What is it about a diamond that sparks a strong emotional connect? Is it the sparkle, the fact that it is a miracle of nature or is it simply its billion-year-old legacy? People all over the world have been captivated by this real gem’s mysterious allure because it draws one in with its fascinating history, reminding everyone who lays their eyes on it, that it invaluable, inimitable and precious.
Having been deeply buried undisturbed on this earth much before the dinosaurs, natural diamonds made themselves known to humankind when they erupted onto the surface of the earth by mysterious volcanic explosions over three billion years ago. These precious stones that form part of the earth’s crust, have since come a long way. They have stood the test of time, weathering natural disasters, and extreme heat in the earth’s mantle, yet never compromising on their unmatched brilliance. Through every test and challenge they have brought to the fore, yet another facet that reflects their resilience, natural beauty and purity.
Natural diamonds celebrate resilience, rarity, heritage and durability. One can’t be fooled by how delicate they look, because they are anything but. In fact, they are the hardest known natural substance on the planet (58 times harder than the next mineral on Earth!). They are also indestructible, as the word ‘diamond’, derived from the Greek word ‘adamas’, signifies.
It goes without saying that when we responsibly source these very precious gifts of mother nature from places such as Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa, we at De Beers prioritise our commitment to the environment, wildlife and communities living in these areas. At the heart of everything we do are our ‘Building Forever’ goals that we aim to achieve by 2030. These goals focus on the four pillars that we believe will help us make a meaningful impact to the world– leading ethical practices, partnering for thriving communities, accelerating equal opportunity and protecting the natural world. Forming part of our ethical practices, maintaining transparency, rarity, natural beauty and responsible sourcing are all an intrinsic part of the De Beers 133-year-old philosophy.
Our consumers as well as the modern diamond industry are all aligned when it comes to being environmentally conscious. People today want to know where their natural diamonds are sourced from and how sustainable they are. As an industry major, the De Beers Group is advancing industry standards when it comes to transparency of diamond provenance.
It is imperative that our consumers know that with every diamond they buy, some community and the environment in some part of the world is directly benefitting from it. This was only possible under the The Building Forever 2030 goals that are based around four pillars: leading ethical practices across industry; partnering for thriving communities; protecting the natural world; and accelerating equal opportunity. As part of the larger diamond industry, all the ethical business practices we follow help local communities, which in turn, generate a long-lasting positive legacy. De Beers, in partnership with countries where we operate, protects the natural world and improves the lives of people associated at every step of the diamond’s journey, even the miners who bring up this wonder for us.
We’ve undertaken path-breaking initiatives in protecting the environment, people and wildlife. The Moving Giants initiative is an epic 1,700 km journey to save 200 elephants, the longest translocation of elephants to Mozambique. Then, there is the Okavango Eternal, under which De Beers is partnering with National Geographic to protect the source waters of the Okavango Delta. Through the ‘Diamond Route’ project, our dedicated ecology teams protect 500,000 acres of land for conservation in Southern Africa.
While the journey of the diamond from mine to store is one part of the magical aura surrounding this gem, the other most alluring aspect is the huge emotional connect it makes with its owner. No symbol has the same wonder, uniqueness and beauty as a natural diamond. It has a prized legacy, holds tremendous power, heritage value and meaning as a representation of connection between two people, of a form of self- expression to applaud one’s own achievements, of celebrating milestones and sealing precious memories for a lifetime.
Natural diamonds are so rare and precious that if you were to gather together all gem quality diamonds ever polished since the beginning of time, they would fill only one double-decker bus, with room to spare! And if you thought diamonds were rare, then think how precious the De Beers Forevermark diamonds are! Only less than 1% of the world’s diamonds make the cut to become a De Beers Forevermark diamond because only those diamonds that pass the most stringent checks, processes and tests make it in the end.
The role we play in the life of a diamond is relatively short, yet our opportunity to create a positive impact that lives long beyond the last diamond we discover is profound. Building Forever has the power to support a brighter future in essential, sustainable and beautiful ways.