A New Safari Operator Will Take You Scuba Diving for Diamonds

The memories, like the rocks, will last forever

By Evan Bleier

 
A New Safari Operator Will Take You Scuba Diving for Diamonds
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22 August 2016

While a new treasure-hunting experience along South Africa's west coast won’t last forever, the conflict-free diamonds that you’ll be able to fish out of the water will.

Dreamed up by Ellerman House and Benguela Diamonds, the “Diamond Safari” is a custom trip to the nutrient-rich waters of the Benguela Current, where jewel hunters have the chance to find a stone of their own choosing to be cut, polished and set in a piece of custom jewelry.

Following a charter flight from Cape Town to Port Nolloth, guests breakfast at a villa on the coast before joining master divers underwater as they search for Benguela diamonds and bring up seabed gravel from beneath the surface.

Guests who remain onboard use a vibrating pan system to go through the gravel and locate heavy stones during a process that’s “almost 100 percent guaranteed to find a diamond.”

After selecting which stone to have cut polished and set over a lunch of fresh-caught fish, guests return to Cape Town and spend three days indulging in exclusive culinary programs like Ellerman's Dom Perignon Experience while their one-of-a-kind diamond piece gets made.

The all-inclusive experience is priced at about $14,750 per guest for groups of up to six, but the price does not include the value of the diamond or the designing and manufacturing costs. Guests should expect to spend about $10,500 for a one-carat cut diamond, according to Mark Lakin of high-end travel agency Epic Road.

Could be worth it: “An astounding 95 percent of the stones in this area are gem quality, because only the best-quality stones survive the rough currents to the coast,” Lakin told Bloomberg.

The trips begin next month.

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