The environmental cost of mining diamonds
We start with the uncomfortable truth: extracting diamonds comes at a very high environmental and social cost. Diamonds are formed in deposits often hundreds of yards deep in the group. Mining diamonds require a large scale operation disturbing lands, moving soil as well as processing plants on the surface using chemicals and heavy machinery. On average, 1ct of mined diamonds generate about 6000 lbs of mineral waste.
Such mining processes destroy the ecosystem as they not only disrupt the landscape but contaminate water sources in the proximity. Toxic material from the deposit may negatively impact wildlife and the ecosystem for decades. The stagnant water left in the hole can also create a mosquito epidemic.
While modern mining technology tries to minimize such impact and uphold ethical working standards, the nature of mining is dangerous to the environment and the workers involved.
With this in mind, choosing sustainably sourced diamonds is not only a "feel-good" act. It's a proactive decision toward positive change.
Why refurbished diamonds?
You may be surprised to hear that one of the largest diamond mines in the world isn’t a mine at all. You don’t need to dig through thousands of tons of earth to find these rare and precious stones. It is estimated that over four billion carats have been mined over the last century – more than a trillion dollars in value. Much of this haul sits in old, out-of-fashion, broken and unwanted jewelry.
Stones from this urban diamond mine can be “recycled” for modern pieces without risking the environmental damage, community displacement and economic exploitation often associated with diamond mining. Even man-made diamonds have an environmental cost in high energy use, pollution, and large carbon footprint.
Diamonds don’t wear out. A century-old diamond is no different than one mined yesterday. Many older diamonds have beautiful older cuts that may look "vintage" with softer edges than those of today. Just a little cleaning and resetting, and they’re ready to go. If the design calls for today's more precise sparkling cut, that’s no problem either. Recycled diamonds can be recut to modern standards without affecting their quality. A recut recycled diamond absolutely is no different than a newly mined stone. Recycled diamonds can also be GIA certified exactly as newly mined diamonds.
Sometimes just the right stone can’t be found and a newly mined diamond is needed. But if there is one that fits the bill, a recycle diamond is the right choice for today's conscious jewelry and a sustainable planet.