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Make an Ethical Choice by Selecting Conflict-Free Diamonds

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: July 8, 2014 | Categories: Fashion, Guest Posts, Information

Guest Post

ethical choice conflict-free diamondsThe diamond signifies love, protection, and timeless beauty. It is the most common gemstone used in wedding rings, and symbolizes undying love. Yet some diamonds are obtained through illegal and brutal practices, and are sold to fund anti-government activities.

Conflict diamonds have existed for quite some time; however, media attention has open people’s eyes to the horrors of illegal diamond trade. In the 1990’s, conflict diamonds represented nearly 4 percent of the world’s diamond supply.

The diamond industry has worked with the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, and government institutions to eradicate conflict diamonds from the industry. Currently, 99 percent of all diamonds are now conflict free. When buying a diamond, it is crucial to ensure that the stone is not one of the 1 percent of conflict diamonds that are still available on the market.

Jewelry buyers are encouraged to seek answers to the following questions before purchasing diamonds in order to prevent buying a conflict diamond.

Where are the diamonds mined?

It is important that the diamond retailer has information available naming exactly where the diamonds are sourced from. Countries, including Australia, Canada, Botswana, Russia, Tanzania, South Africa, and Namibia are all peaceful diamond countries. They are able to use the profits from their diamond trade to develop a solid infrastructure and create hospitals and schools.

Ultimately the diamond trade in these countries helps to fund better communities. People should be suspicious if the diamonds are mined in countries, such as Angola, Zimbabwe, or the Ivory Coast.

Where can the buyer obtain a copy of the jeweler’s diamond sourcing policies?

Every jeweler should have a written version of their sourcing policies available to the customer, either in printed form or online. If they do not, look for a retailer that has one available. A perfect example is Eternity Wedding Bands page here.

Does the jeweler only buy diamonds from suppliers who abide by the Kimberly Process?

In an attempt to stop illegal diamond trade and obtaining diamonds from areas that use harsh mining practices, the Kimberly Process Certification program was formed. Over 70 governmental agencies from across the world joined forces and placed strong restrictions on their diamond processes.

Under the program, governments certify the source of rough diamonds and put other stringent controls in place to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the diamond supply chain. Some of the practices used to control this process include:

  • Rough mined diamonds are placed in tamper-resistant containers for shipping.
  • Each container is sealed with a conflict-free Kimberly certificate.
  • Each certificate has unique serial numbers, making it difficult to forge.
  • The containers can only be shipped to another country who abides by the Kimberly Process.
  • Each conflict-free diamond sold comes with a written statement, known as the System of Warranties.

Although some organizations claim that the Kimberly Process can be easily infiltrated by non-governmental sources that bring conflict diamonds into the diamond supply, the certification process is still used.

Does the jeweler use other methods to avoid use of conflict diamonds?

Those interested in purchasing diamonds should look into the diamond-buying practices of the company before making a purchase. Consumers should make sure that the company they are purchasing from has strict regulations against buying diamonds from areas tied to child labor, violence, and environmental harm.

Buying a diamond is an exciting process. Gorgeous diamonds are timeless. Yet, diamonds that are conflict-free are even more beautiful as they have not been mined at the expense of another person’s life.

20 Responses to Make an Ethical Choice by Selecting Conflict-Free Diamonds

  1. Heidi Embrey says:

    Great article. Thanks 🙂

  2. Liz Mays says:

    I don’t think I’d ever buy a diamond again without thoroughly checking this out. Great information here!

  3. It’s so sad that there are diamonds not mined like this. Usually a diamond celebrates some special occasion and it’d be awful to think your celebration and special memory was at the life and well-being of someone else.

  4. Shannon says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I never thought about this before.

  5. Jenn says:

    I’m impressed that there are so many government agencies that are participating and I hope that more follow suit.

  6. Kathy says:

    My sister and I had an indepth conversation about this. She didn’t get a diamond in her wedding ring because of it.

  7. Terri S says:

    Great post. Very informative. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Sean Clinton says:

    The author of this article is either very badly informed or else deliberately misleading readers.
    The Kimberley Process (KP) only regulates the trade in rough diamonds – cut and polished diamonds evade all human rights regulation.
    The KP bans “conflict diamonds” which are narowly defined as “rough diamonds used by rebel moivements of their allies to fund violence aimed at undermining legitimate governments” This narrow definition allows blood diamonds that fund human rights violation by rogue regimes to evade regulation completely.
    The main beneficiary of this scam is Israel – one of the world’s biggest exporters of cut and polished diamonds and a serial human right offender. Revenue from the diamond industry in Israel generates about $1 billion annually for the Israeli military whcih stands acused of war crimes by the UNHRC, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Fifty percent of the diamond ssold in the US come from Israel.
    Right now Israel’s diamond-funded military is committing grevious human rights violations in Gaza. About 100 people have been killed there in the last four days, most of them civilians including many children.
    See my most recent article exposing this charade here globalresearch.ca/israels-blood-diamonds-boost-jeweller-profits-as-gaza-bleeds/5390583
    Please get informed and don’t believe all the propaganda about “conflict-free” diamonds from vested interest groups.

  9. This is an interesting bit of information. I didn’t realize there was so much history and controversy behind diamonds.

  10. It is awful that they use people like that. I will definitely make sure I do not buy conflict diamonds.

    • Sean Clinton says:

      Theresa – make sure you don’t buy blood diamonds. “Conflict diamonds” are a narrow class of blood diamond but other blood diamonds are legally allowed to enter the market and are sold as conflict-free diamonds.

  11. Kelsey Apley says:

    I had no idea about all of this, it is interesting to learn and good to see that people are paying attention and raising awareness!

  12. Tammy says:

    It’s not something we’ve ever really thought about when shopping for diamonds. It’s been a long time since my husband bought any jewelry for me, and with our money pit house and our daughter starting college this fall, there probably won’t be many diamonds in my near future 😉

  13. Colleen says:

    I honestly had no idea.

  14. Raijean says:

    Those are some beautiful diamonds, glad they are conflict-free.

  15. Interesting. I never thought about where diamonds come from! I’m not a huge jewelry person, so it’s not something ever on my mind.

  16. I don’t own a diamond worth checking! lol

  17. Angela says:

    I love diamonds. I’ll make sure the next time I buy, it is conflict free.

  18. Marcie W. says:

    I had no idea there were illegal diamond traders! I will be sure to do some research before my next big purchase.

  19. Very interesting, informative post.

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