Where Do American Diamonds Come From?


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Where Do American Diamonds Come From?

The United States is one of the world’s largest consumers of diamond jewelry, from the popular diamond engagement ring to elegant earrings, statement necklaces, and designer bracelets. From classic clear stones to rarer shades of yellow, green, blue, pink, and black, diamonds come in many colors and sizes and can be cut into a variety of shapes.

Diamonds are one of the hardest materials found in nature, and they offer great durability as well. It’s easy to see why these versatile stones are so popular. In the U.S. today, there are no commercial diamond mines, so where do American jewelers get their diamonds from?

How Are Diamonds Made?

Diamonds were formed over a billion years ago far under the Earth’s surface, when great pressure and heat came together and forced carbon atoms into tight bonds that became the world’s hardest natural mineral, the sparkly diamond gems we know and love. Eventually, volcanic activity forced these mineral deposits near the surface, where they can be mined today in rock formations known as kimberlite pipes. Here are found both lower quality industrial diamonds valued for their hardness, as well as the rarer diamonds of exceptional quality and beauty that can be cut for jewelry and are treasured worldwide.

Where Are Diamonds Produced?

Diamonds naturally occur in several areas around the globe, but only a few places have enough quantity to make mining for commercial purposes possible. Countries where these mines operate include Canada, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia, South Africa, Russia, and Angola, among others. These mines are often open pit mines that are dug into mineral-rich seams and supply both industrial and gem-quality diamonds. Within the U.S., there are currently no commercial diamond mines, but in Arkansas, a now-closed commercial mine is run by the state, where visitors can pay to dig for their lucky diamond.

Lab-Grown Diamonds

Today’s scientists have figured out how to re-create conditions in a lab that can force carbon atoms into the strong bonds of a diamond. Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, with the same structures and properties as naturally occurring ones, and there have been improvements in color and clarity in recent years. Natural diamonds are a finite resource and so usually have a higher value than a lab-grown diamond of a similar size, cut, clarity, and color. This can make man-made diamonds a more affordable option, but keep in mind that they can also have a lower resale value.

The majority of lab-grown diamonds are produced in China, followed by India and the U.S., and these products are more readily available than in the past. Lab-grown diamonds aren’t to be confused with other manufactured crystals, such as cubic zirconia, also known as the American diamond, which has a completely different chemical makeup and lacks the hardness and value of natural and lab-grown diamonds. If you have a piece of jewelry and wonder if it’s made from real diamonds, a qualified jeweler or diamond expert can tell you if it’s genuine or made from a lower-quality alternative.

Importation to the U.S.

The U.S. imports a large number of diamonds each year, with the majority coming from India, followed by Israel, Belgium, Switzerland, and South Africa. Here’s more about diamond imports from each company:


Diamonds are among the top imports into the U.S. from India by dollar value. Although India does have a few of its own mines, it isn’t the largest producer of diamonds globally, and it imports most of its diamonds from other countries. What it does have is a strong polishing industry, and the majority of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished in India, ready to sell and export abroad to such places as the U.S.


Of the major players, the U.S. imports the least amount of diamonds from Switzerland in terms of quantity; however, its diamonds are usually larger and of excellent quality, adding to the high value and raising them in the economic rankings.

A stone from Switzerland can be over 20 times higher in value per carat than average. Israel is active in the trade and polishing of diamonds, with its manufacturing firms focusing on cutting and polishing medium- and large-sized stones. It’s also a major trading center for rough stones that go on to be polished in other countries, such as India.

South Africa

South Africa is the only one of the top five countries the U.S. imports diamonds from that’s also a significant producer. It has a long history as a mining hotspot and for many years was the largest producer. Many significant diamonds have been discovered in South Africa’s mines.


The port city of Antwerp, Belgium, is a major trading center, with many experts working in the diamond sorting, cutting, and polishing industries. In fact, over 80% of the world’s diamonds are traded through Belgium, making it no surprise that many fine stones come into the U.S. from there.

A Diamond in the Rough

It takes a lot to turn a diamond in the rough into a highly valued piece of jewelry that can be admired every time you put it on. From mining to distributing, sorting, cutting, polishing, trading, setting, and selling, there are many steps involved in getting a diamond from the ground into your hands. It’s no wonder that these beautiful, sparkly, and enduring stones can cost a pretty penny and maintain their value. With care, cleaning, and repair, a piece of diamond jewelry can become a family heirloom or be sold when you decide to part with it.

Want To Sell Your Diamonds?

If you’re looking to sell some of your diamonds or any other fine jewelry, gold, silver, or collectibles for cash in the Chicago area, then Americash Jewelry & Coin Buyer is here to help. You can contact us online or call 630-912-9356 with any questions or to schedule an appraisal. We’re open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, so stop by our showroom at 16 W. Ogden Ave. in Westmont, Illinois, for a free cash offer today.

Set of diamonds by Damien GUEDON is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0

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Serving western suburbs of Chicago and the surrounding communities.

  • Darien
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16 W Ogden Ave, Westmont, IL 60559

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