Happy Earth Day! Today I wanted to highlight something about a topic that previously I knew not much about. Which makes me think A LOT of people don’t know about. And that subject is eco-friendly diamonds. Seeing as today is Earth Day I thought it would be a perfect time to highlight this topic and also tell you about the detrimental effects of the diamond mining industry and some eco-friendly diamond alternatives out there!
Diamonds are forever – everyone knows that song right? Diamonds are definitely the gemstone that are the top of the jewellery pyramid. Everyone wants one and because of their price, exclusivity and rarity they are also hard to own. I also want a diamond and in particular a 2 carat ring. But it’s not something I can just run off and buy (I wish!). Buying diamonds takes planning and a whole lot of saving.
Why do people want diamonds? Well, because they are beautiful and they look fabulous. There is also a certain feeling that you get when you wear a diamond. I do believe that a diamond, like a very special fragrance, is so often tied up in a memory that they have become something to be revered. They are special and again because they are so special not everyone can have them, making them even more desirable. But there is no doubt that you do feel something special when you wear one.
But as fabulous as diamonds are what I didn’t realise before writing this post is just how bad mining diamonds is for the environment. I’ve done a little research and let me tell you – it’s not good. A lot of harm is done to the earth in the process. Take this stat for example – it takes on average the excavation of 250 tonnes of rock to produce a single carat during the diamond mining process.
Here’s a bit of an overview: there are three types of mining when it comes to diamonds – strip mining, underground mining and dredging. With strip mining, entire lakes and ecosystems can be removed from the local landscape with an incredibly detrimental effect on the environment. Underground mining also destroys huge areas of fragile ecosystems and and disturbs natural wildlife habitats. Dredging is where mining occurs offshore and where 600 tonnes of seabed can be processed per hour with severe damage to the seabed and sea life.
As it is, it requires 250 tonnes of ore to be mined to get a one carat diamond and out of the 140 million carats mined this year only about 20% of those diamonds will be of sufficient use. So all these stats brought up a question in my mind. Was there any such thing as eco-friendly diamonds that didn’t cost the earth (literally)?
Luckily there is. Recently I’ve come across Ethica Diamonds – home of the eco-friendly iQ Diamond which is 30% tougher than a mined diamond and 90% less expensive. The iQ Diamond is a man-made/hybrid diamond (yes, really). I was baffled too to learn that you could actually make a diamond in a lab that actually tests positive for a diamond. Well, seeing as we can make things like human tissue etc. I guess it’s not surprising that now we can actually make diamonds (in a lab). iQ diamonds are a manmade diamond but actually studies have shown that even experienced gemmologists cannot tell the difference between an iQ diamond and a mined diamond. The iQ diamond has a similar density, refractivity & dispersion as a mined diamond. So in other words, this looks like a diamond and acts like a diamond.
So how is the iQ Diamond made? Well, it is a “combination of a pure man-made diamond layer grown directly onto the surface of a super white high tech ceramic core using mCVD technology. The CVD mantle bonds covalently to the atoms of the ceramic core, in effect making the diamond layer a continuation of the mother core. This ethical gemstone is the only and first of its kind that tests positive for diamond on the respected Presidium Multi-tester.”
I was so interested in the impact that the diamond industry has on the environment and an eco-friendly diamond alternative so wanted to see the iQ diamond for myself. I’ve got this beautiful 2 carat iQ diamond that I absolutely love (that Ethica Diamonds kindly let me borrow for this post to showcase). It’s so sparkly and looks like the rock I always wanted on my hand! And you will never believe how much this manmade diamond will cost compared to a mined diamond. For the iQ diamond on my hand in these pictures, you would pay £2,400 compared to over £15,000 for a regular diamond. That’s a lot of savings. And the iQ Diamond pictured on my hand is absolutely stunning. It sparkles in the light and looks incredible. I received so many complements on this and gasps of surprise! The ring would make a perfect engagement ring for some lucky girl. The clarity, cut and colour are all flawless. You would never be able to tell the difference between an iQ Diamond and a mined diamond by just looking!
The iQ Diamond is a great conflict-free option and a honest, credible alternative to the mined diamond so if you are looking for the perfect engagement ring this is a great diamond to choose. I had to return the gorgeous ring in this post but honestly thinking to buy it for myself after spending two days wearing it and I’m all about eco-friendly diamonds now! And I feel peace of mind knowing that the iQ Diamond hasn’t caused horrible damage to the earth in the manufacturing process. Every piece is hand-finished and made to order.
Shop the iQ Diamond HERE.
*This post was in collaboration with Ethica Diamonds but all opinions are as always my own