In context, an estimated 113 million carats were mined in 2021 alone. Heavy machinery is needed, requiring a vast amount of fossil fuels, to extract diamonds from the earth,
Some diamond mines are so enormous that they can actually be seen from space using Nasa’s Terra satellite to give an idea of scale.
Mining diamonds can have an adverse effect on surrounding ecosystems. In South Africa, deforestation, river pollution and soil erosion have destroyed local wildlife. Approximately 2,000 football fields worth of diamond mines remain un-rehabilitated in South Africa alone.
A study conducted by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan found that mining diamonds naturally requires twice as much energy per carat as diamonds grown in a lab. Furthermore, 57g of carbon is released into the atmosphere for each carat mined. Comparatively, only a few grams of carbon are released through the creation of synthetic diamonds.
Sustainable Diamonds: The Earth’s Best Friend
If natural diamonds aren’t the greenest choice for our planet, what’s the alternative?
Here, we look at two examples of sustainable diamonds and why they’re a more environmentally friendly choice when you’re picking out your special engagement ring.