Curiously minded divers may have happened upon the latest and most exciting gold rush – South Africa’s diamond diving craze. According to Bloomberg, there could be up to 1.5bn carats worth of diamonds across the south coast of Africa, with South Africa offering up the safest and most lucrative adventures. That’s the best part – you can dive for diamonds as a tourist, safely, and without risking injury or falling on the wrong side of the law.
The rewards on offer
The major pull of the diamond diving industry is the prospect of ethically sourced diamonds. The effects of blood diamonds have blighted the African continent for decades, though anti-corruption org Transparency International now report there are positive signs that conflict-related materials are being properly investigated. Through the Kimberley process, it is entirely possible to source ethical diamonds with a greater level of assurance than ever before. Diving for diamonds takes this one step further – by diving with a regulated and legal company, and taking your own finds home, you are guaranteed to have taken an ethical product.
The type of dive
In order to take the dive, Bloomberg report that you need a considerable fund – up to $16,000 – and a Padi Open Water 1 certificate. This is to ensure two things – firstly, that the divers are able to fully cover the cost of equipment and the entire trip. Secondly, that they will be completely safe and competent during the panning section of the trip, which, like gold panning, can take considerable time and requires experience. As a result, an entire tourism industry has appeared around the diamond dive regions that will provide accommodation and entertainment for guests.
As a vocation
For those that enjoy underwater diving and are still in employment, there are work opportunities for the mining of these diamonds. In Namibia, Blasting News report that commercial diving teams are being hired by exploration companies and the government to hone in on rich deposits and bring back the wealth available. A tough, yet rewarding job, those who are looking to turn their diving hobby into a source of income could do worse than take part in the diamond craze sweeping the lower African continent.
Diving for diamond sounds like a made-up venture, but the truth is far from it. A way to genuinely pick up precious gems in an ethical way, it also provides an experience quite unlike any others. For those truly loving the experience, work is available to make it a career.
Article kindly submitted by Jen Johnson