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Ranked: The World’s Top Diamond Mining Countries, by Carats and Value

Only 22 countries in the world engage in rough diamond production—also known as uncut, raw or natural diamonds—mining for them from deposits within their territories.

This chart, by Sam Parker illustrates the leaders in rough diamond production by weight and value. It uses data from Kimberly Process (an international certification organization) along with estimates by Dr. Ashok Damarupurshad, a precious metals and diamond specialist in South Africa.

Rough Diamond Production, By Weight

Russia takes the top spot as the world’s largest rough diamond producer, mining close to 42 million carats in 2022, well ahead of its peers.

Russia’s large lead over second-place Botswana (24.8 million carats) and third-ranked Canada (16.2 million carats) indicates that the country’s diamond production is circumventing sanctions due to the difficulties in tracing a diamond’s origin.

Here’s a quick breakdown of rough diamond production in the world.

Rank Country Rough Diamond
Production (Carats)
1 🇷🇺 Russia 41,923,910
2 🇧🇼 Botswana 24,752,967
3 🇨🇦 Canada 16,249,218
4 🇨🇩 DRC 9,908,998
5 🇿🇦 South Africa 9,660,233
6 🇦🇴 Angola 8,763,309
7 🇿🇼 Zimbabwe 4,461,450
8 🇳🇦 Namibia 2,054,227
9 🇱🇸 Lesotho 727,737
10 🇸🇱 Sierra Leone 688,970
11 🇹🇿 Tanzania 375,533
Total 120,201,460

As with most other resources, (oil, gold, uranium), rough diamond production is distributed unequally. The top 10 rough diamond producing countries by weight account for 99.2% of all rough diamonds mined in 2022.

Diamond Mining, by Country

However, higher carat mined doesn’t necessarily mean better value for the diamond. Other factors like the cut, color, and clarity also influence a diamond’s value.

Here’s a quick breakdown of diamond production by value (USD) in 2022.

Rank Country Rough Diamond
Value (USD)
1 🇧🇼 Botswana $4,975M
2 🇷🇺 Russia $3,553M
3 🇦🇴 Angola $1,965M
4 🇨🇦 Canada $1,877M
5 🇿🇦 South Africa $1,538M
6 🇳🇦 Namibia $1,234M
7 🇿🇼 Zimbabwe $424M
8 🇱🇸 Lesotho $314M
9 🇸🇱 Sierra Leone $143M
10 🇹🇿 Tanzania $110M
11 🇨🇩 DRC $65M
Total $16,290M

 

Thus, even though Botswana only produced 59% of Russia’s diamond weight in 2022, it had a trade value of nearly $5 billion, approximately 1.5 times higher than Russia’s for the same year.

Another example is Angola, which is ranked 6th in diamond production, but 3rd in diamond value.

Both countries (as well as South Africa, Canada, and Namibia) produce gem-quality rough diamonds versus countries like Russia and the DRC whose diamonds are produced mainly for industrial use.

Which Regions Produce the Most Diamonds in 2022?

Unsurprisingly, Africa is the largest rough diamond producing region, accounting for 51% of output by weight, and 66% by value.

Rank Region Share of Rough
Diamond Production (%)
Share of Rough
Diamond Value (%)
1 Africa 51.4% 66.4%
2 Europe 34.9% 32.9%
3 North America 13.5% 52.8%
4 South America 0.2% 2.4%

However diamond mining in Africa is a relatively recent phenomenon, fewer than 200 years old. Diamonds had been discovered—and prized—as far back as 2,000 years ago in India, later on spreading west to Egyptian pharaohs and the Roman Empire.

By the start of the 20th century, diamond production on a large scale took off: first in South Africa, and decades later in other African countries. In fact between 1889–1959, Africa produced 98% of the world’s diamonds.

And in the latter half of the 20th century, the term blood diamond evolved from diamonds mined in African conflict zones used to finance insurgency or crime.

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