Diamonds have been in high demand. Similar to other precious materials such as gold, silver and even tin at one time, this has led to instances of exploitation. The modern era is certainly no different. The release of films such as Blood Diamond served to illustrate this observation and to raise the awareness of the average consumer. However, this brings up an important question. Is diamond mining ethical from an objective perspective? Clear answers are in order if you are concerned about the source of a specific stone as well as whether workers were exploited during the extraction process
What are Conflict Free Diamonds?
You may have heard of this term in the past. However, what does it exactly mean?
These types of diamonds have not been used to finance local, regional or national conflicts. In other words, they come from stable zones as opposed to areas associated with civil strife.
This also one of the reasons why legislation known as the Kimberley Process was enacted in 2003. All member states are required to adhere to a certain number of rules. Perhaps the most important is that these regulations are designed to track a diamond during every step of the mining process (from the actual mine to the end-user market). However, ethical diamonds go a step further.
What About Ethically Sourced Diamonds?
Ethical diamonds are stones which have been obtained through verifiable and transparent processes. This also takes into account issues such as wages, employee treatment and working conditions. Other variables which are addressed through ethically sourced diamonds include the use of child labour, unsafe working conditions and environmentally friendly proceses.
How to Find Ethically Sourced Diamonds
Ultimately, the buyer will be responsible for doing his or her own homework. There are several recommendations to take into account:
- Perform research in advance.
- Always ask about the origins of the diamond in question.
- Insist upon a certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS).
- Make certain that the jeweler in question possess the appropriate accreditations.
While you may choose to purchase artificial diamonds that have been created within laboratory settings, this is not normally necessary if you follow the steps mentioned above. On a final note, it should be mentioned that certified ethical diamonds are sometimes associated with a slightly higher price tag. Still, the fact of the matter is that peace of mind knows no cost.
Diamond mining is often a difficult and even dangerous process. The good news is that a growing number of firms are now employing ethical methods in order to protect the health and rights of their workers. There are nonetheless times when diamonds of a dubious origin may be associated with conflicts or exploitation. Once again, make it a point to carry out a great deal of investment before deciding to purchase any stone. You will therefore remain assured that you have played a part in creating a more ethical industry.