How Are Lab Grown Diamonds More Ethical?
In a world that is growing increasingly more conscious and intentional in every aspect of life, it stands to reason that the diamond industry should follow suit. Recent years have seen increased scrutiny on the industry, and rightfully so.
With an infamously unethical history, mined diamonds are beginning to fall out of popularity with particularly conscious consumers, and for good reason: they support a system of violence, poor treatment, and excessive pricing. Not only are lab grown diamonds a visually identical product, but they don’t come with any of the ethical questions associated with mined diamonds.
They Are Conflict-Free
Most people have probably heard the term “Blood Diamond,” but they may not be aware of just how literal it is. Certain areas in Africa with particularly dense diamond mines will trade the stones to finance ongoing wars. In this sense, mined diamonds are quite literally financing many deaths.
Generally, blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds, are harvested and traded by rebel forces opposing an established government. The revenue produced from the diamonds allows them to hold forces together.
On the other hand, lab grown diamonds are not involved in any such business. Regardless of which lab they’re grown in, these diamonds are never used as a means by which to fund conflict that often leads to death. Opposition to this funding has led some people to partake in a diamond boycott, but this is not strictly necessary.
Those with objections to contributing to a system of organized war funding have a viable alternative in lab grown diamonds, which do nothing of the sort.
They Do Not Receive a Ridiculous Markup
Despite being almost identical from the standpoint of optics, lab grown diamonds are sold without the serious price hike of mined diamonds. Though this topic doesn’t relate to ethics in the sense of the way they affect a third party, it does speak to the ethics of the industry.
Some of the cost of mined diamonds is passed down from the actual cost associated with mining, though this is much lower than some might realize. For the most part, though, the astronomical price of a mined diamond is due totally to long-standing preference for them.
Lab grown diamonds take a more consumer-friendly approach, as they are priced fairly despite not being less visually stunning. In this way, lab grown diamonds are quite revolutionary for the industry, disrupting a time honored tradition of grossly overcharging.
They Don’t Promote Child Labor or Unlivable Wages
Another main concern about mined diamonds is the fact that they subject workers, including children, to unsafe conditions and absurdly low pay. Since many diamonds are mined by small operations in areas without strict regulations, child labor laws are often non-existent.
Additionally, there is no minimum wage so workers can be paid next to nothing despite the dangerous nature of their jobs.
Lab grown diamonds come with none of these concerns. They’re sourced in a way that does not take advantage of anyone, and those who produce them are paid fairly.
It’s fair to be a little wary of the diamond industry with the assorted questionable activities of its past. However, lab grown diamonds represent a truly new wave of ethical treatment and pricing within the space.