In many cultures, diamonds are considered the ultimate jewel. They are the hardest material known to man and are estimated to have formed inside the earth 3.3 billion years ago. Just like other commodities, diamonds must go through a series of steps to become the finished commodity that customers see.  They are extracted from the ground all over the world in places like Africa, Russia, and Canada. Through various methods, diamonds are mined and then sorted into different categories. They are then cut and polished to different specifications that the customers are seeking and made into jewelry through a manufacturing process. Diamonds are then displayed in retail stores and are then bought by customers as gifts for things like anniversaries, engagements, and birthdays. It is amazing to see how this commodity chain begins with a rough diamond (see example #1 below) and turns into a sparkling finished product (see example #2 below). However, the picturesque finished product was not produced without some environmental and social impacts along the way of the process. It is important to understand these various impacts so that you can truly understand what happens at each stage of the diamond commodity chain.

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