Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ethical Diamonds? Green Gold? Conscience and Consciousness?

The following is my opinion. If you find  factual errors, please make a comment and I will correct. If you disagree or would like to add anything, please feel free to comment. In any other case, if you feel like, please comment.

I had been entertaining to express some of my opinion about man made diamonds vs. earth mined ones. About Green metals ( recycled ) and other serious issues. 

Yellow diamond, fancy diamond, fancy yellow diamond, natural diamond, radiant cut yellow diamondWhat is ethical and sustainable? We are easily made believe many things if authoritative sources (like CNN, PAID advertisements, etc.) say them loud enough. However the real world is not so simple.(I admit I am trying to recollect the timeline from my head, correct me if I am wrong!) Ten - odd years ago the disturbing facts about diamond mining and trade surfaced. It took about 6 years for the UN, miners and traders and involved governments around the globe to offer a solution, that is known as the Kimberly Process. By now, 99% of the traded diamonds bears the stamp of KP. Currently only Ivory Coast is under embargo, which has no significant rough production. And there is debate about the Marange region, nonetheless, diamonds from these mines get approval by KP.

Does it tell you, that the subhuman conditions, oppression, murder, rape and torture ended in all the diamond mining countries?

Does it tell you, that a Kimberly Certificate is all we need to sleep well?

Did the KP do in effect more than sanctifying the trade of all diamond?

What do we do about all the other pressing issues?

Will new 200000 pages long regulations and a few thousand new stamping offices  solve all injustice and suffering? Maybe we need longer and stricter Codes?

rultilated quartz
Which one is mined by child labor?
Now, if you read this far, please continue and read my personal opinion as well.

It is easy to put our revolting conscience to rest by buying synthetics or Canadian or Australian diamonds. I have no doubt, that well intending individuals make a difference and they, the consumers had a major part in regulating diamond trade and forcing DeBeers to give up its monopoly.

So public pressure is GREAT! But, think about this too: Those regions in Africa live off their natural resources. Mining for gemstones is the only possible source of some income for millions of families. Change to these regions will only come with better economy, more wealth, better education, etc. SO in the future, some of these regions will hopefully shake off the raging madness of militant hordes and dictators. Maybe.

I am not trying to tell you what is right or what is not, I am only trying to show the other face of the coin.

And what follows is the THIRD face of the coin: Do you have any idea about the carbon footprint of the synthetic diamonds and other diamond " substitutes" (Oh God! don't even get me  started on this) manufacturing process? I don't but I bet it costs  tons of C emission to punch a few grams of C into a diamond crystal.

Let me point towards the FOURTH face of the coin: Diamond mining in Arctic. No doubt, the residents of those regions in Canada get more in exchange of their natural resources then the starving millions in Africa. But read upon this controversy a little (use Google or something) and you will see mischief in every corner, despite all the good intentions of citizens and governments and yes, even mining Co's. Tribal lands purchased for a few bucks, rivers and hunting grounds destroyed, etc.

And we barely touched the issues concerning diamonds. What about gold mining? What about the mercury poisoning of our oceans due to the extreme poverty and almost zero regulation in many gold mining regions? What about the inhumane conditions in copper or silver mines? 

How many millions are made on slave labor in gemstone mines? Who is pocketing those millions? 

What is purchased on that money? Rolls Rollces made of pure gold? Books for the children that somehow  reach the age of school? Machine guns to keep the slaves from revolting? A cow to give milk and livelihood for a family? Knives to cut babies out of pregnant women? A few gallons of clean water for a family to drink and cook and bathe?  Maybe we should pickup our guns and go there and force all of those countries to start assembly lines for our newest breed of fancy-talking-networking-everpresent-privacy intruding cell phones? Or have them start accounting firms? Or WHAT?

Where is the truth? What is right? Shall you buy mined diamond or not? I certainly cannot tell. The only advice I can give is to READ upon everything you READ and then make an effort to CONFIRM everything you had READ so far. And it still will be murky.

Because: IF WE DON'T EDUCATE OURSELVES, NOBODY WILL and our sons and granddaughters will live in hell, here on Earth.

In conclusion, please allow me to emphasize: I have no idea whether or not you should buy mined diamonds or synthetics, glass or emerald, recycled plastic rings versus gold. All I would like to ask from you is to be aware of the MULTIPLE SHADES of TRUTH and become more EDUCATED and more  INCLUSIVE as opposed to be more EXCLIUSIVE!

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