字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント “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.