Sorting diamonds is a science that is based on a rough diamond’s cut, color, clarity, and carat size. Diamonds can be placed into one of over 12,000 categories, so there is a lot of expertise needed in order to sort diamonds correctly. The category a diamond is placed in is used to determine what the finished product will look like, so this stage in the commodity chain is crucial. De Beers has several experts, both in the company and in the local diamond communities, that focus solely on sorting diamonds. The largest diamond sorting facility is located in Botswana, close to the mines owned by De Beers. This location cuts down on travel and expenses between mines and sorting. Sorting diamonds is the last stage a rough diamond reaches. At this point, De Beers sells the rough diamonds to special clients called Sightholders who then cut and polish the diamonds.
A very positive social and environmental impact of diamond sorting is that it provides jobs to the local communities surrounding diamond mines. The creation of jobs is always helpful in a community because it stimulates economic growth and provides more people with the power to purchase goods and improve their lives. It is also helpful to the environment because people learn how to care for instead of destroy the world around them. When people are employed in a way that is using the materials of the environment in a healthy, positive way, they gain an appreciation for the environment. The increase of jobs that is brought on by the sorting diamonds stage in the commodity chain is a good thing for the surrounding communities.