From Mine to Market: The Story of a Diamond
I was commissioned to photograph two photo-essays: the first documenting the journey made by a raw diamond from "Mine to Market;" the second a behind-the-scenes reportage of the world of the Select Diamantaire.
The project began at the Diavik Diamond Mine, 300 miles north of the town of Yellowknife, deep in the Northwest Territories of Canada. This mine — carved out of the granite on reclaimed land from Lac de Gras — is one of the richest in the world.
After completing our shoot in Canada, I traveled south to New York and the polishing rooms of the diamontaires on 47th Street, before flying to India to shoot in cutting and polishing factories in Mumbai and Surat. I also visited the Rio Tinto offices in Antwerp which is arguably the most important location of all. It has been the center of the worldwide diamond business for past several hundred years.
The shoot took more than six months to complete —not including the many weeks spent retouching and grading all of the final images. The photographs were used in two books, a web site, and various other pieces of promotional material.
Client: Rio Tinto
Agency: Ancona & Associates
Creative Director: Tom Ancona
Photography & Retouching: James Bareham