Diamonds have fueled civil wars in Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, and other African countries. Diamond companies have displaced Indigenous people and others who live near mines. Workers, including children, often face hazardous — and sometimes deadly — conditions.
Extracting diamonds consumes a ton of energy — usually from greenhouse gas-releasing fossil fuels — and pollutes the surrounding soil and water supply.
The high-pressure, high-temperature process subjects a carbon material (like graphite) to extremely high temperatures and pressures, similar to those under which diamonds form in nature.
In the chemical vapor deposition process, diamonds grow from a carbon-containing gas under moderate temperatures and pressures.
Figure out what’s most important to you, Halter says. Do your homework to find a company that upholds those priorities. Perhaps you want your purchase to help fund the education of mining community members, an initiative many companies offer.
Buy from companies that only source diamonds from countries that participate in the Kimberley Process. This global certification system aims to prevent diamonds used to finance armed conflicts (a.k.a., “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds”) from entering the market.