Diamonds have traditionally been linked with some of life’s best memories, but they might also be the cause of a great deal of pain for others. The reality is that the mining of diamonds is a complicated affair, from human rights violations and conflict diamonds to environmental destruction and pollution. The gem that we relate with love and dedication, ironically, has unethical origins. However, as customers, we can play a role.
The fact that people are having ethical concerns about natural diamonds is one of the main reasons for the popularity of lab-grown diamonds.
What Do You Know About Blood Diamonds?
Blood diamond and conflict diamond are two terms that were popularised with the formation of the United Nations in the 1990s for resolving the disastrous civil wars in central and western Africa. Several diamond-rich African countries were being exploited at the time, with insurgent groups forcing the local population to work in deplorable conditions and severely affecting the flora and fauna.
These violations of human rights were disturbing, and as the public became more conscious about “conflict diamonds,” actions like the Kimberley Process have been put in place to limit their flow of blood diamonds to the market. The Kimberley Process is a system of diamond certification that tracks a diamond from the mine to the store to see if it is genuinely conflict-free. The World Diamond Council affirms that 99 % of the diamonds circulating in today’s market are conflict-free, indicating that the Kimberley Process certification has been extremely successful.
Negative Impacts Of Natural Diamonds On Environment
When carbon deposits are exposed to extreme pressure and temperature thousands of miles beneath the earth’s crust, diamonds are created. Some diamonds are created in just a few days or months. However, some other diamonds may take millions of years to form. Diamonds are then mined from the earth in diamond mines all over the world, the most common of which are in South Africa, Australia, Russia, Canada, and India.
Diamond mines have a significant negative impact on our environment. The miners have to dig up tons of earth to find diamonds that are used in engagement rings. However, the destruction does not end there; waste rock and sludges from mining have to be stored someplace, most often in a ‘tailing pond.’ In tailing ponds, mining waste undergoes chemical reactions, which results in highly acidic that can dissolve metals like lead, copper, and zinc. To make matters worse, this toxic mixture pollutes the groundwater and often ends up killing the living creatures that rely on it.