As one of the pioneering retailers of eco-friendly engagement rings and lab-grown diamonds, I have been fortunate during the last 10 years to have had many interactions with the environmentally and socially responsible consumer. As a result, I repeatedly get asked this question...
“While I don’t want to contribute to the conflict associated with mined diamonds, I really don’t think a lab-grown diamond is for me. Are there any other options?”. My answer is always, “Yes. Have you thought about a recycled diamond or an heirloom diamond?”
See, most people think that my passion is diamond technologies, but really my passion is people, especially being an advocate for oppressed women and children. And although I love lab-grown diamonds I get excited when I get this honest and compassionate question. It’s easy to love diamonds and what they represent, but not at the cost of harming another person or damaging fragile ecosystems, so the real question is... Can you ever feel good about wearing a mined diamond?
Just like the lab-grown diamonds we offer at MiaDonna, I knew there had to be a safer and cleaner way to reduce the mining effects these commodities put on native communities and the environment. So, for the people who would prefer a mined diamond to lab-grown - a recycled diamond is the way to go. Yes, this diamond was once a conflict diamond, however, by purchasing a recycled diamond instead of a newly mined one you are not contributing to the continued conflict associated with getting diamonds from the earth. Here are my Top 5 Reasons to Choose a Recycled Diamond:
1. It’s good for the environment
It takes about 1 ton of earth to be extracted to find a 1.0ct diamond. Not to mention, so called “conflict-free” Canadian diamond mines are often built in environmentally fragile ecosystems, have significant ecological footprints, and will significantly impact upon the caribou, wolverine, bears, ptarmigan and fish which provide food for native communities.
2. You can feel good about its origin
Once upon a time this diamond had no origin. Meaning that how it came to market was never truly disclosed or even known. But now you are giving it a new story. I was once told that there are enough diamonds, over 1ct in size in circulation, in America for each American to have at least 3 diamonds each!
3. You will save money
Despite what you may have been told, diamonds are not an investment, just like purchasing a new car is not an investment. Edmunds.com suggests that one minute after you drive a new vehicle off the car lot, the car will depreciate 9% and after 5 years it will depreciate approximately 60%. The same is true with diamonds. So when purchasing a recycled diamond you benefit from some else already ‘paying’ this depreciation for you. If you want to do more...use those savings to sponsor a child in a war torn diamond community through a reputable charity like SOS Children's Villages.
4. Creating your own traditions
If you use a family diamond, such as an heirloom diamond, you can begin your own engagement tradition of passing down your diamond to future generations, recycling it while adding to its love story each time it’s passed on. If you pair a recycled diamond with the recycled precious metals like we offer at MiaDonna you can have your feel good, eco-friendly engagement ring.
5. Conflict Diamonds are still a real problem in today’s society
From 2010 to 2014, it was estimated that over 48 million carats of diamonds, that were mined under horrific conditions, made their way onto the international diamond market. That is just from one country and the diamonds we know about! Although the Kimberley Process is a good idea in theory, it has proven time and time again that it just isn’t working.
There are a few different and easy ways to find recycled diamonds, you just have to search for them! First, ask your family. There is a high likelihood that someone in your family will have a diamond they no longer wear or need. You can also browse and shop local estate sales or auctions. Look for diamonds in finished goods, not just loose stones. You can easily remove diamonds from necklaces, brooches, pendants and rings. Another great way to search for recycled diamonds is by checking out pawn shops or a refinery. You will be surprised by what you find!
Whether you choose a recycled or lab-grown diamond, we thank you being an educated consumer, and for supporting our vision to create a greener diamond future for all.