The beauty of diamonds is known to surpass all boundaries of allure. The most glorious thing that nature has created cannot come without a price. While not everyone is aware of it, some diamonds are reliably sourced, while others are sourced by unethical methods.
When we buy diamonds from a reliable source, we feel that they can be trusted and appreciate transparency. But, if you look at the bigger picture, you will get to know that there are various sources of diamonds. You can consider it a privilege, but we are unknown to these facts that make up the reality of so many people.
The idea of ethical diamonds and conflict free diamonds is quite controversial, with debates between the people that have seen things, and who state these facts. The environment in which these diamonds exist is very harmful to human mining.
Most diamonds are machine extracted, while some are extracted using simple tools and by hand. In certain places, machine mining is not possible due to budget constraints; mostly in parts of Africa, hence the diamonds are hand mined.
When some of these diamonds are not ethically sourced, they seem to harm a considerable fraction of society and a large fraction of the environment as well. This part of the society does not have any option, since they are completely relying on mining for their livelihood.
If the environment had an option, we wouldn’t be facing global warming. Such is the reality of life, that comes in the form of a brilliantly shining diamond, but the background of a heart-crushing story, taking away the lives of many.
Unknown to many as this may be, the ethical nature of diamonds is something still very rarely known. Hence, here we are bringing out the idea so there is an awareness leading to the betterment of society.
The beauty of diamonds is not something that can be concealed, so neither should their tale.
What Are Ethically Sourced and Conflict-Free Diamonds?
As the word suggests, ethically sourced diamonds are diamonds that have not been proclaimed by illegal or unethical means. The same goes for conflict free diamonds. These are diamonds that have not had any conflict attached to their origination.
In today’s world, the awareness of the origin of the products used in an individual’s day-to-day life has seen an increase. People are constantly trying to gain knowledge and understand where certain things they use regularly originate from.
Ethically sourced diamonds are known to respect the rights of those individuals who are involved in the diamond extraction process. Those participating in the extraction process of these diamonds do not violate any human rights or undergo violence of any sort.
Certain things make a situation not very ethical in terms of human rights. When miners/laborers are forced to work under harmful or dangerous conditions to extract a diamond. They don’t get paid well or their efforts go in vain as they get no pay at all.
Despite working this hard in inhumane situations, they do not get the basic facilities they need to survive. However, they have to stick to their work for the sake of minimum wage or have no other choice.
These harmful situations end up being too harsh to accept on moral grounds and thus the gems extracted during this process are called unethically sourced diamonds.
In other words, conflict free diamonds meaning, the diamonds that are sold in the market, without any connection or reference to terror groups.
Conflict diamonds have been used to fund wars and terror groups in many war zones like Sierra Leone. These diamonds are then known as blood diamonds. Hence another definition is that conflict free diamonds are diamonds that have not been exchanged for any war, bloodshed or violent conflicts.
About The Kimberley Process
The Kimberley process is a certification method which ensures that only conflict free diamonds are circulated in the market. The Kimberley process ensures that the diamonds are continuously recorded at every stage of their mining and production process. Conflict free diamonds through the Kimberley process are constantly certified at stages like mining, polishing, cutting and even when sold.
After the implementation of the Kimberley process, a rise in conflict free diamonds within the market was seen, which meant that the history of these diamonds was clean. At least 80 countries are a part of the Kimberley certification.
The process ideally states that conflict free diamonds can only be exchanged between countries with Kimberley certification. This ensures clarity of the diamond origin and processing.
But this is not always the case with conflict free diamonds through the Kimberley process. Due to the presence of some loopholes in the process not all diamonds are completely conflict free diamonds. You will have to use your better judgment when trying to buy a conflict-free diamond.
What are Conflict Free Diamonds?
Conflict free diamonds as the name suggests are diamonds that have been extracted and brought into the market, without any source of terror or violence involved at any stage.
Conflict free diamonds also ensure the safety of the individuals working to extract them, as well as the environmental factors that are a part of the process. Here is a small history lesson to give you some context.
In the past, there have been instances of terror groups and rebels indulging in unfair means to sell, obtain or smuggle diamonds. To get a better idea you can watch the Hollywood movie ‘Blood Diamond’.
These transactions did not profit anyone but them, and funded terror. The damage caused was not only financially but also socially, and some of it did translate to environmental damage as well.
Conflict diamonds were primarily utilized in war-torn areas that funded terror groups or individuals participating in the war. The diamonds were used to buy weaponry. The rebel groups and terror groups used slaves to manually extract diamonds located at riverbeds and then ended up selling them.
These diamonds required too much manual effort to be extracted, and the pay was close to nothing. This situation was particularly terrible for workers, as they could not earn a livelihood and had no other choice due to the presence of violent ruling groups.
In recent times, conflict free diamonds are gaining popularity as people engage with the community and society and look after one another. This is a time when a part of society is standing up for themselves and those who cannot.
What Are Ethical Diamonds?
Ethical diamonds are diamonds that are sourced ethically, without the origin of extensive labor or forced conditions. Extensive labor in inhumane conditions is carried out, to extract diamonds at a cheaper cost in some parts of the world.
The laborers do not earn a lot of money, but they end up being in such a situation which leads to no other option. The laborers do not have any reliable option and are forced to rely on this source for their regular income, which is even lower than the minimum wage.
Ethical diamonds will be sourced ethically and legally, which will not harm the worker or the environment in any manner. Ethical diamonds safeguard these parts of society and prevent some of them to fall prey to the apparent terror of rebel groups, or the privileged part of society.
Conflict Free vs Ethical Diamonds
All conflict free diamonds are ethical diamonds, but ethical diamonds can include conflict free diamonds.
Despite these diamonds having their own identity, they belong to a similar category of diamonds. The kind of diamonds that intend to be better for the environment and also do not cause much harm.
Conflict free diamonds are specific to the diamonds that have originated without the involvement of terror or rebellion. Conflict free diamonds are ‘blood-free’ diamonds. In the same frame, they are also ethical, since ethical diamonds involve no harm to any human, society or environment in any form.
Ethical diamonds can be sourced with a pure identity. These diamonds have not only originated without the involvement in any war but go further and ensure good pay, a safe working environment and even take into consideration the environment.
What Are the Best Ethical and Conflict Free Diamonds?
There are some ethical and conflict free diamonds which ensure complete legal background of the origin of the diamond.
The range of diamonds available in the market is so diverse, hence you can choose options which are safe and ethical. These diamond examples will not harm your conscience in any way and will certainly contribute to making the lives of some people better in the society.
Canadian diamonds are diamonds mined in Canada. These diamonds are ensured to have an ethical origin, more authentic than in Africa. These diamonds are expensive, as the workers are appropriately paid for their extraction.
Canadian diamonds are increasing in the market, and recently Canada has become the third largest supplier of diamonds in the world. As Canada is very strict with environmental laws you can be sure that no harm was caused to the environment either.
Recycled and Antique Diamonds
Antique diamonds are beautiful and give a vintage feel, while also being very good for the environment. When buying an antique diamond, one is recycling it, which means that they are investing in an existing diamond and nothing which requires a newly mined diamond.
Natural diamonds are definitely ethical, but the source of these diamonds should be known. Sometimes in situations of the Kimberley process, conflict diamonds are sold as normal diamonds, which makes it unethical. Hence, you should check the history of the gem you are buying.
Lab grown diamonds are very economical, and environment friendly, and now that we know the concept of ethical diamonds, they are also conflict free diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are independent of any illegality and conflict, thus very reliable when it comes to buying conflict free diamonds.
These gems are created under such circumstances that they do not cause any environmental degradation/pollution and can be bought without you ever second-guessing their origin.
“ASM diamonds stand for Artisanal and Small scale Miners”. These are independent miners that stand up for themselves, without the need of working within a company. These ASM diamonds are sourced from people who work for these diamonds for their own sake, without being pressured by a company/merchant to work.
Diamonds have been so mysterious and beautiful forever. But the beauty of such things tends to have a dark side to it. Not everything is shiny on the outside, except a diamond of D clarity.
The beautiful diamond has a dark side to it which lies in the unknown parts of the world. The way people are pushed to work, and also undervalued is evident in these situations.
In situations of conflict free diamonds and ethical diamonds, we see that there is an identity which people attach to it, and it does not have to rely on the lives of underpaid workers or even the terrors of rebellion groups. People understand the importance of sharing a good standard of living in the fragment of society so deprived of it.
When looking out for jewelry, one can also consciously choose ethical ones. Looking for conflict free diamond engagement rings might add an extra charm to the beautiful wedding ceremony, and now that you know of it, your conscience will also be at peace about it, when you look at a conflict free diamond engagement ring.
Are conflict free diamonds ethical?
Conflict free diamonds are ethical as they have not been included in any rebellion or wars. And their production process has been tracked, as they were being mined and polished. One may also ask, ‘are diamonds ethical?’, and the answer is yes, diamonds can be ethical depending on their origin.
Are there any ethically sourced diamonds?
99% of diamonds in the market are ethically sourced diamonds. Despite there being loopholes in the Kimberley process, majorly only ethically sourced diamonds get through.
What is conflict free diamond sourcing?
Conflict free diamond sourcing allows an individual to understand how the process of diamond extraction works. Right from the mining to the final cutting and selling of the diamond, one records the process and thus the conflict free nature of it is conveyed.
How can you avoid purchasing a conflict diamond?
When looking for diamond jewelry, one can look out for conflict free diamond rings that are sourced. The origin of the diamond can be enquired about and then the buying process can be carried forward. The awareness of this will make a massive difference in how you perceive the diamond market as a whole.