In 1948 a diamond company launched a clever marketing campaign to sell more engagement rings. A simple slogan “Diamonds are Forever,” popularized the idea of a diamond as a symbol of love.
Beyond engagement rings, diamonds are also touted as a symbol of wealth and status. But, there is a dark side to the mined diamond.
Diamond mining has a long history of violence. And there are other ethical problems to consider before purchasing a mined diamond.
Mined diamonds carry a big price tag for your wallet, but they have an even higher environmental cost. Unregulated mining techniques used to keep costs down wreak havoc on the environment.
In many countries, erosion has destroyed the land surrounding abandoned diamond mines. Water and air pollution are also common byproducts of mining.
Mines often need the draining of lakes to open the sites. Dams have been constructed and rivers rerouted, destroying marine ecosystems.
Studies of Sierra Leone show that diamond mining takes a tremendous toll on the local environment. Mines there have caused the destruction of farmlands, deforestation, and air pollution.
Forced Labor and Other Ethical Problems
According to a U.S. Department of State report, diamond mines are a major source of forced labor.
Other dangerous and abusive working conditions have been documented. Human rights violations including child labor and lack of safety measures. Physical violence against workers has also been linked to diamond mines.
Conflict or “Blood” Diamonds
Approximately sixty-five percent of the world’s diamonds are mined in Africa. Many of the diamond mines in this country are in areas that have been ravaged by civil war.
The term “blood diamond” or conflict diamond was coined by the United Nations in the 1990s. The term refers to the bloodshed that surrounds the operation of diamond mines in war-torn areas.
Mines are often run by groups opposed to recognized governments. These groups use the sale of mined diamonds to fund efforts to overthrow stable governments.
The Best Alternative
Many consumers shopping for a diamond want an ethical alternative. Fortunately, lab-created diamonds are both ethical and affordable.
Lab-grown diamonds offer all the shine of mined diamonds. And they are real, authentic diamonds. They are created in a lab by scientists replicating the earth’s natural processes.
Stones such as these lab diamonds are also a much more affordable alternative to mined diamonds.
Ethical Diamonds Are Forever
There are many reasons people love diamonds, from their sparkle to their symbol of everlasting devotion. Diamonds can be a beautiful investment.
But that investment should not come with the high cost of ethical problems.
Lab-created diamonds provide the same quality as mined diamonds. And they do it in an affordable and responsible way.
To learn more about sustainable products read more of the articles on our website. We cover a range of beauty and fashion topics. Be sure to also check out our best travel destinations in the world.