With Society moving forward into more ethical practices in production and consumerism in food, clothing and travel, other areas such as diamond production, the process of sourcing gems, needs a closer look. Diamonds are a common gift for anniversaries and proposals, but where do they come from and how are they sourced? How can you, as a consumer, avoid the unethical ones?
Diamonds are sourced rough in mines around the world, in hazardous conditions. In Africa, child labour in mining is still prevalent. Adults earn less than a dollar a day working in dangerous conditions. Although some companies regulate this practice using machinery instead of laborers, the World Diamond Council (WDC) says 14% of unethical mining or ‘Alluvial Mining’ exists. In poverty-stricken areas, these irresponsible practices have devastating effects on the environment, causing soil erosion and deforestation.
Blood Diamonds are rough gems mined in diamond-rich countries at war. These diamonds are used to fund further combat activity and are neither legitimate or regulated. Once these blood diamonds are in the supply chain they are indistinguishable from the rest.
Nowadays however, there is a new alternate gem reshaping the jewelry industry. Using cutting-edge technology and advanced science, lab-grown diamonds look identical to the real thing. Created with the same chemical DNA as a natural diamond, these synthetic stones have all the same qualities as a real diamond but none of the unethical practices. Only a qualified expert with sophisticated machinery would be able to tell the difference. Man-made diamonds are both ethically sourced and eco-friendly and could pave the way for a diamond future without conflict.
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