of literary license involved.
We understand that the author might think of brilliance in relative terms, such as how light might reflect brightly off of Namibian diamonds that have been tumbled in the wake of the sea. However from the perspective of actual polished diamonds, the creation of brilliance, fire and scintillation is dictated by the skill of the diamond cutter.
Namibian diamond rough on average is considered to be of higher value. But that is because on its extremely long journey to these sea-beds, most of the lower clarity, unusual shape rough (of lower value) gets damaged and broken. The ones fortunate enough to complete the journey are then valued from the perspective of ‘natural selection’ where the nicest crystals warrant the highest value. It is not that the effects of the sea currents actually make them better, it is simply that exposure to the horrific journey obliterates all but the strongest of diamond crystals.
Read the Full Article in Forbes
Photo Credit: Philip Mostert, PMP / De Beers