Diamonds have a unique and fascinating history that has made them one of the most sought-after gems in the world.
However, as in any other mining industry, diamond miners are prone to exploitation. Diamond mining and diamond trading, especially in the 21st century, are associated with human rights violations.
This article discusses a number of important issues that ethically conscious consumers will want to consider before purchasing their next piece of diamond jewelry. We'll also show you some trustworthy places to purchase your next gemstones.
Ethically Sourced Diamonds
Ethically sourced diamonds are diamonds that have been mined from the earth without the use of child labor or forced labor. Since the 1980s, the ethical sourcing movement has been growing and gaining momentum.
The issue is that a lot of diamonds that are sold to consumers come from mines where workers are overworked, underpaid, and too afraid to speak up for their rights. This has led to reports of child workers, debt bondage, and shocking levels of violence within the industry.
As a committed humanitarian, one of the most important things you’ll want to consider when purchasing diamonds is the fact that some diamonds come from child labor mines. Yes, child labor!
Thankfully, many different organizations around the world work to ensure that diamond mining does not contribute to this type of exploitation or to environmental degradation.
To ensure that ethical mining practices are upheld, those who wish to purchase diamonds must fully understand the issues involved.
Child Labor & Worker’s Rights
The ethical sourcing movement has gained much attention in recent years. Many consumers are becoming more aware of products that claim to be "ethical," but in fact are still produced under exploitative working conditions. This awareness, combined with a greater demand from consumers for ethically sourced diamonds has helped to improve the working conditions for many people in the diamond industry.
However, much more remains to be done in this regard. Many children are still forced to work in mines in dangerous conditions and endure brutal working practices both on and off the job.
Most people believe that when you purchase diamond jewelry, your money supports a legal business that extracts precious stones from natural deposits. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that some of these diamonds were not mined with regard for the environment.
For example, diamonds mined in the Amazon rainforest for export to Europe often include toxic elements such as mercury, arsenic, and cadmium in the mining process.
Since there is no way to guarantee exactly how an item was mined (and in many cases what chemicals and equipment may have been used), there are immeasurable environmental impacts that come from this industry.
The production of diamonds has been associated with the displacement of Indigenous Peoples worldwide. All too often, large, industrial level mining companies have forcibly removed native people from their ancestral lands.
Ethically sourced diamonds are more than just diamonds. They are a way for communities in developing parts of the world to work and make a dignified living.
When looking for diamonds it is important to know how the industry treats its workers. It is important to look into the supply chain and make sure that you are buying diamonds from companies that have taken steps to end malpractice. This issue is particularly relevant if you are purchasing diamonds online as many companies ship their products without documentation and it becomes difficult for communities that have issues with labor laws to track where the diamonds are coming from.
Finally, when selecting diamonds, the consumer should be aware of where their diamonds are mined. Diamond mines may be in countries with poor human rights records, or in countries with little regulation on worker's rights. Many consumers are unaware of this fact, and end up purchasing something that would not meet their own ethical standards.