Diamonds a growth industry
Diamonds have fascinated people for a long time. This particular stone is highly coveted by people across the world, and also extremely hard won from the earth. For every person happy with their new diamond ring, there is someone who has suffered enormously to drag it out of the ground.
Diamonds tend to be found underneath long dormant volcanoes. The pressure created by these monolithic structures during their life span crushes materials with immense, unimaginable heat and pressure, turning them into the rough diamonds which we carve into beautiful shapes.
Mining them is hard, dirty work and the rewards for the process do not get anywhere near the people who risk life and limb to find them. Diamonds such as the Cullinan Diamond and the Koh-i-Noor diamond have histories which stretch back centuries, but the names and lives of the people who actually discovered them have long been lost to time.
What if we could take the suffering out of the process?
The nature of diamonds’ creation means that they can be produced in a laboratory if the conditions can be replicated successfully. Bring enough pressure and heat to bear on the raw materials and you can create your own diamonds, all without the side effect of forcing hardship and immiseration on someone else.
Unlike synthetic fabrics which use man made materials to imitate cotton or whatever else, man-made diamonds are the real thing. Because they are made from the same base materials and in the same conditions, the ones which come out of a lab are identical to the ones which come out of the ground on a molecular level.
If we can do this, is there really any excuse for the way we currently mine diamonds? We go to extraordinary lengths to find them, cut them and polish them, when we could cut out the hardest part of the process in an instant. No one would ever know, and they would remain just as beautiful. The only people who would be put off are those who buy them because of their rarity, and really their concerns should not be at the forefront of any decision making process.
The diamond industry is already on borrowed time, and the proliferation of lab grown stones may be the thing which finally tips it over the edge. Looking even further into the future, the theorised diamond rain on Neptune has also been recreated in a laboratory, meaning that diamonds will become incredibly common once we get round to mining the solar system!
Now might be a god time to get out of the diamond industry...