Real diamond rings and diamond jewellery overall are beautiful, and nothing says I love you more than a diamond jewel as a gift to that special someone. Especially as we approach Valentine’s Day. Sadly, diamonds have a very dark side to tell.
That story is violent and destructive. There is a wide range of crimes coming from these beauties, be it against humans or the environment. Some of them violent while others are exploitative.
Those Real Diamond Rings & Jewels Have a Real Story to Tell
Like I said, many practices are harmful on the environment, as well as people. The bottom line is that when you purchase a diamond, you may be supporting much of this violence and exploitation.
I’m going to tell you this story without making it political and let you know how you can buy diamonds that are more sustainable.
Diamonds in Africa
Africa is rich in diamonds. They are mined in several countries in the western and central portions of Africa. As you well know, diamonds are valuable. Many of these countries have weak central governments, and small militias fight these governments for control over these mines.
Sometimes, these militias are too small to take over a mine, so they use ambush tactics to steal the diamonds during transportation. These militias can grow in size as the diamonds are sold and fuel the growth of these armies. This turns into full blown civil wars, and innocent people are caught in the middle of the fighting. Many lives have been lost through this conflict.
Real diamond rings for example sold on the market that come from war and violence are often referred to as blood diamonds, a term I’m sure you’ve heard of made famous by Leo DiCaprio.
Issues With Diamond Workers
You would think that those who mine diamonds would be making a high wage. The job is a tough one to begin with, as any mining job is. In addition, they are mining expensive raw materials. Granted, these diamonds are raw, and will need to be refined before they are ready for the market, but they have incredible value right at the moment of their discovery.
There is a certain level of trust involved with these miners, even when there are checks in place to prevent theft. The truth is that the wages are not as high as you would think. Some of these men are working for rebel groups that have seized control of the mines. Their wages may be lower than the normal wages for a diamond miner, if they even get paid at all. The working conditions are not always safe. Miners are killed at times when they would still be alive under safer working conditions.
The Environmental Impact
Diamonds bring in such a high price on the open market. The sellers goal is to extract as much as possible from the ground. This leads to all sorts of environmental issues. There is no regard for where the diamonds are mined. If there is any chance that diamonds may be found, the mining begins.
There is no attention given to the environment. The surrounding footprint can be large. Roads are constructed haphazardly with trees and fauna destroyed to lay down asphalt. Local water supplies are easily contaminated, and many species of animals can be destroyed or displaced.
There’s Light at The End of That Mine
All of this is naturally depressing. The good news is that there are diamond jewels who are aware of this problem. They will go out of their way to source their stones from those who are not contributing to the violence.
Companies that are not hurting the environment and pay their workers a fair wage are the ones who they purchase from, or the distributors that work with them. These diamond companies can be found in Africa, but hey can also be found in places such as Canada. There is no certification for this type of jeweller. However, they can explain the source of their diamonds and why purchasing these diamonds is an ethical decision.
One example of this type of company is Brilliant Earth. When you buy real diamond rings or other jewels from them, you can be assured that Brilliant Earth Diamonds are not contributing to violence and exploitation.
The Gist of it
Doing the right thing when it comes to sourcing your jewellery doesn’t have to be hard. Locating ethical and sustainable suppliers for real diamond rings is easier than you think. We just have to act on it more regularly to hopefully abolish all the terrible practices that are harmful to people and the environment.
What’s your take on this?
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