The world economy is becoming more interconnected and consumers are becoming more aware of how their goods are being produced. This has given rise to the concept of the ethical consumers. People want to know that their products are being produced by workers that are being paid a fair wage and with safe working conditions. They want to know that the factories producing these goods are not harming the environment. They want to know that the food they eat is not grown with poisonous chemicals, and the animals that are raised for food are not being treated well.
The ethical issues with diamonds
You wouldn’t think there would be any ethical considerations when buying a diamond ring. Perhaps you are planning to get married and are shopping for a diamond ring, or you are looking for a special gift for a loved one such as diamond earrings or a diamond necklace. You need to be aware of the place the diamond came from because the amount of violence in the world that surrounds the mining and even the distribution of diamonds makes it one of the most ethical issues consumers need to make. Your purchase of a diamond can bring harm to others. A harm that can be seen on a large scale.
Where do diamonds come from?
Diamonds are rocks. Granted, they are a special type of rock: the hardest, naturally occurring substance known to man. They take millions of years to form and are only formed under certain geological conditions. In fact, although there is diamond mining in Canada and Russia, most diamonds are mined in Africa. Much of the mining is done with heavy equipment that uses pipes to drill deep into the ground. Some of the mining is done in riverbeds as well.
So what is unethical about that?
Nothing. When large mining companies use their equipment, they usually take great caution with the environment. Workers are usually unionized, so they have protection from exploitation, and they make a good wage. The problem is not with these large companies, but with smaller operations that exploit their workers. Many of them work for pay that is just enough to keep them alive, and they do this work under conditions that can easily cause injury or even death. Of course, this type of mining shows no regard for the environment either.
The problem gets even worse
Diamonds, of course, are valuable. Many of these nations that have a wealth of diamonds inside the land do not have strong central governments. Some of these nations are not very stable to begin with. Armed militias can take over a mining area, and then reap the profits from the diamonds. This, in turn, helps to finance further growth in the militias, both in terms of the number of men and their weapons. Over time, these armies become rebel forces, challenging the government. A full blown civil war can erupt with large civilian populations caught in the middle, and all because of the purchase of diamond jewelry.
The solution to this problem is to make sure you know where your diamonds are coming from. You need to know the entire chain your diamond has traveled from the time it was mined to the time it arrived at the jeweler’s shop. There are businesses that go out of their way to insure that your diamond purchase is not contributing to violence and exploitation. Brilliant Earth is an example of this. When you buy Brilliant Earth Diamonds, you are assured that you are making an ethical diamond purchase.