What do diamonds and jade have in common? The most obvious answer and the one any reader would instantly pronounce is that they’re both gemstones used in jewelry. Easy enough. Nonetheless, while that is manifestly true, it is also the case that they are both renowned for something all the more sinister: the financing of civil wars!
The grim blood diamond stories and their link to ongoing turmoil on the African continent is of course well known to all. What one might not know, however, is that precious jadeite is used to very much the same effect in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), to both finance a civil war and the dramatic spread of heroin addiction amongst its poorest members. Yes, you heard right: heroin!
Burmese traders inspecting jade
A recent NY Times article reports that young miners seeking their fortune mining in the country’s dangerous and poorly regulated jade mines are incredibly prone to heroin addiction and needle sharing (making HIV also a problem, but that’s horror for another day).
This sudden influx of money into jade mining can be traced to China’s growing wealth and its consumers’ appetite for jade, and the Myanmar jade industry is booming as a result. Despite these seemingly favorable patterns, however, the added prosperity isn’t shared evenly throughout the country – making it one of the most economically polarized in the world. In fact, wealth is concentrated into members of the military elite and its rebel leader counterparts, who both fight for control of the commodity. This results in both an ethnic conflict and a growing heroin problem.
Reminds you of something you’ve heard before? While this of course parallels the blood diamond trade’s conflict funding in a host of African nations, the difference here lies in the fact that miners get hooked on heroin while the government stands idly by and becomes one of the major heroin producers in the world.
Magnificent 1920's Art Deco French-made jade & diamond Chinese lantern style earrings
Vintagediamondring.com does not sell conflict diamonds. Every diamond sold on our site is guaranteed conflict free. By buying "antique and Vintage" you are buying vintage jewelry that was made before these conflicts existed.
Antique Engagement Rings Are Conflict Free!
When you purchase antique engagement rings you are being "green," you are not using any of the earths natural resources. When Chinese customers are buying new jade, or customers throughout the world are buying new pieces of jade, they are financing this civil war and heroin trade. But when you buy antique jade rings or Art Deco jade jewelry, you are also not funding Myanmar’s illicit heroin trade and supporting ethnic conflicts!