The majority of the world’s diamonds come from two places: the ocean and mines. The former involves gigantic dredging machinery, vacuums that put Dyson, Hoover and Oreck to shame, and nerves as tough as diamonds themselves. If you’ve ever seen that show “Deadliest Catch” —the one about snaring crabs off the Alaskan coast — you get the idea, insofar as you really have to know your stuff and be at the top of your game when you’re out on the water.
Most of my diamonds come from mines in my native South Africa. My brother Kenny runs operations out of Johannesburg; my other brother, Zed, and I go home once or twice a year to visit family and make sure Kenny’s keeping his nose clean. (Just kidding, Kenny.) Without a doubt, my favorite part of these trips is going into the mines. I never, ever grow tired of it.
Maybe it’s just the little boy in me that likes putting on a hardhat and riding roughshod in the humongous earth-moving trucks with wheels bigger than a politician’s ego. The elevator that descends two miles below the surface, “the cage,” is big enough to accommodate one of these behemoths. That gives you an idea of the scale of our mining operations.
A day in the mines is like living in a Jules Verne novel: a journey to the center of the Earth. As you descend, your ears pop, your flesh chills, your pupils dilate, your heart beats with excitement of entering the unknown. Two miles down, the cage opens to the main chamber, its dark tunnels shooting off in all directions. Nothing compares to the rush of being in this netherworld, surrounded by treasures hidden in sheer walls of rock.
When I get back to the surface, I’m dirty, exhausted and invigorated. It’s a full day’s work, no doubt, and I absolutely love it. Going into the mines reconnects me to my roots and reminds me why I love diamonds so much. The idea that I bring the world’s finest diamonds from the mines to the USA never ceases to thrill me.
I invite you to come to one of our stores and look at the diamonds. When you see their luster and sparkle, remember that they came from a dark, dark place far beneath your feet. What an incredible journey … . It’s almost as thrilling and intriguing as getting engaged!