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Mining 1 diamond = 4 tons of waste?!

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megumic

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 8, 2009
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1,647
Hey All - I''m a bit of a newbie so please no attacks, as this may be a controversial topic.

In my search for an ering, some friends have mentioned looking into conflict-free diamonds. One stated, "one diamond creates 4 tons of waste." I have NOT done my research, but wanted to get some of your expert input on this.

There are a few great sites like www.brilliantearth.com that offers what they claim are conflict-free diamonds. Further, there is always the option of an antique or vintage ring, which would also be an acceptable alternative, for me at least.

What do you all think? Anyone privy of knowledge on this topic, please chime in! Even if anyone of us choose to go with a "regular" diamond, I think it''s important for us to be educated on this topic and at least understand our choices.

Thank you!

PS - the moment I have a few free minutes I''ll do some research and post it here. It us unlike me to not do my research first, just couldn''t wait to get some input! Thanks!
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Meg, if you buy from a reputable vendor you will not need to worry about your diamond's origins as they will be compliant to the Kimberley Process anyway. As for the waste issue, diamonds have to be mined to bring them to the earth, even alluvial diamonds need some processing and will have resultant waste probably so I don't know what can be done about that unless you prefer to buy a preowned diamond - but then if it has some age to it there is no way of knowing its history concerning the conflict issue anyway...Any vendor should be more than happy to answer any questions you have concerning this issue and provide evidence of their stance on the matter and the steps they take in order to sell only conflict free diamonds.

Further reading for you

http://www.kimberleyprocess.com/

http://www.responsiblejewellery.com/
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
The waste issue is entirely different but there are virtually no conflict diamonds on the market today as a result of the Kimberly process, etc. The movie Blood Diamond just hyped everyone up into thinking that all diamonds are blood diamonds. There are many threads on this with better info if you do a search!

And welcome!
 

Deelight

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
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5,543
Date: 3/27/2009 9:43:04 AM
Author: neatfreak
The waste issue is entirely different but there are virtually no conflict diamonds on the market today as a result of the Kimberly process, etc. The movie Blood Diamond just hyped everyone up into thinking that all diamonds are blood diamonds. There are many threads on this with better info if you do a search!


And welcome!

Ditto

Welcome to PS :).
 

John P

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,563
Yes, welcome to PS!

You can type "conflict diamonds" into the search box (top right) and find plenty of discussion. Here is the first thread listed.
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/conflict-diamonds-and-treated-diamonds-how-not-to-buy-such.55227/


There are different ways to mine diamonds. Primary deposits are gems still in the rock that carried them to the surface. This typically involves open-pit mining (which moves underground in time). If you ever watched "Ice Road Truckers" they showed examples of blasting to remove overburden, which is transported for gemstone extraction/recovery.

Block caving diagram: http://www.brc-diamondcore.com/i/photos/pressure_pipe_small.jpg

Here are some photos of the Mirny mine (historically the world''s largest if I''m not mistaken). It was mined for 50 years and ceased operations in 2004. http://www.acrosstheplanet.net/mir-diamond-mine-mirny/

Secondary deposits are alluvial or marine - where the gemstones were carried away from the primary deposit and concentrated in streams, fields where water used to be, or on the ocean floor or shoreline. Small scale mining of alluvial deposits can be hand-done by pans, shovels, sieves and rockers. Large scale can involved mechanized recovery. Marine deposits usually involve large operations which can make use of dams on the shoreline to hold back the sea for sand recovery, divers using vacuum hoses offshore and recovery ships and specialized crawlers in up to 600 feet or so of water.

Marine mining diagram: http://www.brc-diamondcore.com/i/photos/marine_diamond_mining_small.jpg

Diamonds have been found in every part of the world except Antarctica but it’s not commercially viable to mine them everywhere.

There are two ways to measure diamond production: By Weight and By Value. There are vast value differences between gem-quality and industrial rough.

World Production

15% Gem-Quality rough
39% Near-Gem rough
46% Industrial rough - expanding in use

Although 54% is gem or near-gem rough only 12% by weight ends up in jewelry because most material is lost in cutting (up to 85% of original weight).

[Credit: BRC Diamond Core for above graphics]
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,812
Mine tailings are a funny thing to describe as ‘waste’. It’s not trash or a byproduct in the same way that you think of manufacturing byproducts but more a matter of the original earth that has been dug up and mixed with a few select pieces removed. In some cases this is environmentally very destructive and in some it’s barely detectable. Mining companies can and do take efforts to recover the land after they’re done and although it’s true that they don’t go away without leaving traces of their presence, the ‘recovered’ land isn’t exactly destroyed either. Some countries are better about this process than others of course. The same can be said of most human activities, like farming and cities. One of the worst things environmentally speaking is paving of streets for example.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

2Artists

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
622
I would suggest going the vintage or antique route. I am really into the social issues and the environment and try to get everything I possibly can recycled/used/vintage/antique whether it be leather goods, furniture or jewelry.

I think that it is crucial to be aware of how and where the things that you consume are produced and come from. At the same time I am also a big fan of live and let live. To give an example I am vegetarian and naturally not a personal fan of wearing fur for purposes of vanity (not warmth or survival) however I have had dear loved ones (family and friends) who did enjoy wearing it. Did I dump a bucket of red paint on their heads or bug them non stop about it-no that would not have been right. Same when I have been at a business dinner and someone has ordered veal I have just had to keep my mouth shut.

So I am a huge fan of the old or recycled but I don''t push it on anyone else because that doesn''t really help make a case for it. But when someone compliments something I have on or my decorating than I can get all excited and tell them all about where I got my fun recycled find.
.

Two of my favorite online places to check out lovely old jewelry are Single Stone and Jewels By Erica Grace. Have fun looking!


Mrs.2Artists
 
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