It is entirely possible to buy ethical diamonds. This means diamonds that you know, haven’t contributed to conflict, violence or human rights abuses on their journey from the ground to your finger,ear, neck or wrist. In fact the mining of diamonds, precious metals and other gemstones can provide significant wealth for communities often living in remote locations with little other prospect for employment.
The process is not as straight forward as many in the business would like you to believe. However with the right guidance and re-search you can own beautiful diamonds that are as pure in every respect.
What are ethical diamonds?
What we mean by ethical diamonds goes far beyond the normal industry definition of conflict diamonds as set out by the Kimberley process. Sadly the Kimberley process falls far short of its aim to prevent blood or conflict diamonds from entering the market and anybody who cares about the people who it is supposed to protect should be vocal in criticising it, in order to force through reform.
So that we can say with total confidence that the jewellery we design, hand-make and sell is as ethical as it is possible to be, we only buy from suppliers who can tell us the exact source of the materials they supply us. In most cases this is backed up internationally recognised bodies such as fairtrade and where this is not possible we buy from small local collectives or suppliers who demonstrate high standards in transparency.
Our primary source for diamonds is Canada and Canadamark diamonds represent the best option for buying guaranteed conflict free diamonds. Diamonds from the Canadian mines which attain a Canadamark certificate are tracked from the mines, all the way through the manufacturing process.
It seems obvious that diamonds from Canada are conflict free, however to be able to justify their place as the standard for human and environmental impact the diamond projects in Canada have had to demonstrate that they have minimized the impact as much as possible and that they can track the stones they produce to stop other stones from infiltrating the process. It is recognized that the the rights, views and needs of aboriginal people who inhabit the areas where diamonds have been found, have been properly and comprehensibly met, along with environmental concerns.
By choosing to buy a Canada mark diamond you are making a conscious decision to support the mines and communities in Canada as well as sending a message to the diamond industry that you do care where your diamonds come from.
Ethical diamonds from Canada are a start but its not the solution. It should be expected that the diamonds you buy are ethical and the challenge or the industry is to make sure that diamonds, where ever they come from represent fairness and value for the people that mines them. Supporting the people who are prepared to go the extra mile to ensure the source of their stones in a powerful message to those who choose to ignore these issues.