Sustainable Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, but What Are They?

Sustainable Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, but What Are They?

Sustainable Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, but What Are They?

Women of a certain age can't scroll through social media without seeing a photo of a beautifully manicured hand adorned with a massive diamond. The diamond engagement ring has ingrained itself as part of our culture. Is it okay to want a diamond ring in the age of climate change? 

The simple answer is yes! Sustainable diamonds provide an ethical and sustainable option for the contemporary bride-to-be. Sustainable diamond companies are doing their best to get the word out, but not everyone is aware of this option. 

Are you wondering "Are diamonds sustainable?" Read on to learn a little bit about the problematic history of everyone's favorite gemstone. You will learn how sustainable diamond jewelry might be the answer to the sustainability problem.

What's Problematic About Diamonds?

At their essence, diamonds are rocks, so why are they so expensive and desirable? It turns out that diamonds weren't always a girl's best friend.

There are three main reasons why traditionally mined diamonds are problematic. They are commercialism, environmentalism, and human rights. 

The Commercialism

Many people seem to think that diamonds have been a symbol of romantic unions since ancient times. The truth is that the diamond didn't become a tradition until 1938 when the DeBeers company found themselves with an excess of the stones. They developed a marketing campaign that made them seem like a commodity. 

Diamonds aren't particularly rare, but the DeBeers company was able to develop a monopoly on them. By using advertising that suggested that they were rare and precious, they convinced the public of their value. Once the trend caught on, they proceeded to increase the price further. 

The Environment

Diamond mining produces an incredible amount of carbon emissions and, at the moment, there's no reason for this to improve. Diamond mining takes place in predominantly developing countries, where it is not regulated. The process itself is destructive, creating massive amounts of waste. 

Diamond mining has caused deforestation and major soil erosion in many countries on the western coast of Africa. Entire communities have had to relocate because mining has made their cities unlivable. Much of the destroyed land was once fertile and suitable for farming. 

Animals have faced the same struggles as humans. Diamond miners have rerouted or dammed entire major rivers, destroying the homes of many animals. In some cases, this has had major impacts on the conservation status of native species. 

Human Rights 

You might have heard the term "blood diamond" before, but do you know what it means? They are also called conflict diamonds because they are diamonds mined in active war zones.

These may be areas where warlords are in power. This means that the mining and processing of the precious stones may have involved slavery - including child slavery. 

It's impossible to know which diamonds are mined illegally or using the exploitation of innocents. As a result, any naturally mined diamond might have been mined under illegal and atrocious circumstances. As long as this is the case, purchasing any naturally mined diamond is contentious at best. 

Furthermore, diamond mining is leading to public health struggles. When diamond mining pits remain open, water fills in the space and becomes stagnant. This is creating a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitos.

What Is a Sustainable Diamond?

The only neutral diamonds are diamonds divorced from the issues related to the mining industry. To combat the problems, scientists learned how to create diamonds in the laboratory setting. Although the diamonds created in labs are synthetic, they are as "real" as any diamond mined from the earth, and tend to be purer, with fewer imperfections. 

Sustainable diamonds are not the same as cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia is another stone that resembles a diamond. A lab-grown diamond has the same structure and chemical composition as a diamond mined from the earth. 

So, how are sustainable diamond earrings made? Scientists create conditions that are almost identical to those that create organic diamonds. They subject carbon to high pressure and temperatures in a controlled environment. 

The best news is that lab-grown diamonds are much less expensive than their harmful counterparts. For your money, you will be getting a clearer, more perfect stone. Because scientists have complete control of the process, they can even create diamonds in brilliant colors.

Many individuals take advantage of the lower price by scaling up and proposing with a larger stone. Others choose a more ornate or expensive setting. In some cases, sustainable diamonds make it possible for individuals to afford any diamond at all.

Truly, there is no disadvantage to choosing a sustainable, lab-grown diamond for your engagement. Even jewelers are unable to tell the difference between diamonds from a lab or the earth! Only you will be aware that your choice is improving lives for individuals in communities affected by mining. 

Go Green With Sustainable Diamonds 

There is nothing wrong with wanting a diamond engagement ring! You shouldn't feel guilty if you've been dreaming about the Instagram post in which you'll finally show off your bling! Once you know about the practices surrounding the acquisition and sale of diamonds, however, it's hard to look at a shiny ring and feel romantic.

That is why we're lucky to have sustainable diamonds! Sustainable diamond rings provide an option for those of us who hope to preserve the earth for future generations. Why not go with the kindest, most affordable option possible? 

Looking for more tips on luxury fashion? Check out the rest of the blog for a series of shiny posts to inspire your next great look!