Wherever diamonds are mined, the existing population is pushed out and forced to relocate, causing soil quality degradation, deforestation, and soil erosion in the areas where they relocate in large numbers. Unrehabilitated mined areas are not only unsightly, but the destruction is frequently ignored. Although mining companies are required to return mined areas to the same or better condition than when they began mining, this agreement is not always followed.
In South Africa, for example, one of the most well-known mining companies has left the equivalent of 2,000 football fields worth of unrehabilitated mined land, endangering more than 45 plant species. People are naturally drawn to jewels, and diamonds are the most widely available precious stone. A diamond's beauty is unrivalled, which is why it has become the traditional stone for most wedding rings. However, the fact that diamond mining causes so much environmental damage lessens the appeal - until you consider lab grown diamonds.
If you're thinking about proposing or getting married and looking at diamond rings, think about the origin of your diamonds before making a purchase. You don't have to buy mined diamonds to get gorgeous rings. There are many stunning diamond rings with stunning settings and cuts made with lab-created diamonds. A lab-created diamond is formed under the same conditions that occur in nature - heat and pressure. The only difference is that the conditions must be created in a machine, but the outcome is the same: a lovely diamond with the same molecular structure as a mined diamond.
Aside from having a lower environmental impact, the next most significant advantage of lab grown diamonds is their lower cost. When you buy diamonds made in a lab, you will save a significant amount of money, and technology has made it even cheaper in recent years. In 2008, for example, it cost $4,000 per carat to create a diamond in a lab. It now costs between $300 and $500 per carat.