If you were to break down every single product that you own right down to its core, you would find that everything inadvertently is sourced from nature. While this might not shock many people, it has made consumers a lot more aware and conscious of their purchase and impact.
Buying diamond rings might seem like a tedious task on its own with budgeting, choosing the perfect cut, the perfect band, and so forth. However, perhaps even more pressing than personal preferences are the ethics surrounding making such a costly purchase.
Jewelers have started incorporating the terms ‘ethically sourced’ and ‘conflict-free’ when marketing their diamond rings because of the heart-wrenching ordeal that has gone about in the past over these same diamonds.
As the name implies, a blood diamond is a diamond that has been illegally sourced in war-torn countries by miners who have been subjected to inhumane torture to source them. Alternatively, it might also refer to illegal diamond trading used to fund the civil war in many parts of Africa.
Africa is perhaps the most prosperous continent in the world in terms of resources and, alternatively, the poorest in making actual use out of those resources. Instead, groups within several war-torn countries in Africa are continually abducting people and operating in human trafficking to mine the very diamonds that we see in jewelry stores all around us.
The Kimberly Process
When the blood diamond circuit reached its breaking point and progressed (from what it already was) to a murderous and inhumane global issue, the diamond-producing nations of South Africa sat down to establish the Kimberly Process.
In a nutshell, the Kimberly Process dictates that fair mining practices are to be employed, and the sale of the diamond is not to be used to fund conflict. The terms ‘ethically sourced’ and ‘conflict-free’ were also coined at the Kimberly Process.
Difference Between Ethically Sourced and Conflict-Free
To preface, both terms are used to market diamonds as being sourced from countries wherein there is no indication of a civil war or that the diamond trade was not illegal. Ethically sourced takes it up a notch by assuring the buyer that the diamond was sourced under fair and humanitarian practices.
Even if a diamond is ethically extracted, the diamond’s trade might be made illegally or alter its impure. The diamonds mined in the underground mines are probably the purest variants of diamonds there are. Consumers should be made aware of such things when they’re buying diamonds.
Do Your Part
Now that you’ve understood the gravity of the terms, it’s time to understand what you (as a consumer) can do for your part in overcoming the illegal diamond trade. Most jewelers would advertise their diamonds under either one (preferably both) of the terms. However, it’s still important to do your research on their diamond trading policies.
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions; What are your diamond sourcing policies? Where can I find the diamond’s certification? And so forth. Be wary of vague answers that are more marketing gimmicks than anything else. All in all, be well-versed and aware of the purchase that you’re about to make.
Making a purchase might seem like it’s just for you or a loved one; however, with diamonds, it holds the potential of impacting miners, traders, and countries over the globe.Ethical fine jewelry is readily available, and it’s time everyone starts asking hard questions over the source of their diamonds.
The terms have been used for marketing diamonds to the public and make them more aware of their purchases.