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theonetrueelhigh t1_iz01e0y wrote

Reading deeper into the paper you don't see any mention of the poor working conditions of De Beer mines, the poor wages, or indeed the entire white colonial ownership of the African mines.

Pretty sure Sierra Leone wasn't invaded and 10s of thousands killed just to build an array of high-pressure/high-temperature diamond growing ovens.

It might take more man-hours' labor performed by higher paid workers to make a lab-grown gem, but it's still cheaper on my conscience.


PhilosoFishy2477 t1_iz05v90 wrote

yeah this is the thing capitalists havnt figured out yet... it's impossible to (fully) alienate us from the means of production now that high speed global communication networks exist. we know the human cost of cheap goods nowadays... even if lab grown was more expensive we'd still prefer them, because I can be absolutely certain it wasn't mined by an 8 y/o slave.


ASDFzxcvTaken t1_iz16br7 wrote

Met with a jeweler in NYC, Lab grown diamonds are about is one third the cost of a similar karat diamond. Lab grown has no flaws/occlusions. So, win win.


Ixneigh t1_iz2vawc wrote

Can’t wait for nice diamonds to become less expensive


Belzedar136 t1_iz41cfm wrote

Unless someone stops the diamond mine owners from kicking down the competition it never will sadly.


Ixneigh t1_iz50lb5 wrote

They are done. Industrial diamond uses are far too many for debeers to keep manufacturers from pursuing it. They will hype the “natural” selling point, and people who care will pay. I do not. I like the lab sapphires as well.


gachamyte t1_iz0rizc wrote

People may be aware or know yes. Do they care? What kind of discount are we talking?


Shiredragon t1_iz1wlh1 wrote

Cheaper for lab. While the cost to produce is up, the diamond monopoly artificially keeps prices for gem quality diamonds high (from their controlled natural sources). This means that there is currently a stigma associated with ‘fake’ lab grown diamonds. It is going away now, but is not gone. All these factors combine to mean that the consumer will pay less for a lab diamond than nature diamond of similar size.


Strazdas1 t1_iz44qxh wrote

discount? no, you are paying more. and we are making it illegal to sell the cheaper diamonds that require no exploitation to produce because 'authenticity'.


Kagahami t1_iz1mnva wrote

In an idealistic capitalist society, everything has a value, and everyone both knows and agrees on what that value is.

What we have is some bastardization of this where anything you don't see or can pay others to not see gets swept under the rug. Environmental damage? Not my problem.

Human exploitation and slavery? It's not my country, so who cares?

The actual cost of human exploitation is paid by the country that the diamonds come from. The change to social structures that continue to systematically oppress in the interest of power and profit, the wanton destruction of natural resources and the environment poisoning the land for future generations, and the dependency it creates in the economy.

Lab grown diamonds don't have these issues, and that's an uncounted part of the savings.


scarabic t1_iz0wsan wrote

You know what's really depressing? DeBeers recently contracted Lupita Nyong'o to be their Brand Ambassador. You might remember her from the Black Panther movies - films about a sovereign African nation with a very valuable resource which they protect from exploitation by the outside world. I can't fathom how Lupita thought this was a good idea. I'm sure DeBeers will say that all of their businesses are "conflict free" NOW, but this company should be boycotted forever any anyone with a conscience.


Strazdas1 t1_iz44nyl wrote

She thought its a good idea because she cares about a paycheck and not some ideals from a bad movie she starred in.


AstronautApe t1_iz09d9d wrote

Yeah lets do another comparison. Lets compare the numbers of death or murder during labor.


intdev t1_iz0alhq wrote

Plus, I doubt they included the labour required to ship that single 1 carat diamond from the mine to the country of sale.


superRedditer t1_iz0ud8u wrote

yes i was thinking this but you said it better. i initially thought 2hrs is good! now those people don't have to toil! not humans are faster... that was not my conclusion loll.


Worst_username_eu t1_iz004vp wrote

Interesting to measure it in time to get 1 diamond, can you not synthesise millions at the same time?

Edit: It is measured in hours per carat to be clear. You can synthesise loads at the same time but not enough to outperforming mining at these two specific mines. Also they chose a lab making 30 diamonds at a time when they could have chosen a lab making 60, 300, 3000.


mazzivewhale t1_iz173qr wrote

Almost seems as if this research was sponsored by someone who has interests in the diamond mine industry and would be put at risk by synthesized diamonds. Messing with the units of measurement until it shows the result that makes it seem better for them to keep running diamond mines.


aesche t1_iz2seeq wrote

"Scientists [in Gaborone, Botswana]...."

edit: me remembering you can't just say stuff-- Gaborone is where the De Beers Group is


Zhai t1_iz3t44t wrote

Yeah guys, slaves are more effective. Choose natural diamonds. They should have compered also the amount of human suffering while they are at it.


Bagline t1_iz3rdmr wrote

I'm confused as to the point though, saying there's less labor cost makes no difference to the people buying the product. If anything it says labs employ more people per carat produced, and last I checked at a lower overall cost.


Strazdas1 t1_iz44dqc wrote

its an attempt to show they arent exploiting those child slaves in the mines since they work oh so little.


TerpenesByMS t1_iz3taau wrote

The article's framing is dumb. Synthetic gem-grade 1 carat cut diamonds are super impressive! When the tech matures a bit more, these stats will be a better comparison to "traditional" (* cough * exploitative) diamond mining.


Strazdas1 t1_iz44gcu wrote

The tech is fine, its political limitations that are the issue. In most places you are legally not allowed to sell synthetic diamonds as diamonds despite them being chemically identical and clearer than anything in a mine.


Gigazwiebel t1_iz4791k wrote

Where would that be? Diamond is chemically a well defined thing, no matter how it's produced. Also lab made diamond has many industrial use cases.

Normally a mined diamond has a certificate to show that it was in fact mined and not made in a lab.


UniqueName39 t1_iz4echb wrote

I dunno. This means that mined diamonds should be cheaper than synthetic diamonds.

Sounds to me like someone is trying to gouge customers. And it ain’t the science diamonds.


unpopulrOpini0n t1_iz01xnb wrote

It depends on the size and number of the autoclaves, but yes you can make many very large diamonds much more easily than individual 1 carat diamonds.


scarabic t1_iz0w3s2 wrote

Yes whether you are using humans to mine or machines to synthesize, you can set up work in parallel, so duration to produce 1 diamond seems like a useless metric to me. Cost per karat would be more interesting.


party_benson t1_iz1kz83 wrote

Well, diamond mines are paid for in blood, so they're considered low cost.


ImMeltingNow t1_iz1pkkr wrote

if you donate a gallon of blood you get a lot of money at the blood bank.


creggieb t1_iz2l79h wrote

They get suspicious if you bring it all in at once though.


ImMeltingNow t1_iz6io6j wrote

I own a crematorium


creggieb t1_iz6lisq wrote

Powdered blood is much easier to store and transport than liquid blood. Maybe you are onto something


ImMeltingNow t1_iz6nrxf wrote

I was referring to the eventual investigation into how I obtained said blood. The evidence would be gone poof like dust


achard t1_iz1u4fk wrote

Not really a donation then is it?


Strazdas1 t1_iz44iho wrote

Cant do cost per carat. It would show that synthesizing is better and this research was funded by the mine owners.


FranticPonE t1_iz1rjr7 wrote

Paid for by the diamond mining corporation for mining diamonds.

Seriously just "time" as labor is ridiculous, you don't even need to have people in the lab for growing diamonds. BTW this was funded by "We love diamonds" Russia. Honestly shouldn't even appear on this sub.


sharrrper t1_iz12t75 wrote

The measurement is "carats per hour" not "diamonds per hour".

So one 5 carat diamond pulled out of the ground and five 1 carat diamonds pulled out of the machine would be equal production in this study.


DietUnicornFarts t1_iz1q9bx wrote

Hmm.. I wonder if the diamond industry had anything to do with this study..


aphelloworld t1_iz1uy9c wrote

But then you would need a million time. Divide that by labor and you get 4 humans, which is less than 6 diamonds.


[deleted] t1_iz0hgkl wrote

So actually the synthetic labor was for millions and needs to be divided by that to show the true labor costs of one synthetic diamond?


[deleted] t1_iyzwpax wrote



JoanNoir t1_iz01eq1 wrote

A quick Googling of author's names reports this paper was mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.


[deleted] t1_iyzvhso wrote



Songmuddywater t1_iz04gjm wrote

I think we're at the point that I don't understand why anybody would buy a much more expensive lower quality diamond that was dug out of a mine. Frankly I have to wonder why everyone needs a diamond instead of some of the more colorful rocks out there.


KenDanger2 t1_iz0klfw wrote

It is worse than that. We don't even need them at all. The reason they are used for engagement and wedding rings is because of ad campaigns in the 20th century


dovemans t1_iz0wak9 wrote

just need them for technical applications now.


Strazdas1 t1_iz44v2x wrote

they are still very useful in drilling.


KenDanger2 t1_iz57x1y wrote

Of course. I guess I meant they are overpriced because of false scarcity and propaganda by the ad industry, telling us if we love our partner we have to give them a diamond, of a certain cost, like 2 months salary, and it has to be "real".


Strazdas1 t1_iz58s1m wrote

I never got why this merchant ownership ceremony has somehow been turned into expression of love in the first place.


tidehyon t1_iz1i7cf wrote

Fool's tax, i.e.: bUt ItS nAtUrAl

Also, started some gemmology as a hobby, legit no one cares about diamonds, unless its about spotting immitators like cz or moissanite (although I find moiss beautiful on its own).

Signed by: chrysoberyl and corundum gang


Ma1eficent t1_iz2ginm wrote

I have a personal horde of lab created sapphires. They are perfect. They are amazing. They were cheap to get enough to be a modern dragon with a horde.


tidehyon t1_iz41pet wrote

Ah, yup, I just got on the way some inexpensive "supposed to be" natural sapphire. It looks like its legit, since they said that its heavily included, but Ill keep it just for the sake of testing it and for the collection. But corundum is another classical example of "why-should-i-get-a-natural-one".

I think the only situation where you don't want synthetics is when they dont have the same properties as the natural counterparts (one bad example that comes through my mind is inexpensive synthetic opal that has craptons of repeating patterns and usually a weird border at the base of the stone, talking about cabochons here, lets say this one is more visible and annoying than the curved parallel lines on synthetic sapphires)


Ma1eficent t1_iz5aitq wrote

If you buy sapphires from a gem quality lab there are no parallel lines or tells other than how perfect and flaw free they are. And corundum is sapphire.


Kienn12 t1_iz31s3o wrote

Are your sapphires made of people?


hippyengineer t1_iz1rcj7 wrote

If two children didn’t murder each other to give the stone to their boss, I won’t be able to achieve climax.


DMAN591 t1_iz37566 wrote

Seriously though, I like to look at the diamond on my finger and think of all the human suffering it represents. You just can't get that with a lab grown mineral.


Alchion t1_iz41c65 wrote

i mean do article says that grtting them out of mines is cheaper so that‘s the reason why


Strazdas1 t1_iz44txr wrote

The same reason anyone would want to buy a diamond at all - marketing.


7Moisturefarmer t1_iyzy7z7 wrote

I wonder if they included the labor required for energy inputs


stress-n-depress t1_iz11kuy wrote

I wonder if they are measuring the human labor in what they are producing vs what they are being paid by their exploitative employers.


Strazdas1 t1_iz44s3t wrote

Does not take a lot of energy to give pickaxe to slave children.


frontbuttt t1_iz0awo4 wrote

And isn’t the real cost here the human suffering, plus the land needed, plus the ecological disruption caused? “Man hours” doesn’t exactly matter as a point of comparison when the functions of those hours are incomparable.


sharrrper t1_iz139lq wrote

To be fair, in the full study they do mention that ecological impact on the site of the mines is something that should be considered but is not part of this paper.

They had a specific thing they wanted to measure, it isn't meant to be a holistic evaluation of one method vs the other.


ReallyJustAChair t1_iyzzp41 wrote

I'm certain they factored in the time it takes for the mined diamond to form naturally right? Surely.


Rkenne16 t1_iz0cggc wrote

You also have to factor in that the worker is useless until at least 5, but you still have to feed them.


Dr__glass t1_iz04u3w wrote

Yea it only takes 26 min to pull the rock out of the ground. Now let's look at production times. It takes 2 to 3 hours to make a synthetic one and however many million years to make a real one


martin0641 t1_iz07idm wrote

Carbon is carbon, all diamonds are equally real.

The fact that the deBeers is trying to force the government to require synthetically created diamond to be laser etched is hilarious.

They want you to put a flaw on a perfect creation so that you get lower quality.

I think there should be labels on mined diamonds that says "mined via 12-year-old in Africa"


Dr__glass t1_iz0eno3 wrote

It's not just that carbon is carbon but diamonds are carbon in literally the most basic design. Squares on squares and they try to pretend their blood squares are more valuable than one that can be mass produced in a lab


azurleaf t1_iz0eq9z wrote

It's like those shirts made in Malaysia that stamp a picture of the person who 'made it' on the inside tag.

'Jodette helped mine this diamond to help pay for her parents chronically failing health, thank you so much for supporting her. All praise to DeBeers.'


ProjectVRD t1_iz12us2 wrote

That's perfectly fine. In return every western government should force De Beer to laser etch an 'E' on to their diamonds to denote 'Exploitation'.


[deleted] t1_iz13ty5 wrote



martin0641 t1_iz15dzz wrote

They reflect light much better at higher clarifies, so it's more obvious at a distance that you can afford the GDP of a small country on your neck as some kind of weird flex.

I don't have any diamonds, I'm not a ferret who likes shiny things so I'm not interested anyway.

Then again other than a wedding ring I don't wear, I don't have any jewelry either, so I guess it's not diamond specific.


locoghoul t1_iz151h5 wrote

Iirc artificial ones did not have great clarity. Not that I am advocating for mined ones just pointing that out


hippyengineer t1_iz1sals wrote

They do now. Ones made in the lab are chemically pure carbon, with no impurities which impart cloudiness and lack of clarity.


Strazdas1 t1_iz451wp wrote

"Produced by slave labour" Would be a great label to have.


technicalityNDBO t1_iz0aeoo wrote

Could that present an argument that synthetic diamonds would be more valuable then?


chemicalclarity t1_iz12sug wrote

They're certainly purer, but the value of a diamond is a completely different discussion.

Inherently, all diamonds have very little value. You can test this for yourself. Buy one, them sell it, and compare the difference in price.

A diamonds value is largely driven by a century or so of solid marketing, and the social expectations attached to them.

Diamonds, like cars, depreciate as soon as you take them out the shop.

Historically (like 100+ years back) you could attribute the value to scarcity. They were difficult and expensive to mine. We've found a lot more fields, and mechanised that process considerably since.

Since then, companies like De Beers and Alrosa have artificially created scarcity by stockpiling.

These companies should be very scared of artificially created (but 100% genuine) diamonds. In the face of these advancements, their businesses are worthless.

Something similar happened with pearls. Prior to 1902, the only way to get a pearl was to wild harvest oysters and get lucky. ThenTatsuhei Mise came along and figured out how to artificially introduce an irritant to get oysters to produce perfect pearls like clockwork. The value of pearls plummeted as a result. They're not rare or unusual. You can buy them relatively cheaply at chain stores


locoghoul t1_iz147w4 wrote

Similar story to Aluminum. The Empire State has a an apex at the top made out of oure Aluminum metal. Back in the day, in order to produce that amount it cost a fortune which is why it was chosen to be the apex. However, the next year electrochem made it really easy to recycle and separate Aluminum from scrap metal and what the previous year cost thousands of dollars was now worth literally 12 dollars or so


chemicalclarity t1_iz1aesw wrote

I love that! There's a lovely story on the Tiffany's fith avenue property purchase. It was bought with a string of pearls. The value of that property today is truly astonishing, I don't believe the pearls are worth much more than a million today.

I may be a little hazy on some of the details here, it's been a long time since I looked into it. I'll see if I can find a link when I get a chance.


splendid-raven t1_iz1xnrk wrote

It was the Cartier flagship in New York! Two strands of pearls worth over a million dollars for a house worth a little over $900k. I think the necklace was sold for $150k years later.


chemicalclarity t1_iz3nd5q wrote

That's it! Thank you for clarifying the details. I believe the building is worth in excess of a billion today.


pm_me_cool_plants t1_iz01ebv wrote

It seems to me like this is a measure of the two specific mines' productivity levels against 2 types of "constants" in manufacturing (the two different methods listed). When I first saw this report I got excited because I just finished managerial accounting and cost analysis but I feel the scientists fail to capture all the other nuances to cost and labor.


oldmanartie t1_iz0ckcj wrote

Yeah might as well do away with all safety standards, they’re too expensive.


OrcOfDoom t1_iz0djib wrote

Did they also look at how the diamond mining industry gives us movies like blood diamond, and songs like conflict diamonds by Lupe fiasco?

What songs and movies have synthesized diamonds given us?


Milnoc t1_iz04xos wrote

How much blood was spilled to mine for those diamonds?


furiousfran t1_iz0h1lc wrote

Ok now measure how many people die mining those 1 carat diamonds versus synthesizing them


1000YearsTooEarly t1_iz0jsfo wrote

I will celebrate when the mined diamond industry finally collapses.


KittenKoder t1_iz0yeo4 wrote

This is skipping a huge step in the human process, waiting millions of years for the diamond to form. In order for it to be analogous that waiting for the diamond to form would have to be taken into consideration.

Not to mention the loss of life in the mining of said diamond, how many humans had to die for the synthetic ones?


chemicalclarity t1_iz0zh6k wrote

If we're talking about efficiencies, what do the power requirements and environmental impact look like side by side? What does it cost to produce diamonds at scale, vs mining them at scale?

I've seen diamond mines. They look like the exact opposite of efficient, so I'd appreciate the input of someone who knows what it takes to create them.


Fosphor t1_iz1q6e2 wrote

Title is misleading. “1 carat of diamonds” is not the same as “1 carat diamond” as stated. Also, huge difference if mining counts the dust and industrial only diamonds they collect, and the lab is growing near perfect near colorless diamonds.

It’s like saying Maybach’s can only be built 1 per week, but Honda can crank out Accords at 1000 per week, so Honda manufacturing must be “better”.


Andyrios t1_iz0bp94 wrote

Do it artificially nonetheless


LawTider t1_iz0ej5i wrote

I like my diamonds blood free thanks.


[deleted] t1_iz0gvk0 wrote

I'd like to know about the energy costs of both


Admin-12 t1_iz0ovn2 wrote

Let’s look at the carbon emissions from a lab made diamond and that of one extracted from the ground


byllz t1_iz0t350 wrote

I'm sure the mine worker's pay properly reflects their greater productivity.


flawlessfear1 t1_iz10s3a wrote

You mean 26 minutes vs millions of years


ZylonBane t1_iz16go3 wrote

>You mean 26 minutes vs millions of years

Might want to double check what you've typed there chief.


JoHaSa t1_iz10t5h wrote

If mining is cheaper then labor is too cheap. Way too cheap.


djrainbowpixie t1_iz1k78s wrote

Hmm, seems like a paper wrote (and paid for) by the diamond industry to downplay lab grown diamonds


NotJustAnyDNA t1_iz1kdcs wrote

It’s like foraging vs farming… one may be faster, but the other is more consistent, predictable, better quality, and less controversy over labor.


crazyplantdad t1_iz1s0hs wrote

But how did the human rights abuses and bloodshed factor into the analysis here


SlimeMyButt t1_iz1x9ff wrote

“Hmmm… 2 hours of a machine sitting there… or 30 minutes of slave labor? Well I know what imma pick!” -every mine owner


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LaBeteNoire t1_iz0owq2 wrote

I wonder if they will do a follow up study comparing the relative usefulness of diamonds compared to the price asked for them?

I by no means think that everything has to be practical or useful for it to have enough value for you to want to buy it, but for the asking price of diamonds they need to be way more useful than just "something pretty to look at." If I want to spend money on something pleasing to look at I could buy art, or a nice tv, or an exotic pet. Most all of which would likely be less expensive than any high end diamond jewelry.


db720 t1_iz0pux9 wrote

Mining costs in Africa are cheaper than 26 minutes. It's free if done correctly


designerutah t1_iz15u79 wrote

I would love to see what the comparison showed IF they analyzed a couple of mines that pay a fair wage, offer competitive healthcare, retirement and such vs man made. I expect artificial is cheaper or getting close to it.


berserker-ganger t1_iz179ly wrote

Because they are robbing the earth, taking what's already there, they not producing anything. Probably not counting clean up and site restoration time.


DallasCumOnOrIn t1_iz2dzry wrote

Woah where is all that excess labor value going I wonder


BroForceOne t1_iz2frmu wrote

It’s not “labor” if a machine is doing it. The study seems pretty biased towards diamond mining with humans over lab grown with machines.


Solomonsk5 t1_iz2i1c1 wrote

Yeah but I can't buy a diamond mine, whereas I could build a lab to make them wherever it is convenient.


Also, what are the human and environmental costs of diamond mining vs creation?


Micropolis t1_iz2uni6 wrote

Doesn’t matter when artificial has a higher production potential in the long term


Ixneigh t1_iz2v2l8 wrote

But debeers doesn’t control the lab diamond sources.


sinkovercosk t1_iz2yhpp wrote

Um, I’m not an expert on what is required to make diamond artificially, but I’d bet a substantial amount of my very modest income that it’s miles better than digging a massive hole in the ground and the pollution that goes along with it…


cynopt t1_iz35olk wrote

Yessir, people work REAL fast with a machete resting on their neck!


WumpusFails t1_iz37fwm wrote

I couldn't ever want a natural gemstone if a lab-grown variety can be created cruelty free. If the only way to see a difference is by very exacting tests, I don't see what makes natural gemstones so valuable.

Granted, my wedding ring is a tungsten carbide band. $50 and saved the rest for two or three mortgage payments. And if I lose the ring, less than $100 to replace.

Hopefully, tungsten is cruelty free.


b4ttlepoops t1_iz3eloe wrote

Give me lab grade any day. Not a fan of diamonds to begin with. Lab grade is perfect, and still cheaper, regardless of “more labor”…. It shows the gross overpricing.


Tim-in-CA t1_iz3ts6s wrote

This post has been brought to you by your friendly Debeers Diamond mine


Diamondsfullofclubs t1_iz40dgj wrote

Labour costs are cheaper when you employ slaves, more at 10.


timberwolf0122 t1_iz49b1q wrote

Diamonds are not super rare or uncommon, they should not cost what they do… almost as if theirs is some kind of artificial manipulation


Coins_N_Collectables t1_iz4lens wrote

Cool now do a cross analysis taking into account drops of blood spilled


Beneficial_Air_1369 t1_iz4wyig wrote

An which humans are these? I only buy manufactured diamonds An gems. This planet needs to get past the conditioning of these Veblen goods made luxurious only through brokering or just plain horse sht advertising


GDegrees t1_iz1dzlb wrote

Here come the natural diamond hating brigade.


StrionicRandom t1_iz1vium wrote

What are some pros of natural diamonds that outweigh the cost in third-world people's lives, first-world people's time, and massive damage done to the environment and the economy?


Electrical-One-2270 t1_iz00ton wrote

I don't know what everyone is so upset about. It's been known for some time that industrial diamonds are only cheaper up to a certain size after which they get more expensive.


squigster037 t1_iz0540q wrote

Because most people have a soul and feel that human suffering is more important than time to produce a diamond.


katarh t1_iz0rvgk wrote

Most consumers and industries don't want or need giant diamonds. Industry needs diamond dust for drills and files. For decorative jewelry, corundum (ruby and sapphire) is much cheaper to manufacture and almost as durable as diamonds.

Sure, it's going to be a lot more expensive and time consuming to make a 3000 caret rock than to mine one. But that 3000 rock is a curiosity to sit in a museum (or to be cut into smaller pieces), not a useful thing people will want to buy.


Electrical-One-2270 t1_iz3kkir wrote

It says one carat, not 3000. That's a nomal size found in jewellery.


katarh t1_iz4lvzm wrote

The article also admits that the industrial diamonds are a heck of a lot faster to make during the processes, and the 2-3 hours per caret for lab grown is specifically for gem quality stones intended to compete with gem quality mined diamonds.