Why do we use diamonds in engagement rings instead of other precious gemstones? What makes diamonds so special and so expensive? Well, many of the perpetuated statements about earth-mined diamonds are myths, and the moguls of the earth-mined diamond industry would like those myths to keep circulating. At MiaDonna, however, we’re all about transparency, so let us break down the diamond facts and myths for you.
Myth #1: Diamonds are rare
This statement is misleading because diamonds are in fact not the rarest stone. In terms of ranking earth-mined gemstones and diamonds, the rarest are tanzanite, alexandrite, and other lesser-known gemstones. Diamonds have been mined in such abundance by De Beers and others over the last century that there are enough in circulation to never need to mine any more.
Myth #2: You should spend about two months' salary or more on a diamond
This is another myth perpetuated by De Beers and the earth-mined diamond tycoons that created the diamond market. Their value is an arbitrary decision rather than a calculated value. The value of earth-mined diamonds was decided single-handedly by De Beers simply saying they have value. Nowadays many people are refusing to follow this “tradition”, and we encourage that! At MiaDonna, we think you should spend any amount you like on your fine jewelry, and we’re happy to offer conflict-free lab-grown diamonds for up to 40% less than earth-mined diamonds.
Myth #3: Diamond mining is good for developing countries
While this may look to be true on paper, it’s well known that countries that are high in natural resources, such as diamonds or gemstones, have less economic growth and less human rights than countries with fewer natural resources. Mining is good for the governments and executives, but this wealth doesn’t trickle down to the community members mining under harsh conditions. On top of that, the wealth that mining diamonds creates generally leaves the country, and the jobs created by mining are not sustainable. When a diamond mine dries up, all of the workers are affected.
Myth #4: The Kimberley Process ensures that my diamond is conflict-free
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is a misleading process that attempts to soothe the conflict issues of diamond-mining. The KPCS definition of a conflict diamond itself is quite narrow, being “a rough diamond mined in an area controlled by insurgent forces and used to fund war.” While the KPCS ensures that no money from your diamond purchase went into funding rebel war in the area where it was mined, it does not ensure that there was no conflict. Often, in countries at war for diamond mining, people in the local communities are brutalized, beaten, raped, or even murdered at the expense of these diamonds. However, it will still be marketed as “conflict-free” because the money did not directly fund a war led by rebels. It also does not address the damage to the environment. At MiaDonna, we believe no diamond coming from the earth can be considered conflict-free.
Myth #5: Growing diamonds is just as bad for the environment as mining them
Some may argue that digging into the earth and using harsh chemicals to extract natural resources is better for the environment than the electricity used in creating a lab-grown diamond, but those arguments are in vain. While growing diamonds does use electricity, most lab-grown diamond companies are focused on renewable energies, growing renewable energy technologies, and other ways to give back to the environment and offset any electricity use. Extracting natural resources and devastating the earth’s natural environment, however, is irreversible. There are countless open mine pits around the world that will likely stand as eternal testaments to greed and complete disregard for the environment and local communities.
Myth #6: Earth-mined diamonds are superior in quality
Diamonds come in two different types, Type Ia and Type IIa. Most earth-mined diamonds are Type Ia, while only about 2% are Type IIa and are typically reserved for celebrities and royalty because of their high price tag. Type IIa diamonds have a more pure form of carbon which makes them brighter and harder than typical Type Ia diamonds. At MiaDonna, all of our lab-grown diamonds are Type IIa. Keep that in mind when comparing prices between earth-mined diamonds and our lab-grown diamonds.
Myth #7: The larger the diamond, the more it’s worth
This is definitely not the case! Many things go into determining the value of a diamond, most important being color and clarity. The higher the color and clarity, the more value the diamond has, regardless of its carat weight. For example, you could have a 1.38ct, D color, IF round cut earth-mined diamond with an ideal cut that costs $18,270.
In comparison, a round cut 1.35ct, D color, IF ideal cut lab-grown diamond comes in at $9,234.00, which is over 49% less than the earth-mined diamond, and an indistinguishable 0.03ct smaller, but just as gorgeous in color, clarity, and cut.
Don’t let the myths fool you; earth-mined diamonds are beautiful, but we no longer need to mine them and inflict unnecessary damage upon local communities and the earth. Lab-grown diamonds are often more beautiful and of a better quality than diamonds that come from the earth. Better yet, they cost less and don’t bring harm to the environment or its population and communities.