How Much Diamond Is Left in the World? (Explained!)

Diamonds have been excavated and used in jewelry, art, and even religious idols for a very, very long time.

However, because of the frequent use of diamonds and their harvesting all over the world through means of mining and explosion of the earth, diamonds are disappearing quickly as a finite luxury resource.

Diamonds take billions of years to form and rise to the surface of the earth from within the mantle of the planet. This means that there are only so many, and there aren’t many new, naturally occurring diamonds left.

How Much Diamond Is Left In The World?

There is roughly an estimate of 1.2 billion carats of naturally occurring diamonds in reserves worldwide as of November 13th, 2019. This number may only include the diamond reserves not yet sold to the public or are not in circulation.

This means that there could be billions of more diamonds that are in homes, stores, and vaults all over the world!

How Many Diamonds Are left in the world?

1.2 billion carats in diamond reserves are the closest that statisticians can currently get in regard to their estimate of diamonds left in the world.

This number is also dated back to 2019, not accounting for any diamonds that have been excavated in 2020, or will be excavated in the future.

However, we must remember that even though 1.2 billion carats are a lot of diamonds, diamonds are a finite luxury resource, meaning that there will inevitably be a day when naturally occurring diamonds dry up, and we will have “found them all.”

Can We Really Know How Much Diamond There Is?

It should be noted that there really isn’t an exact way to know how many natural diamonds there are in the world to date.

Even our previous statistic of 1.2 billion could be incorrect, as there are a lot of illegal and criminal dealings with diamonds and other valuable items that go unreported each day.

If this is the case, it is impossible to say if there are unreported mines, industries, laboratories, and distributors that may have many more diamonds than we currently know of.

Furthermore, there is always the potential for new diamond mines to be discovered, though the last discovery of a new diamond mine was in Canada during the 1980s.

Are Diamonds More Rare Than Gold?

Surprisingly, diamonds are not more rare than gold.

Gold is very difficult to find in its elemental form at four parts per billion concentration in the earth’s crust. Diamonds, on the other hand, are 200,000 parts per billion concentrated in the earth’s crust and are much easier to access and more profitable to harvest.

This is because diamonds are made from pressurized carbon, while gold is a pure element and was formed during the creation of the planet and formed in the collision of neutron stars.

Carbon is much more common, even though it takes diamonds billions of years to form, making diamonds much more abundant and economically easier to mine once they are found.

Gold, however, is so rare that it sometimes isn’t even worth the cost to set up a mine if a vein is found. Often there is little enough that can be salvaged properly and then melted into jewelry or other items to be used.

Are Diamonds The Rarest Gemstones on Earth?

The world’s most precious gems are diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.

However, those precious gems are not the rarest in the world.

There are much rarer and even more difficult to find gemstones on earth, though they are not as often sought after by collectors or wealthy individuals. These stones are either restricted to being found in only one location or are a rare mutation or variation of more common stone. Furthermore, depending on the size of the gem, the value may vary.

Tanzanite, for example, can only be found in Tanzania, a country in East Africa. This means that it is completely isolated to one place in the entire world, making it very rare.

However, other stones like Black Opal are variations. Black Opal is a very different version of a regular opal, which is a creamy white color with rainbow inflections. These Black Opals are only found in the Lightning Ridge of Australia and are very rare, indeed.

Finally, the Hope Diamond, which is a 45-carat blue diamond, is considered one of the most valuable stones in the entire world and is on display at the Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C.

Will Diamonds Ever Run Out?

Diamonds are not infinite, and they take billions of years to form naturally.

Most likely, natural diamonds will dry up or be too far into the earth for humans to reach. This means that they will run out.

However, diamonds are one of the toughest materials in the world and are difficult to break. This means that even though we may not uncover new diamonds, the ones that we currently have in circulation, in our homes or in museums, will persist for a very, very long time – long after we are gone.

Where Can I Find Diamonds on Earth?

Diamonds can be found in mines and the earth’s crust.

Mining diamonds is difficult and can be dangerous, but it is one of the only ways to find them.

There are treasure-seekers who delve deep into abandoned or retired diamond mines looking for small treasures to sell or keep for themselves.

Mostly, though, the average person will only ever see a diamond from behind the glass at a jewelry store.

Are New Diamonds Still Being Formed?

Natural diamonds are very old, dating back from one to three and a half billion years.

Because of this, new diamonds forming in nature may not be discovered by humans for a very long time. Instead, humans have turned to create diamonds in laboratories through a high-pressure controlled process.

Just like fossil fuels, diamonds are a relic from prehistoric times that have been slowly and carefully created and then since harvested by humans and burned through as quickly as possible.

Check out our article, Are Diamonds Still Being Formed? for more information!

References:

Diamond Industry Statistics and Facts

Diamonds Unearthed – Smithsonianmag.org

How Do Diamonds Form? – Geology.com

So, What Are Diamonds Made Of Exactly? And Are Synthetic One’s Real?

Which Is Rarer: Gold or Diamonds?