The diamond, which is the mineral form of carbon, is the hardest, strongest natural material known on earth. The name diamond is derived from adamas, the ancient Greek term meaning "invincible." Diamonds form deep within the Earth's crust and are typically billions of years old. Diamonds have also have been found in and near meteorites and their craters. Diamonds are considered precious gemstones but lower grade diamonds are used for industrial applications such as drilling, cutting, grinding and polishing.
Supply - World production of natural gem diamonds in 2005 (latest data available) rose by +2.0% yr/yr to a record high of 102.000 million carats (one carat equals 1/5 gram or 200 milligrams). The world's largest producers of natural gem diamonds are Botswana with 23.4% of world production in 2005, Russia a close second with 22.6%, Australia with 20%, Congo with 6%, and South Africa also with 6%. World production of natural industrial diamonds in 2005 fell by -0.2% yr/yr to 81.000 million carats. The main producer of synthetic diamonds is the U.S. with 256.000 million carats of production in 2005, representing 45% of world production.
Trade - The U.S. in 2007relied on net imports for 88% of its consumption of natural diamonds, which totaled 3.1 million carats in 2007.