Just like precious metals, diamond mining causes the same ecological and social problems. Exploited mainly by African countries, they suffer from ongoing armed conflicts financed by the illegal diamond trade, known as "blood diamonds".
As a result of these problems, the Kimberley Process was established, introducing compulsory control of the origin of diamonds, in order to avoid the financing of conflicts through them.
However, despite the efforts made, this problem still remains, due to leaks in the control process. Other problems related to mass diamond mining also persist, despite progress. The Kimberley Process does not cover all these other hazards, such as deforestation, child labour in the mines, etc. It seems obvious that it does not cover all these problems. It seems clear that it is not sustainable to deal with only one problem at a time.
Furthermore, the diamond mining market is controlled and dominated by a small group of players with a monopoly on the market. There are 10 to 15 intermediaries before a diamond reaches the hands of a jeweller. There are therefore still many grey areas, making the traceability and transparency of diamonds almost impossible to guarantee. This is all the more true when it comes to small decorative diamonds, which can range from 1 to 4 mm in diameter.
Their mass production makes them impossible to trace. This is because they are produced in large quantities, all from different mines. It is then impossible to determine the origin of each individual small diamond.
In addition, diamond mining destroys vast areas of natural land resources, with long-term and large-scale impacts on the environment. It encroaches on natural animal habitats, diminishing wildlife populations.
Diamond mining also creates greenhouse gases that contribute significantly to climate change and air and water pollution, forever altering local living conditions.
So-called "cultured", "synthetic" or laboratory-grown diamonds are 100% chemically, physically and optically identical to mined diamonds. However, the myth of their inauthenticity still remains within the society. It is therefore our duty, as an ethical jeweller, to make people aware of this. After all, these are real diamonds. The only difference between them and mined diamonds is the manufacturing process. Indeed, because of this process, cultivated diamonds do not generate any of the social and environmental hazards produced by mined diamonds. Their creation also results in a much lower level of pollution. Thus, the use of this alternative allows a greater respect for nature and society.
Cultured diamonds are real diamonds produced in a laboratory and replicate the real conditions in which diamonds grow naturally. These diamonds are physically, chemically and optically identical to mined diamonds.
The only differences between natural and laboratory grown diamonds are the following:
- Formation time: thousands of years for mined diamonds versus months or even weeks for cultured diamonds.
- Cultivated diamonds are not affected by all the environmental and social hazards caused by mined diamonds.
At AGUAdeORO, our jewellery pieces are made with laboratory grown diamonds and Fairtrade gold officially certified by Max Havelaar. This allows for a lower ecological impact and no social consequences in the production of all our jewellery pieces. We are proud to be one of the few Swiss jewellers to make a difference