Organic may be popular for your favorite foods, but there’s a steep price to pay when it comes to mining diamonds. While systems may be in place to ensure that the mined diamonds you see at retail was “ethically sourced”, there’s no sure thing out there. And you don’t want to think about the dangers, sacrifices and eventual consequences involved with what went into that ring of yours.
War and Corruption:
Because diamonds have value, they are ripe for criminal activity and funding war.
In Zimbabwe, more than $2 billion worth of diamonds were diverted into the pockets of the country’s president and his inner circle. Diamonds have financed Civil Wars in Angola, Congo and Sierra Leone that have cost more than 3.7 million people their lives.
Poor Conditions and Physical Abuse:
While U.S.-based miners may make a livable wage, this isn’t necessarily the case overseas. The average minimum wage for mine workers in Zimbabwe is the equivalent of $227 a week. Violence is also a fairly common occurrence in African mine camps, with torture and beatings coming to those who don’t pay “bribes.”
It’s not just the adults who suffer in the mines. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor accused 74 countries including war-torn Angola, Congo, Guinea, and Liberia of using child and forced labor in pursuit of diamonds.
While the U.S. regulates what harm mines can do on surrounding environments, this isn’t the case in many African countries. Reckless diamond mining has caused soil erosion, led to deforestation and forced populations to relocate. Mines have also re-routed rivers and exposed riverbeds for mining, which has had catastrophic effects on local wildlife.
The famed Hope Diamond, which now lives in the Smithsonian Institution, was long-believed to be cursed.
Journalists used to opine about how its owners used to commit suicide, were murdered, left penniless through bad investments, suffered failed marriages, dead children, and drug addiction. These include Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, both famously sent to the guillotine.
Now compare all this to lab-created diamonds which are identical to their mined counterparts and have the same chemical, physical and optical properties. Lab Created diamond technology duplicates the geological conditions required to create a diamond that will be ripped from the earth in an above ground ecologically friendly environment.
And without a Civil War and 3.7 million dead bodies to boot.
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