Ethics and Environment

Is diamond mining sustainable?

Sustainable (adj) – a method of managing or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged for future use. Currently geologists have located and noted all the kimberlite pipes on the planet where diamonds can be found. Most of all the ‘low hanging fruit’ have already been mined, meaning in order to keep the market supplied with diamonds, deeper and larger mines in more inaccessible and environmentally damaging regions are having to be operated. As the saying goes, ‘diamonds are forever’, unfortunately diamond mines are not. The cost of extraction will continue to increase as will the use of unfriendly environmental practices which use damaging fossil fuels to maintain the supply of their earth-mined diamonds. The mining of diamonds out of the Earth is by definition not sustainable and is getting less sustainable every year. We are seeing more consumers demanding diamonds that do not ‘Cost the Earth’. Earth mining diamonds requires diesel and dynamite, growing diamonds only requires carbon and electricity. Of all the elements in the universe, Carbon is the fourth most abundant. It is unlikely we will never have enough to fulfil our need of available carbon for diamonds. Because carbon is abundant, and electricity can be sourced from renewable sources, laboratory-grown diamonds are truly sustainable. There has been some pushback by the earth mining industry claiming the energy to create laboratory-grown diamonds is not as eco-friendly as claimed, since much of the electricity required is derived from coal-fired energy producers. This is true, however, where possible the laboratory factories are using renewable sources and have future goals to use more and more renewable energy sources as they become available. The lab-growing industry has at its core the philosophy of being ethical and environmentally friendly. There is little opportunity for the mining industry to migrate to eco-friendly systems.

Origin matters: rest assured with lab-grown diamonds

As we become more conscious as consumers, we are caring more about such things as the working conditions of the less fortunate and environmental consequences of the products we purchase. We try to seek out food, clothes, and electronics that are ethically sourced, sustainable, and of a known origin. So why should diamonds be any different? We only sell ethically sourced diamond companies’ stock.

For Adamastar’s ethically sourced diamonds it is easy to guarantee their origin as they are sustainably grown in modern sophisticated facilities operated by well-compensated employees. We know exactly when, where, and how each of our diamonds was grown.

In contrast, it is virtually impossible to know when or where a mined diamond was extracted from the Earth. As such, it is not possible to know the true social and environmental consequences of a mined diamond. We have ‘The Kimberly Process’, a complex system which is supposed to guarantee the origin of earth mined diamonds, and confirm that they are not from so called ‘conflict areas’, however it is a known fact that ‘blood’ diamonds are still secretly entering the diamond pipeline illegally. The workers of many mines digging out the diamonds are often exploited being the poorest and lowest paid workers in some countries. You can be sure that you will have an ethically sourced diamond ring on your finger or ethically sourced diamond earrings in your ears.

magnicent gemstone

If you were fortunate enough to discover a rough diamond in the ground, you might assume it is just another unremarkable, irregular shaped pebble.

It has taken diamond cutters generations of experimenting and passing down the (often jealously guarded) knowledge, of the physical and optical characteristics of such an unremarkable pebble, to bring out the brilliance and fire of a polished round brilliant cut diamond.

There is a wonderful symmetry with artisans skilfully beautifying this magnificent gemstone and now, with human ingenuity, actually creating it.

A lab-grown diamond is a diamond for the future. We invite you to experience the wonder of lab-grown diamonds for yourself in an exquisite piece of jewellery from Adamastar.