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The True Environmental Impact of Diamond JewelryJanuary 8, 2021 - Diamond Articles
Whether you’re searching for an engagement ring, a special anniversary gift or just because, the diamond you select does matter. Below, we put together an analysis of the environmental impact of diamond jewelry. From recycled diamonds to lab-grown diamonds to mined diamonds – and how the diamond industry affects Mother Earth.
What is the Environmental Impact of Diamond Jewelry?
Environmental Impact of Mined Diamonds
In order to obtain natural diamonds, they must be mined. Most diamond mining occurs in countries such as Angola, Australia, Botswana, Canada, DRC, Russia, South Africa and Sierra Leone. The mining process is extremely disruptive to the environment, resulting in the usage of precious natural resources, harming ecosystems and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
Below are some of the negative environmental impacts of diamond jewelry when sourced via mining:
- Land Disturbance: There are over 150 million carats of diamonds extracted from the Earth each year, causing large amounts of soil to be displaced for processing. Approximately 1,750 tons of soil has to be extracted to find a 1.0 carat rough diamond.
- Energy Use and Emissions: Diamond mining uses electricity and hydrocarbons, such as diesel, marine gas, oil and petrol. A by-product of both electricity and hydrocarbon energy is the release of carbon emissions (CO2), which is a major contributor to global warming and climate change.
- Waste: Diamond mine waste can include oil, paper, scrap metal, batteries, plastic and glass.
- Depletion of Water :Water is necessary for mining, which depletes an already shrinking natural resource. A mined diamond also requires approximately 126 gallons of fresh water per carat, and as a result a discharge of wastewater and pollutants have been found in surface water bodies.
- Loss of Biodiversity: When areas of land are cleared for a diamond mine, the surrounding ecosystem suffers as the native plants and animals are displaced. The destruction of habitat can potentially lead to the extinction of species who survive off of the disrupted land.
Some argue that the social impacts of mining are positive, providing the local community with employment opportunities. However, others argue that diamond mining has negative social impacts including poor working conditions.
Environmental Impact of Lab-Grown Diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds are also known as synthetic diamonds. Though chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds, they can be created in as little time as a few weeks. While conflict free, there are still environmental impacts. The energy required to provide enough heat and pressure to create a diamond in a lab is not insignificant.
According to a 2019 Trucost report commissioned by the Diamond Producers Association, on average, the production of lab-grown diamonds generates three times as many carbon emissions than mining for earth-grown diamonds. Though the report may not accurately depict the environmental costs associated with both lab-grown and mined diamond production (as the sample data covers earth mining from only 52% of global diamond production), there is no doubt that a significant amount of energy is used in each of these processes.
In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission also warned against deceptive marketing of lab-grown diamonds as “eco-friendly” or “sustainable,” stating that diamond companies should avoid those claims unless they are able to provide evidence.
Environmental Impact of Recycled Diamonds
When it comes to selecting an environmentally responsible diamond, recycled diamonds cause far less damage than earth-mined or lab-grown diamonds. In fact they have nearly zero environmental impact.
A diamond is one of the most durable substances on earth, and a single stone can be placed repeatedly in different settings over its lifetime, and show virtually no wear. By choosing a repurposed diamond, consumers reduce the demand for mining new diamonds.
How to shop for environmentally friendly diamond jewelry?
Andrew Brown, CEO of WP Diamonds, says, “We fundamentally believe that there is a better and more eco-friendly way to shop luxury goods, including diamonds; and that is to shop pre-owned. Not only does this translate to better prices for our customers, but recycled diamonds contribute none of environmental damage caused by mining or even lab grown diamonds. Our goal is to bring quality, beautiful, recycled diamonds to our customers that they can feel good about.”
Click the button below to shop pre-owned and expertly authenticated, eco-friendly diamond jewelry. At up to 80% off retail prices, recycled diamond jewelry is not only sustainable but cost efficient.
Sell Diamond Jewelry: Recycle diamonds back into the market
Recycled diamonds are truly the best way to minimize the impact on our environment. At WP Diamonds, we believe that the most environmentally responsible solution is to encourage the repurposing of diamonds. This helps to lower the demand and impact that diamond production has on our planet.
As such, we provide a secure and streamlined service that allows you to sell your diamond jewelry back into the market. The entire process can take as little as 24 hours and is backed by our A+ BBB rating and over 1,000 customer reviews. We provide honest price quotes and there are never any fees or commissions deducted from your final offer.
Our team of GIA trained gemologists are industry veterans with the necessary expertise to make strong offers for your diamond jewelry. We buy your diamonds, luxury watches and handbags directly: no online listings or waiting for us to sell on your behalf.
How it works
- Sell diamond jewelry online: Complete the online form and our experts will be in touch with a bespoke price quote. We will then provide a free, fully insured shipping label to send your items in. You will be notified when they arrive the following business day and will receive a final price and get paid. There is never any cost or obligation to sell, if you refuse our offer we return your items free of charge.
- Sell diamond jewelry via appointment: Appointments are available in NYC, Tokyo, Hong Kong and in the UK (London and Birmingham). These last 30 minutes long, during which time you will meet with our team of diamond experts, receive a final price and get paid.