Tell me honestly does the picture above look like a good thing for the environment? This is an aerial image of the Diavik Diamond mine.
The mined diamonds, taken from the ground even when faceted and made into diamonds certified by the gem laboratory such as the GIA and IGI. It can never be called “ethically sourced”.
An ethically sourced diamond is a lie. While we put significant effort as a diamond industry to make sure the diamonds available to the market, do not come from conflict zones or otherwise unstable regions of the globe.
The only real way to know that’s the diamonds are completely free of any environmental, political or ethical impact is to obtain a Lab Grown diamond. It is made above ground in a controlled environment using electricity with 0 environmental impact. Lab-grown diamonds carry perfect shape and form and are grown under strict gemological control. This produces stunning quality results in the diamonds, which carry high colour, clarity perfect shape, excellent polish, symmetry and no fluorescence.
A diamond is nothing more than crystallized carbon, it does not carry locality identification by default. The localities for mostly all gem-quality mined diamonds we use in engagement rings are Russia, Africa and Canada. Realistically there is no feasible way to identify which area of the globe the diamond has originated at. The Canadian diamond certification and tracking system are broken. If you’re interested I can tell you why, in detail, when we meet.
So while as the industry has its efforts in making sure the diamonds are ethically sourced, there is no getting away from the fact that at least 1% of all diamonds sold in the world simply could not be called ethical.
That being said, you would agree, that at least 1% of anything the world produces and markets is not ethical. Be it shoes, phones, clothes etc.
Even in the most ethical diamond mining countries like Canada where we have stern regulations the mined diamond is found by moving and displacing earth rock. For every 1 carat rough diamond we find. We have to move, mine and otherwise displace 1 ton worth of ground. From a 1 carat rough crystal, we can only make about 0.50 carats in the final weight of the faceted gem-quality diamond. 50% of the original weight gets lost in the manufacturing process. So for every 1 carat, you would see faceted we have to find a 2-carat rough diamond, therefore displacing 2 tons of rock from the mining ground.
The rough mined diamond industry really has gotten its start under Cecil Rhodes
It is quite a disturbing read on how exactly he was able to consolidate the power and influence as well as buy up diamond mines adjacent to his own. From fierce human rights violations to the gruesome working environment, the turn of the last century gave a start and in many ways set the tone for years to come. In no other industry that I can think of, to this day an underpaid and overworked miner is able to extract that much-concentrated wealth and remain so handsomely underpaid. One would think that every industry was brutal to work in 100 or more years ago. While this is true, the diamonds in many places of the world are still being extracted unethically even today, no matter what regulation and controls are put in place by the diamond mining oligopolies.