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The World of Coloured Diamonds

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The World of Coloured Diamonds

The World of Coloured Diamonds

Quality diamonds with size, brilliance, and clarity are hard to find as it is. Add in colouration, which can occur mainly because of structural anomalies in the diamond crystal or certain impurities, and that diamond is even rarer.

It turns out the vast majority of diamonds (98.1%) are classified as Type 1 and have nitrogen as an impurity. This can make them white, yellow or brown in colour. The rest are classified as Type 2, and these make up the category of “more desired” coloured diamonds.

Structural anomalies can make these diamonds yellow, brown, orange, pink, red, or purple in colour. A small amount instead have boron as an impurity, which can make the diamonds blue or grey. Green diamonds can also occur if a diamond of another colour is exposed to radiation in a certain way.

Many hard assets investors consider things such as rare coins, paintings, or coloured diamonds as another way to preserve wealth. The rarity and uniqueness of these assets make them something special. While not fungible or a medium of exchange like something such as pure gold or silver, they do tend to hold their value over time. Things such as coloured diamonds also are extremely portable, which gives them a the advantage of wealth mobility over cash or other bullion.

Original graphic from: Excalibur Royale

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Ranked: The World’s Largest Lithium Producers in 2023

Three countries account for almost 90% of the lithium produced in the world.

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Voronoi graphic showing the top lithium producers in 2023.

The World’s Largest Lithium Producers in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Three countries—Australia, Chile, and China—accounted for 88% of lithium production in 2023.

In this graphic, we list the world’s leading countries in terms of lithium production. These figures come from the latest USGS publication on lithium statistics (published Jan 2024).

Australia Leads, China Approaches Chile

Australia, the world’s leading producer, extracts lithium directly from hard-rock mines, specifically from the mineral spodumene.

The country saw a big jump in output over the last decade. In 2013, Australia produced 13,000 metric tons of lithium, compared to 86,000 metric tons in 2023.

RankCountryLithium production 2023E (metric tons)
1🇦🇺 Australia86,000
2🇨🇱 Chile44,000
3🇨🇳 China33,000
4🇦🇷 Argentina9,600
5🇧🇷 Brazil4,900
6🇨🇦 Canada3,400
7🇿🇼 Zimbabwe3,400
8🇵🇹 Portugal380
🌍 World Total184,680

Chile is second in rank but with more modest growth. Chilean production rose from 13,500 tonnes in 2013 to 44,000 metric tons in 2023. Contrary to Australia, the South American country extracts lithium from brine.

China, which also produces lithium from brine, has been approaching Chile over the years. The country increased its domestic production from 4,000 metric tons in 2013 to 33,000 last year.

Chinese companies have also increased their ownership shares in lithium producers around the globe; three Chinese companies are also among the top lithium mining companies. The biggest, Tianqi Lithium, has a significant stake in Greenbushes, the world’s biggest hard-rock lithium mine in Australia.

Argentina, the fourth country on our list, more than tripled its production over the last decade and has received investments from other countries to increase its output.

With all the top producers increasing output to cover the demand from the clean energy industry, especially for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the lithium market has seen a surplus recently, which caused prices to collapse by more than 80% from a late-2022 record high.

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