Mining for anything disturbs the soils and rocks. Gold mining may have begun as early as 4700 BC. Gold has been the primary “money” element in many cultures over the centuries. Gold has been ingrained in our culture as a valued metal because of its many useful properties and ease of workability since day one. I honestly don’t know if we can find a product that is “worth its weight in gold” to replace it. Our monetary system in the United States used to be backed by gold. Gold has a value as a security blanket when times get rough and rich people have been known to hold it in their assets to weather down turns in the economy. That is why gold prices have been rising while the economy is slowing down.
Diamonds, and other gemstones, have also been mined for centuries as well. Diamonds are the ...view middle of the document...
” (De Beers, 2012) It will take a lot to undo and or replace the cultural symbol this gives to engagements. Education will help and bringing the blood diamond issue in Africa to the forefront might help sway public opinion. I response to concerns in the international community, the United Nations, along with other groups, introduced the Kimberley Process in 2002, which is aimed at keeping the conflict diamonds out of circulation thru the use of documentation that certifies the diamonds are not from those rebel held mines where the worst of the human rights violations happen. (un.org December 2000)
We have not yet found a way to turn lead into gold with alchemy, but we have found a way to make diamonds with huge pressures, heat and seeding the carbon that gets crunched by the machines. Many of these synthetic diamonds are of lower quality, but have use in industrial applications for cutting of hard materials and such. With science trying to crack the secrets of the atom, we might yet find a way to change one element into another and avoid all the harmful mining in the first place. I admit I sure like my very few pieces of real jewelry and if I could trade it for manmade parts I would have a hard time letting what I currently have go for sentimental reasons. Honestly, I could see myself getting a manmade engagement ring and proudly wearing it as a green solution to global causes if I could do it all over again. That is where education and being good stewards of the earth comes into the picture.
We can live without mining anymore gold and diamonds, but the demand is still high for it so people will continue to make a living doing it until education and enforcement changes things. At least there are less destructive practices to mining these valued raw materials that we can try to force miners to use in the meantime.