“The rarer, the more valuable”.
This is why natural gem is valuable. Ores are cut, polished, and eventually become sparkling gems of which everyone desires. But why is natural gem rare? Why does it come from? How much has it affected the world and society behind its dazzling appearance? Is natural gem truly the best?
Excavating natural gems is undoubtedly harmful to the environment. Obtaining gems from mines requires repeated dynamiting, whereas the toxic gas and chemical residues created could not dissipate in a short time and will stay in the air. The chemicals, if seeped into the soil and water, will not only affect the ecology, but would also become a long-term disaster. When that happen, natural gems simply could not form even when given millions of years.
1. Danger to human lives
Excavating natural gems requires the miners to stay in dangerous working environment for a long period of time. This kind of excavation has resulted in many moral disputes like chemical-related health problem to the miners, safety problems concerning dynamiting and illegal employment of underage as miners, all of which have been happening throughout the world.
There was a mine cave-in in Phakant, Myanmar last year, which caused a mudslide that killed more than 200 miners.
2. Loss of natural resources
Over-mining natural resources means the loss of natural ores as time passes.
The condition for natural gem formation is harsh, which could involve million years and specific geographical and chemical requirements.
Countries relying on gem trade unearth natural gems and export them in large scale, and this consumes a huge amount of natural gems in an extremely short amount of time.
Do humans have to spend up all the natural resource before they can understand how valuable the resources?
3. Not helping local economy
Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka are examples of natural gems exporting countries.
However, the gem trades do not seem to aid their economy. Sri Lanka is still in heavy national debt and the problem is worsening; India and Myanmar are still developing countries, and many people are still living under poverty where they still have problems satisfying their hunger.
Why are natural gems so costly, but the countries exporting the gems are still poor?
Who is to decide the price of those natural gems? And who is to be paid?
A shiny natural gem could take the breath of so many people, and many collectors are willing to spend millions just to acquire one that they deem the fittest.
But how much cruelty has a piece of invaluable natural gem hidden, while many are still risking their lives to mine the gems just for a trivial sum of income?