The story of how the diamond fell into the mine is one of the most interesting in the history of mining, with untold consequences for millions of people around the world.
As it turns out, the diamond was mined illegally in the first place.
The story is told in an exclusive new documentary, “Dancing Diamonds,” premiering Thursday on CBC Radio One.
The story of the diamonds “is the story of a mining company and a mining industry that has not always been in good shape,” said Sarah Josten, one of three women who became the subject of the documentary.
The diamond, which fell into a diamond pit in an open-pit mine in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang in 2013, became part of the family business.
Jostens father, Li Yu, was a miner and his mother was a diamond cutter.
Li and his wife, Song Jang, both worked for the company, and Li’s brother, Zhan Yue, also worked there.
Zhan’s father, Song Hong, was also a diamond maker and was also jailed for his role in the scandal.
In 2014, Li’s daughter, Song Yu, became a supervisor at the mine.
Song Yu told CBC News she didn’t know about the illegal mining until she was told by her supervisor about the mine’s closure.
“I was shocked,” she said.
“I said, ‘I want to be a diamond cutter.
I want to cut diamonds.’
So I joined the company.”
In 2013, Li and Song were transferred to another mine to work for the new owners.
Song then joined the new company and began cutting diamonds at the mines head office.
She told CBC she never heard about the alleged illegal mining.
“The story was that [the owners] were trying to make the company a little bit more respectable, and that’s how they managed to get my father arrested and take me to jail,” she recalled.
She says she was never able to get a visa to leave the company.
The documentary also looks at the history and economic challenges faced by many diamond cutters, as well as the consequences of a devastating climate change and the spread of the Zika virus in the Americas.
The film includes a rare behind-the-scenes look at the world of diamond cutting, including interviews with diamond cutlers and miners, as the company tries to recover from the devastating impact of the diamond scandal.
“It’s an emotional journey, and a difficult journey, with the women, with their families, with friends and the entire world watching,” Jostin said.