Zimbabwe, home to the most controversial 46 square miles of blood diamond mining in Africa, is working towards creating education, careers and income for its citizens via a diamond-cutting school. The Braitwood Institute of Gemology focuses not only on diamond cutting and polishing, which produces a much more valuable product for export than just raw diamonds, but also on quality appraisal.
As quoted in the complete article by Hellen Mubvumbi, the CEO of the institute, Bernard Mutanga, states, “Raw forms of the gem are less valuable than the finished product and it is imperative that the country acquires skills to cut a comprehensive competitive product that would be well received in the market.” 
While I would like it if we didn’t praise diamonds above all other stones (see my article on sustainable jewelry for more on that argument) and that the De Beers cartel hadn’t gotten diamonds set in our collective head as the only stone for an engagement ring, I am realistic enough to know that for the foreseeable future, humans will mine diamonds and other humans will buy and sell them. I can only take great hope in projects and organizations like The Braitwood Institute.
Headline image © Swamibu on Flickr
 “Diamond Institue-Zimbabwe: Diamond institute to Open Two Centres” by Hellen Mubvumbi on May 20, 2011.