They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But, is that always true? Let’s look at some sad facts about the expensive jewelry industry.
You Don’t Know Where the Stone Comes From
Jewelers don’t advertise the source of their stones but usually confirm they’re “conflict-free.” However, many people who try to trace the origin of their diamond find inconsistencies.
Unethical Mining Practices
That little bit of sparkle comes at a high price. While there’s a ban on so-called conflict diamonds, they find their way into the market.
Diamond mines across the world use slave labor to find these precious stones. Many people are forced to work in unsafe working conditions so you can have a shiny rock on your hand.
These mines are of high value and can be the source of many conflicts. Rival groups fight over the land, leading to death and destruction.
When people buy expensive jewelry with conflict diamonds, they are only continuing this cycle.
Severe Environmental Impact
Even when the mines are run ethically, there’s a considerable environmental impact. First, animals are displaced from their homes when heavy machinery tears apart the earth. Also, producing enough gold to make a ring creates tons of waste. These byproducts can then seep into the ground and poison the water.
It’s About Smart Marketing, Not Value
The so-called scarcity of diamonds is a marketing ploy. The largest diamond producers have stockpiles of stones in reserve. They work with one another to ensure that there’s a manufactured shortage to make prices seem high.
If they released all their diamonds at once, they’d drop in value significantly.
Fakes Today Look Convincing
Some jewelers may sell you stones that seem real but are fake. Labs can even make entirely organic diamonds these days. They will pass a diamond validity test but carry much less value.
Jewelers may also use heat treatments to enhance the color of stones and make them look more expensive. Only when you clean them or have them inspected, do you see the lower quality.
Expensive jewelry may not be worth the social or environmental cost. Unless you’re 110% convinced your jeweler is reputable, you may want to opt for an eco-friendly choice.