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  • Joe, it's so lovely

  • A token of love

  • It's got to be the prettiest engagement ring anybody ever had

  • A marketing miracle

  • “A diamond...

  • is forever.”

  • "Adiamondisforever.com."

  • The inspiration for countless songs:

  • You're beautiful like diamonds in the sky.”

  • Movies:

  • These rocks don't lose their shape.

  • Diamonds are a girl's best friend.”

  • But also the cause of brutal civil wars,

  • and environmental destruction.

  • Beautiful, pure, precious,

  • diamonds are strangers to the earth's surface.

  • Their true home is in the hellish foundry

  • of the earth's mantle.

  • More than 150 km deep,

  • with temperatures over 1,000 degrees Celsius,

  • under conditions impossible to replicate.

  • Except

  • That's not quite true!

  • We can make diamonds, yes.”

  • Scientists can grow diamonds in the lab.

  • Lab-grown diamonds are the same as

  • mined diamonds.”

  • And the process is getting so much better and faster,

  • that soon enough we might no longer need to mine them.

  • Diamond mining is actually

  • a source of poverty for this community.”

  • This is Farai Maguwu, an activist who spent his life

  • exposing crimes in the Zimbabwe's diamond business.

  • This made him a target for corrupt authorities.

  • They actually wanted me executed.

  • The state security swooped in my home

  • I managed to sneak [out] through the window."

  • His reports horrified Western consumers.

  • We have a lot of artisanal miners,

  • who are going in there because of poverty.

  • So when they catch them, they don't arrest them.

  • They handcuffed them, and then they set dogs on them.

  • They also beat people, they also shoot to kill.”

  • If you are wearing a diamond, take a close look at it.”

  • Blood diamonds…”

  • Do you know that West Africans were used as slaves

  • just so that you might be able to wear that diamond?”

  • Civil groups want Zimbabwe banned from the world

  • diamond market because of its human rights abuses.”

  • Thanks to his work and that of NGOs like

  • Human Rights Watch and Global Witness,

  • today human rights are better protected,

  • but environmental destruction continues.

  • Diamond mines can cause deforestation,

  • respiratory illnesses,

  • and water pollution in areas

  • where that's already a scarce resource.

  • People used to fish from that river, they can not do it anymore

  • because of the sand that is coming from the open-cast mining.

  • The cows are dying, the fish are dying.

  • So, it's a disaster and no one holds them accountable for their environmental crimes.”

  • But economics could succeed where politics failed.

  • The profitability of these mines

  • depends on diamonds' perceived rarity,

  • and that's starting to crumble.

  • Diamonds were never precious.”

  • This is Amish Shah,

  • his family has been in the diamond business for three generations.

  • When you are born in this business, you are going to be in this business.

  • This is exactly what my grandfather told me, when I was in my twenties."

  • But his company is breaking industry taboos.

  • The rarity of diamonds was a myth.”

  • A myth created by De Beers,

  • a company that for a long time controlled the production of most of the world's diamonds,

  • and which, as its one-time chairman said, increased their value by making them artificially scarce.

  • But if other commodities are anything to go by, the value of diamonds could drop quickly.

  • Take aluminum, for example.

  • Until the early 1800's it was more valuable than gold.

  • That's why it's on the Washington monument, and why Napoleon III served his guests

  • with aluminum dishes.

  • But aluminum was never rare, just difficult to make at the time.

  • With diamonds, something similar is happening.

  • As far man-made diamond production, that technology has actually existed

  • since probably the 1950s, 1960s.

  • But for a long time, we could only make tiny grains for industrial applications.

  • But about four to five years ago we started to see advancements in technology

  • that allowed for production of gem-quality diamonds that are man-made,

  • and high enough quality to be used in jewelry.”

  • Here is how it works.

  • We take a slice of a ALTR-created diamond and it's arranged in a proprietary chamber.

  • You arrange those seeds almost like a waffle and you close the chamber.

  • You raise the temperature inside while pumping a combination of proprietary gasses.

  • When the temperature is in the mid 1,300 to 1,400 degree centigrade

  • methane splits and the pure carbon that is separated starts bonding.

  • This bond of carbon starts connecting with the seed that's sitting at the bottom of the chamber

  • and a diamond grows layer by layer.”

  • This technology is still energy-intensive, but it's still more sustainable and

  • profitable than traditional mines.

  • Just a few months ago, one of the world's largest mines closed because

  • it was no longer profitable to keep digging.

  • But although diamonds are no longer considered rare,

  • Every other girl has one!”

  • Their properties definitely are.

  • A diamond is only made of carbon,

  • but its atoms are bonded together in a very tight crystal structure.

  • That's why it's one of the hardest and

  • highly conductive materials on earth.

  • You can only cut a diamond with a diamond.”

  • This makes it a wonder material for engineers.

  • It could also make screens more resistant,

  • solar panels more efficient,

  • lasers more powerful,

  • hard drives smaller,

  • and much, much better electronic devices.

  • Good semiconductors must resist high temperatures and voltages.

  • Today, most of them are made of silicon, but the thermal conductivity of diamonds

  • is 14 times higher,

  • and its electrical resistance 30 times greater.

  • Is it better than silicon?

  • Any day of the week.

  • Was it affordable 10 years or 20 years ago?

  • No.”

  • These higher-tech applications represent a very, very small part

  • of the industry at this point.

  • We still could be decades away, but I think we're going to see

  • diamonds used in a lot more of the products that we use on an everyday basis.”

  • And let's not forget, we are no longer needing to mine.”

  • We're probably never going to have diamond dishes and high-tech applications still need more time to develop,

  • but lab-grown diamonds already provide a more sustainable alternative.

  • For Zimbabwe, we would lose absolutely nothing.

  • Number one there is less human rights abuses.

  • Number two, there is the issue of pollution, it would be significantly reduced.

  • And then thirdly, diamond mining is sponsoring bad governance and military coups in Africa.

  • Therefore I completely support and endorse lab-grown diamonds.”

  • So, here is a quick question for you:

  • Which one of these do you think is a natural diamond?

  • Actually, none of them,

  • these are all made out of plastic.

  • We don't have that kind of budget.

  • But that's kind of a point:

  • lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds are indistinguishable for the naked eye.

  • Thanks for watching.

  • And if you liked the video, please subscribe.

  • We have a new one coming out every Friday.

Joe, it's so lovely

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Why lab-grown diamonds are better than mined diamonds

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    joey joey posted on 2021/06/08
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