Conflict Free Diamonds: Meaning, Characteristics, and Ethics

Which Diamonds are Conflict-Free

Conflict-free diamonds are ethically sourced gems that are not associated with violence, human rights abuses, or environmental harm. These diamonds are mined under fair labor conditions and adhere to strict regulations to ensure their authenticity. By choosing conflict-free diamonds, you can support responsible mining practices and contribute to a more sustainable diamond industry.

  • A conflict-free diamond is a diamond that has been ethically sourced and does not contribute to any armed conflicts or human rights abuses.
  • Conflict-free diamonds are typically certified by organizations such as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which ensures that the diamonds have been mined and traded in a responsible manner.
  • When purchasing a conflict-free diamond, you can expect peace of mind knowing that your purchase has not supported any unethical practices or contributed to violence in regions where diamonds are commonly mined.
  • It is important to note that conflict-free diamonds may be more expensive than non-certified ones due to the additional efforts made to ensure their ethical sourcing.
  • By choosing a conflict-free diamond, you are supporting sustainable mining practices and helping improve working conditions for miners in the industry.

As a result, there were attempts to curb the trade and this significantly decreased its prevalence. Despite the success, this vice has not been 100% dealt with. This is because of the development of advanced technology that can forge the laser inscriptions and certifications that verify the source of diamonds. Nonetheless, which diamonds are defined as conflict-free?

Understand the meaning and characteristics of conflict-free diamonds

Conflict-free diamonds are ethically mined and sold diamonds, they are not sold illegally to fund wars, terrorism, and acts of violence. For a diamond to be considered exclusively conflict-free, it should meet all of the following criteria:

  • There are no claims of child labor.
  • It is not funding any civil wars, terrorism, or acts of violence.
  • The people employed at the mines are earning a fair salary.
  • The mines are safe with proper working conditions.
  • The mines are not causing any environmental hazards

However, not all of these conditions are recognized by the bodies that govern conflict diamonds. Countries that are officially at war are not credible sources of diamond. Unfortunately, there are countries that are not at war but the diamonds are produced with serious human rights violations.

The Kimberley Process

The Kimberly Process is the best attempt to stop the trade of conflict diamonds. The diamonds that are conflict-free should have a certificate of origin that verify that they are obtained from conflict-free nations. They use unique numbering and laser inscriptions to mark these diamonds and this has reduced the blood diamonds by almost 98%.

The Kimberley Process has greatly reduced the trade of conflict diamonds but it has not done enough to stop the trade. This is because there are some corrupt dealers who have perfected the art of forging certificates and this has reduced its effectiveness in curbing this vice. So, just be aware that a Kimberley certified diamond may not be a truly conflict-free diamond.

Also, the Kimberley process only considers diamonds that fund civil wars and other human rights violations in war-torn countries as conflict diamonds. The other ethical considerations are left out of the definition hence the certificate may declare some unethically obtained diamonds as conflict-free. The issues such as exploitation of workers, child labor, forced labor, and environmental pollution should be incorporated into the definition to make the diamonds 100% conflict-free.

Who Sells Conflict-Free Diamonds?

Only reputable jewelry retailers only acquire Kimberley certified diamonds and you should ask for the certificate whenever you are purchasing a gem. This will ensure that your money is not used to fuel any violence in another country.

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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