For the first time in its history, Russia succeeded in producing more than a third of the world’s total natural diamonds during the year 2022.
According to recent indicators, this rate of production made Russia occupy, alongside African countries, nearly 90% of the global market size.
The total volume of diamond production in the world last year amounted to about 119.96 million carats, with 41.9 million carats of it in Russia alone.
This figure represents 34% of global production volume and was the share of Russia alone.
Since 2004, Russia has been producing between 22% and 33% of global diamond production on an annual basis.
Russia based its detection of these indicators on data from the Kimberley Process, which was established last year to combat what was known as blood diamonds.
In addition to Russia, African countries produced about 61.6 million carats of diamonds, with Botswana ranked first among African countries, producing 24.5 million carats.
It was followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 9.9 million carats, and then South Africa with a production of 9.7 million carats.
These achievements come in light of the circulation of information about imposing possible sanctions on Russian diamond production, as the G7 countries, followed by the European Union, intend to impose sanctions on rough and polished diamonds produced in Russia as of January 1, 2024.
Although diamonds represent only a small percentage of Russian oil and gas revenues, they are an important source of revenue, generating more than $4 billion annually for the Kremlin through state-owned Alrosa, the world’s largest producer of rough stones.
Alrosa has a 99% monopoly on diamond production, with a third of its share directly owned by the Russian state and another third by regional governments.
Alrosa is a major exporter of diamonds both nationally and internationally.
In addition to Alrosa, the Russian state owns a huge stock of diamonds through Gokhran, or the State Fund for Precious Metals and Gemstones.
It should be noted that a group of countries is currently considering various proposals to ban Russian gemstones from their markets, which were presented by Belgium, India, France and the World Diamond Council.
These proposals include stones of large caliber and above in the first stage.
There is concern about tracing the source of the stones, which is a challenge for the diamond industry.
The proposals currently show interest mainly in rough diamonds.
It should be noted that tracking the source of diamonds after they are cut remains a complex challenge, and over time technology may evolve to enable this.