Romancing the Stone – Precision Balances and Diamonds
“Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all.”
It is one of the most sought-after natural resources in the world. It provides the weapons for guerrilla revolutions. It is used to signify a lifelong commitment. For centuries, it has held great value by mankind while remaining embroiled in controversy. This is the diamond of course. For hundreds of years there has been a competitive market for trading in diamonds, but where did all start?
Trading in diamonds dates back over 1,000 years, to India. At the time, India controlled the entire supply of the world’s diamonds. The ‘wholesalers’ carried the diamonds across Arabia to be traded with Jewish merchants. These merchants would then resell the diamonds in Europe. The diamonds became so common that they were used as collateral for loans and large payment amounts.
When India’s diamond mines stopped producing, the whole trade moved to Brazil and eventually to Southern Africa. Diamond traders would follow the diamonds, settling an area until the diamonds ran out, and then moving on to the next. Throughout this time diamonds continued to increase in value and demand never waned.
Today, the largest producer of diamonds is Botswana, a South African nation. More than 30 million carats are exported from Botswana each year. This is a quarter of the entire world’s diamond production.
Historically Jewish diamond merchants passed the trade on to offspring, which kept the top level of trade a somewhat closed community. Because of family connections and the upheaval caused by World War II, these top level merchants settled in Antwerp, Belgium, currently known as the ‘World’s Diamond Capital.’
The carat, diamond’s principle measure, is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg. The carat also represents the principle factor in the value of the diamond making accurate measurement an absolute necessity for diamond merchants. With more than 54 billion dollars’ worth of rough diamonds passing through Antwerp’s diamond district every year, precision balances for weighing these diamonds have to be the best.
Which precision balance represents the pinnacle of accuracy and reliability? Torbal. Since 1887, Torbal has been building the finest scales and balances for jobs where precision is critical. If you need a precision balance like the ones diamond merchants depend on, contact Torbal today. You can also keep up with what is new by following @scales_balances.