Let’s Talk Mining
Engagement Rings, Bridal Jewelry, Earrings, Vintage Brooches, etc. are all hallmark pieces of jewelry which are timeless and are usually some of the most valuable possessions someone can have both monetarily and emotionally. And having them made with natural diamonds is always going to be a growing industry.
Now let’s not shy away from the negative connotations associated with Natural diamonds which the Lab Grown camp will like to highlight. Mining for Diamonds is harsh on the environment, is exploiting the poor and is highly syndicated among other things.
Maybe before, but I can safely say there is no other resource than Diamonds and Gemstones in general whose mining and extraction has come under such scrutiny and subsequently rectified. For example, drilling for Oil in the Niger River Delta is rampant and repugnant, Cocoa farming in Ghana results in great human exploitation and Rare Earth leaves vast amounts of landscape in Mongolia totally arid as the world lusts over technology.
But two wrongs don’t make a right so just because other extraction industries are worse doesn’t mean it has not happened in Diamond mining but there is a huge industry clean up going on.
The Clean Up
Russian and Canadian Diamond mines are very much organised and there are post depletion plans for what to do with the surrounding area and how to regenerate the landscape. Civil conflict that has been highlighted by Hollywood in places such as Angola and Ivory Coast are now as far back in time as the first gulf war and the countless other Oil related conflicts after that. And for those that think Angola is an unstable place today is strongly urged to visit Luanda. And let’s speak of Botswana which is a poster child for how the diamond industry should be operated. If you want to take a rough diamond out of Botswana – no problem – just cut one diamond in Botswana. Yes job creation – to the point where Australia is lagging behind with strange situations where I have sold my entire existing stock of Pink Diamonds to an Australian even though Australia has the largest deposit of Pink Diamonds in the world. But they didn’t bother developing a cutting and polishing industry and so have to buy it back with the value added tax that is inherit in the difference in rough and polished prices.
Central African Republic started to have a long term peace deal buckle – immediately the Diamond Community started to lay off any rough being exported from there. Religious Jain Indian Businessmen that don’t walk on grass for fear of accidentally killing insects are not going to trade in Venezuelan Diamonds knowing there is suffering attached to it.
There are bad apples everywhere. Gem traders that are ever too happy to exploit a conflict in Sub Saharan Africa for gain but this will always be on a one or two trade level now and the culprit is caught out before you can finish reading this meandering blog. I have scratched my head over why a Turkish fellow has tried to sell me rough and asked to be paid to a Lebanese bank account, sorry mister your reference will be cross checked and lo and behold you will be caught out for dealing in suspect rough and at least named and shamed and at best arrested and taken to task.
The Good News
I dare anyone to try and close down an Imperial Topaz mine I visited near Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Heck try and touch the mine owner’s car let alone the mine and 300 miners and their families will display their displeasure in a number of ways. They know what the mine has done for them, and how it has resulted in supermarkets being built nearby and schools for their children to go to. I have seen the mine boss hand the local Priest a 5% cut of the monetary proceeds of the monthly mining output like clockwork every month. The Priest doesn’t ask for it and wouldn’t’ know if it is a fair share – but he gets it and has done wonders with it for the local community.
This is what we see the whole world over. At the Alexandrite mine the boss and his son’s cooked for the mines’ security personnel and ate the simple food with them on picnic mats.
Indian Diamantaires have single handedly built entire towns with free health care and transportation among other amenities for thousands of citizen diamond cutters as a way to give back.
Israel Diamond Dealers have built hospitals and rapidly band together to send aid in times of natural disasters all across the world but namely those places where they mine their Diamonds from.
The Economics of Natural Diamonds
The Economic impact that Lab Grown Traders will say is their high horse over Natural diamond Dealers is unfair given there are schemes such as cut a tree plant 2 trees in Brazil, India and other mining regions. And if they really are concerned then I wonder where the gold they are setting their Lab created diamond in is from. Green gold is very much a concept derived from the updated and cleaned up mining practices from the Diamond and Gemstone industry. Small footprint Gold mining is an exact template taken from artisanal Sapphire mining in Madagascar.
Again it is important not to have a militant stance on either view and so again we at Gemrize like to say it is a lack of information and perspective.
Gemrize enjoys making custom made jewelry be it unique engagement rings or tailor made cocktail rings and we have increasingly sold more gemstone jewelry online. And as women buy themselves jewelry such as charm bracelets and even buy earrings for men we are having an increasingly diverse client base. And for those happy moments and memories that we together with our clients want to build into their jewelry acquisitions we think it is best to use natural, responsibly sourced diamonds and gemstones.