Beware Of The Conflict! Buy Your Conflict Free Diamonds

Guide to Buying Conflict Free Diamonds

There is a natural distinction between conflict free diamonds and conflict diamonds, as both are mined to hold equal monetary value. The sole distinction is the aspect of humanity. Over the years, the diamond industry has seen manifolds of certifications to value and source the truth about diamond mining.

With mushroom growth of the online diamond industry, there have been many ways that the technical jargon anonymous to the layman has been unearthed. One such exclusive term that has trended over the past half a century is Conflict-free Diamonds.

What are Conflict-free Diamonds?

Popularly referred to as blood diamonds, conflict diamonds are mined from war zones where the labor is under-paid and the funds add to inhumane activities including war and human trafficking. Nullifying the everlasting beauty of diamonds, these are diamonds smeared with the blood of millions. If you buy or encourage blood diamonds, you also support such heinous activities.

 A core catalyst to the destruction of most African nations like Sierra Leone, conflict diamonds are collected by exploiting the workers as well as the environment. Laborers are paid oddly $0.07 for a whole day’s work mining the diamonds. On a global total, 15% of Sierra Leone’s diamonds and 2 out of every 5 diamonds from Congo are conflict diamonds. The same is why you must demand to know where your diamond is sourced from, when selecting it.

Also known as hot diamonds, conflict diamonds are often mined using human exploitation for insurgents. Better depicted in the infamous James Bond movie Die Another Day, conflict diamonds have been buried in controversies and bloodsheds since ages. In behalf of world support, currently most diamond geezers source their diamonds and show the Kimberly Process Certification.

Why Conflict-free diamonds?

There are a wide variety of ways that mix conflict diamonds with the conflict-free ones. Connecting major terrorist organizations of the likes of Al-Qaeda, conflict-free diamonds are a weapon to combat the terror of War in such diamond-rich zones. With one in every 25 mined diamonds being conflict diamonds, you definitely need an ardent reason to say yes to conflict-free diamonds.

·         Angola Civil War

One of the longest blood diamond effects was the Angola Civil War that span across 4 decades from 1961 until 2002. The war cost about 500,000 lives in its entirety and was led by the popular Rebel Group of Angola named UNITA. Facts show that UNITA controlled up to 70% of Angola’s diamond harvest.

·         Congo Civil War

An endless civil war, Congo Civil war began in 1998 and ended in 2003. The war is known to have shown its expanded unrest even today and is known to have accounted for 3 million lives in its short span. The war was led by rebels from and around Congo who shed blood for the diamond mines during the war. Even though the UN tried interrupting the war, sadly none of the sanctions found a voice.

·         Sierra Leone Civil War

The deadliest war was known in blood and flesh to our world, the Sierra Leone Civil War began in 1991 and ended in 2002. Taking oddly 50,000 lives, the war was a mix of inhumanity ranging from rape to torture and mutilation. Records show that the rebels that headed the war were identified as Revolutionary United Front that harvested diamonds worth $125 million per year throughout the war.

·         Liberia Civil War

Yet another bloody memory that is engraved in the history of conflict diamonds, Liberia Civil War occurred twice, first from 1989 until 1997 and then from 2000 until 2003. The war is known to have taken about 200,000 people with it as the locals were known to engage in a wide array of human rights violations in the broad daylight!

The little known C in the major Cs of diamonds plays a vital role to the emotional value of a priceless engagement stone. It is in good faith, positivity and love for the suffering masses of blood diamond zones that you must demand to know if the rock you select is tainted with blood or sweat.

How to Spot a Conflict Free Diamond

Using an ethically sourced rock is important for the user as well as the memory it belongs to. It is illicit to encourage conflict diamonds and in order to support conflict free diamonds; you must know how to recognize the same.

From doing a background check on legitimate diamond geezers to asking direct questions about the origin and supply of the rock of your choice, there are many steps to help you spot a pristine rock.

·         Ask your Jeweler

Most jewelers are genuine provide they have a clean slate of diamond vending history. When asked, authentic diamond geezers provide proofs and answers to all your questions about the ethical sourcing of diamonds. You must ask your jeweler a variety of question to ensure that he or she is not duping you.

If your jeweler stutters and diverts the topic when you ask about the origins of the diamond, shrug and move on. Often, jewelers slip in the origin of the diamonds through conversation and you must be aware of the regions that are labeled hot for blood diamonds, to deny the tainted offer.

·         Questions to Ask

There are many ways to draw the authentic information from your jeweler without being sidelined as a fool. The first certification to demand from your jeweler is the System of Warranties statement for your chosen rock. Don’t stop when the vendor tells you that the diamond is obtained via Kimberly Certification Process because you must ensure that the same is true as well.

Some ideal questions to ask your jeweler to pick a perfect conflict-free diamond are

  • Ask for the jeweler’s policy on conflict free diamonds in print or in digital form.
  • Ethically sourced diamonds do not say no to one human right violation but all inclusive of Environmental Harm, Child Labor, Inhumanity, Terrorism and Violence. Your jeweler must have a stable stance across human rights and not merely warzone diamonds.
  • What is the name of the country that the chosen rock is sourced from?
  • What form of tracking does the jeweler have the record of the diamond since its mining?
  • Can the jeweler provide you a written guarantee for the authenticity of the rocks to be conflict-free?
  • What is your assurance that the jeweler does not trade in conflict diamonds?

·         Certify your rock

The easiest way to find out if the rock that epitomizes the love of your life is indeed unblemished is via using the expertise of a certified graduate gemologist (GG). Appraising the diamond might not disclose the origin of the rock, but if you are dubious about your jeweler’s words, then certifying the rock is the best way to realize and pride over your diamond’s origins.

As an owner, vague assurances are illicit and you must demand clear answers to the roots of the rock. Certifying your rock also emphasizes a life-long record of the origin of you rock, for your heir.

·         Kimberly Process Certification Scheme

An exclusive process that prevents illegal diamonds from being sold at ethical diamond markets, the process was implemented in 2003. The process aims at stopping the blood diamonds from getting mixed with conflict free diamonds.

Also known as KPCS, the scheme ensures- that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.

For any country to be a participant of the scheme there must be a proof that the same nation does not harbour interests for destroying any nation amongst United Nations. The process encompasses three steps that judge the efficacy of how pure the diamond is by weighing its internal characteristics.

·         Diamond Development Initiative

An initiative that is focused on preventing supply and demand of conflict diamonds, DDI or Diamond Development Initiative is bringing NGOs and governments to enhance the social and financial status of the diamond-rich areas.

Currently the initiative is aimed at making every country susceptible to Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, Registering Artisanal Miners, Diamond Production Tracking, DDS or Development Diamond Standards and Human Rights Violations.

·         Areas to Avoid

There are many areas that the UN and other diamond development initiatives have labeled as conflict areas for diamond-mining. The best way to avoid being swindled with conflict diamonds are if you buy from these areas. You can refer to the Amnesty International to evaluate countries that are revered with high diamond exploitation inclusive of child labor which is shunned by even Kimberly Process Scheme.

You must note not to buy diamonds from areas such as Zimbabwe, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Congo and Angola. Some ideal diamonds to buy from are Canada, Sierra Leone, Namibia and Botswana.

Purchasing vintage diamonds that have been heirlooms are a trustworthy diamonds to add to your trinket box. Being conflict-free is not an added sum that you must pay for in terms of diamond’s characteristics. In fact, the absence of ethical diamond sourcing for any diamond with a jeweler is a red mark on the vendor’s profile.

Agreement of Diamond Companies

There is a mutual agreement that keeps the diamond companies in agreement with humane diamond mining procedures. The primacy of the agreement is

  • Inclusion of Written Guarantee of the diamond’s origins;
  • Code of Conduct to curb buying and selling of conflict diamonds;
  • Training staff and representatives of the brand about the firm’s stand towards ethical diamond sourcing;
  • Keep invoices of the source of all diamonds;
  • Audit invoices every year;

Conflict-free Alternatives against Diamonds

Apart from corruption, there are many reasons that even a certified conflict-free diamond is not often the same as it is vouched for. It is noted that Kimberly Process Certification has its limits. Hence, many jewelers like BE and Tiffany & Co., are known for its- ‘beyond Kimberly diamond sourcing.

Some smart alternatives to consider as an equivalent alternative to diamonds are

·         Synthetic Diamonds

Sans the blood and dirt of conflict diamonds, synthetic diamonds are known for its entirety of value and grandeur. Provided you’re confused about the source of your rock, you can use a lab grown diamond. Moissanite looks 99% like a diamond to the naked eye and is the most popular alternative. The same is harder akin to diamond and using it carefree is an added benefit of the lab rock.

Yet another benefit of laboratory diamonds is that they are drastically low in price than their natural counterparts!

·         Colored Gemstones

A sensible alternative to using conflict free diamonds is to match and use a gemstone that befits the space for diamonds. Colored gemstones can be pricy depending on your choice and are known to have effects similar to colored diamonds.  Emerald, Ruby and Lapis Lazuli are excellent choices for defining style as powerfully as with a diamond!

As soft gemstones like Pearls and Opals get damaged easily, harder stones must be your choice to conflict free diamond alternatives.

·         Pure Gold

Gold has never been out of fashion and history denotes that most of Earth’s major civilizations and even ancient aliens may have found the deeper meaning in Gold. The priceless yellow rock is available in many shades and can befit anyone’s nuptial dreams. Click here to read more on varieties of Rose gold and Pink Diamond.

In addition, gold mining is known for conflicts such as mercury poisoning as such. You must know the source your gold before buying the same as your engagement ring as well.

Final Word

The best way to ensuring that your bauble is unmarred from blood and violence is by requesting proofs of its sources. Often, genuine vendors can provide you systematic record of the diamond’s journey from the mine to the diamond store. If you’re unsure about the authenticity of the jeweler, most probably the vendor is lying about the rock’s status.

Ethically sourced diamonds are important only as much as you value the purity of how your rock was mined. With a wide variety of rules and regulations surrounding the diamond policies on sourcing conflict free diamonds, taking a deep plunge into diamond research is the lone way to make an ideal pick!

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