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The Cost of Mined Diamonds

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

Mined diamonds have been highly valued for centuries for their rarity, beauty, and durability. Diamonds have been mined for thousands of years, and today they are still one of the most popular and sought-after gemstones in the world.

Let's explore the process of mining diamonds, the social and environmental impact of mining, and the ethics of buying and wearing mined diamonds.

The process of mining diamonds: Mining diamonds involves extracting the rough diamonds from the Earth's crust using various methods, such as open-pit mining, underground mining, or alluvial mining. Open-pit mining involves digging a large hole in the ground and removing the ore-bearing rock to access the diamonds. Underground mining involves tunnels and shafts to access the diamond-bearing rock deep below the Earth's surface. Alluvial mining involves the extraction of diamonds from riverbeds and ocean floors using machinery and dredges.

Excavation of a mine for diamonds

Once the rough diamonds are extracted, they are transported to diamond-cutting centers where they are sorted, graded, and cut into polished diamonds.

Social and environmental impact of mining: The mining of diamonds can have significant social and environmental impacts, especially in developing countries where mining is often unregulated and can lead to environmental degradation, displacement of communities, and human rights abuses. In some cases, mining can also fund armed conflicts, known as "blood diamonds" or "conflict diamonds."

moissanite diamonds
Many loose conflict diamonds

Mining also has a significant environmental impact, including soil erosion, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and water pollution. The use of heavy machinery and chemicals in mining can also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Ethics of buying and wearing mined diamonds: Due to the social and environmental impacts of mining, many consumers are becoming more conscious about the ethics of buying and wearing mined diamonds. One way to ensure the ethical sourcing of diamonds is to look for diamonds that have been certified by reputable organizations. These organizations have established standards for ethical and sustainable diamond mining, processing, and trading. Another option is to consider lab-grown diamonds (moissanite), which are created in a laboratory using advanced technology that simulates the natural conditions required for diamond formation. Lab-grown diamonds are chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds, but they are more affordable, eco-friendly, and ethical.

While mined diamonds have a rich history and continue to be a popular choice for jewelry, it is important to be aware of the social and environmental impact of diamond mining. Consumers can make a more ethical choice by considering lab-grown diamonds as an alternative. By doing so, we can support a more sustainable and responsible diamond industry.

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