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National Geographic's Diamond Story


#1

National Geographic=B9s cover story March 2002, is titled ‘Diamonds,
The Real Story’. This compelling, disturbing article (and the slide
show and video clips on their website
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0203 ) may change consumer
and designers’ buying habits. We spend our days loving this process
we are enamored with and don’t give much thought to the price that is
paid in human suffering to supply us with our materials. Are there
any metals and gems that don’t extract a horrible price from people
drastically less fortunate than ourselves?

Best Regards,
Kate Wolf
<www.katewolfdesigns.com>


#2

Dear Kate, what doesn’t “extract a horrible price from people
drastically less fortunate than ourselves”?

Next time you pull on a pair of sneakers, drive your car, or breathe
what’s left of the fresh air in a major city, or for that matter,
simply live in North America, you may wish to reflect on the fact
that jewellers tread relatively lightly on this earth. We are
certainly good at recycling.

But seriously, we are living in a beautiful and finite world. Thanks
to the National Geographic for doing their bit to generate a global
conscience. We are our brother’s keeper. Kind regards, Rex Steele
Merten in Australia, ashamed of our xenophobic government.


#3
you may wish to reflect on the fact that jewellers tread relatively
lightly on this earth. 

After returning back from the Tucson Gem Show, and seeing the
mind-boggling piles of rock, gems, fossils, etc., one only has to
try and imagine how much of our earth is being destroyed in order to
uncover all of these “treasures.” . . . and this was only one show .
. . . How about all the jillions of stores around the world selling
precious metals and jewels? (I wish I could remember the exact
statistic I read awhile back about how much earth had to be moved in
order to extract one ounce of platium, but I believe it was
something like 500,000 tons . . .?) I don’t think we are treading
very lightly on this earth!

Carolyn Sealfon


#4
    precious metals and jewels? (I wish I could remember the exact
statistic I read awhile back about how much earth had to be moved
in order to extract one ounce of platium, but I believe it was
something like 500,000 tons . . .?)  I don't think we are treading
very lightly on this earth! 

I think a good platinum yield will be in low units of grams per ton.
So if you’re getting 2 grams per ton, then you’re talking 15 tons to
get an ounce. Nobody would ever move 500,000 tons to get an ounce of
platinum at today’s prices.

Anyway, the work done in precious metal and gem mines is really
concentrated to ore bearing bodies which are few and far between. If
you want to look at damage, look at coal mining, or logging, or worse
yet, try walking a “deserted” beach.

But the mother of all environmental killers is definitely farming.
Whenever I fly and look at the farms, from horizon to horizon in all
directions, and think of the forests and natural flora that have been
wiped out to feed us, and the amount of chemicals being distributed
onto that land, I really feel ill. Not that I have a solution for
that, we have to eat.

But in perspective, mining for gold and gems is nothing. Just think
of all the food stores in all the towns of the world, when you think
of the gem shows, and hopefully that will put things in perspective
:-).

  • darcy

#5

rule of thumb is that it costs at least $1.00 to move a ton of
gravel. And a ton is about a cubic yard. Costs much more for
underground work. Sooo. we aren’t going to move much over 100 yards
of gravel to get an ounce of gold. That is a drop in a road gravel
pit bucket.


#6

Platinum is generally the by-product of other mining operations,
usually gold. It makes more sense if it’s thought of like that.

I think a good platinum yield will be in low units of grams per
ton. So if you're getting 2 grams per ton, then you're talking 15
tons to get an ounce. Nobody would ever move 500,000 tons to get an
ounce of platinum at today's prices

Tony Konrath


#7

Dear Carolyn, Oops, sorry Carolyn… I was specifically thinking of
me in my little workshop, making individual pieces of jewellery by
hand. I don’t do any casting, refining, mining or any other “earth
destroying” processes.

Some of my less charitable colleagues in the Fine Arts have
denigrated me and jewellers like me as "participant exploiters"
because we make fine jewellery out of precious materials. I ignore
that as quasi-Marxist rambling.

Because I use these materials to make a hopefully honest living
doesn’t make me an environmental rapist. As a matter of fact, I am a
serious “greeny” when it comes to our environment. And I maintain
that I, as a jeweller, do tread lightly on this wonderful Earth. Kind
regards, Rex Steele Merten


#8

Hi Gang,

   Some of my less charitable colleagues in the Fine Arts have
denigrated me and jewellers like me as "participant exploiters"
because we make fine jewellery out of precious materials

I’ll bet some of them drive large gas guzzling SUVs. Drive the SUV
when they only have to go a short distance & could walk as well.

Folks, if we’d all take an honest look at how we live, we’d find
that every one of us is ‘wasteful’ & not kind to the environment in
some way.

If you can guarentee you’re perfect, then you can point out my
faults, otherwise cool it.

Dave


#9

Dave Nobody’s perfect, however, it’s high time that we own up to the
fact that we must soon learn to tread lightly on this fine earth or
risk losing it all. There are some more important things in life than
the almightly dollar and protection of so-called “American
Interests”. It’s a big, bold beautiful world out there, filled with
many wonderful cultures that have been exploited and questionable
governments and politics with atrocious human rights records that
have been propped up by Western interests (to give you Americans your
due). None of us are without guilt. We can change this world ~ one
person at a time, and one issue at a time, if we speak up and care
enough about doing so. I know that you already know all of this . . .
Susan rareearthdesigns@shaw.ca