Diamonds have always been said to be a girl’s best friend. In fact, as a whole, the business of diamonds brings in about $81.4 billion a year. However, only an incredibly small percentage of that profit is given to those who actually did the work to mine these precious stones.
What is a conflict diamond?
As defined by the UN, a conflict diamond is "a diamond that originates from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council." To put this in more understandable terms, a conflict diamond (otherwise referred to as a blood diamond) is illegally traded to fund conflict in war-torn areas. This mostly takes place in central and western Africa.
How is it being stopped?
In order to eradicate conflict diamonds from the market, the Kimberley Process was established. This is an international certification system designed to reassure consumers that the diamond they are purchasing is conflict free. 74 governments have adopted this system since its implementation in 2003, resulting in a reported 99% of diamonds being conflict free. However, studies have shown that the Kimberley Process is not without loopholes, unable to stop many diamonds mined in war zones or other circumstances from being sold in the international market.
Under the Kimberley Process, a conflict diamond is defined as just what was stated above. A diamond that is mined using unfair labor practices or human rights violations does not disqualify it from receiving the Kimberley certification. So how do you know that you’re truly buying a conflict free diamond? The answer is do your research, and then research some more, and then after you’re finished with your research do even more research.
Am I buying conflict free?
Some brands like Tiffany & Co., Signet and De Beers’ Forevermark have put in place incredibly strict sourcing policies that address concerns like fair labor and human rights. Another company, called Brilliant Earth, buys most of their diamonds from Canada, where fair labor practices are law. Below is a link to a list of companies that are known for their ethically sourced diamonds, however it is still important to do your OWN research and ask questions! Make 100% sure you’re not adding to the problem when you make your next jewelry purchase! And, of course, all of the jewelry we sell here at Made for Freedom is ethically sourced and beautifully crafted!
List of ethical and conflict free companies