Diamonds are symbols of enduring beauty and love. But they often have a dark side that stands in direct contrast to this beauty. This is because the majority of diamonds on the market are mined at an incredible cost to the communities and environments that harbor them. While all forms of mining can have negative consequences, diamond mining has proven especially brutal.
It is no secret that the quest for diamonds has contributed to human suffering. The impact has been especially severe in Africa, which contains much of the world’s natural diamond supply. Over the last decade, consumer awareness of the diamond trade’s harsh practices has grown. In-depth reporting and even popular culture movies like Blood Diamond have shed light on how it fuels forced labor, violence and countless casualties.
While the mined diamond industry seeks to address some of these issues through increased transparency around the source of diamonds, it cannot fully eradicate them. In fact, it is estimated that about 5-10% of the world’s diamonds are still illegally traded1. Since raw diamonds exchange hands many times after their discovery, the risk remains that a mined diamond may still be associated with some conflict. But even if the industry could somehow fully eliminate these ethical risks, there is another looming casualty to consider: the environment.
Diamond mining can devastate environmental ecosystems. Here are a few examples of how the most popular techniques wreak ecological havoc.
- Marine mining, commonly practiced today, deploys large ships with powerful pipes that often drill deep into the seabed to reach diamond deposits. The pipes indiscriminately suck up everything in their path, displacing and disrupting the sea life.
- Open pit mining, one of the oldest techniques, requires digging miles beneath the earth’s surface. The process can displace about 1,700 tons of earth for a one carat rough diamond. This leads to deforestation, soil erosion and the depletion of precious farmland.
- Alluvial mining employs walls and dams that redirect water flow to capture diamonds that have reached the surface of river beds after years of natural erosion. This impacts the quality of the water and the health of aquatic life.
THE CASE FOR LAB CREATED DIAMONDS: WHY COMPROMISE?
Over the last decade, technological advances in lab made diamond creation have made it possible to match the quality found in nature – to the point that trained gemologists cannot tell the difference between a mined and a lab grown diamond of comparable features. After years of human suffering and ecological devastation, it is worth pausing to question why there would ever be a good reason to purchase a mined diamond. There isn’t.
With a certified Lab Created diamond, you don’t have to compromise between quality and ethics. You get both a perfectly beautiful diamond and the peace of mind that it truly is clean, free of conflict and friendly to the environment. And if that wasn’t enough, it also happens to be friendly to your wallet! Clean Origin Lab Created diamonds can be up to 40% less expensive than their comparable mined counterparts.
In 1477 the Archduke of Austria started a tradition that has endured through the ages – the romantic gesture of offering a diamond engagement ring. It’s about time a diamond’s origin matched this beautiful sentiment. At Clean Origin, we believe true love deserves nothing less.