Your engagement ring is not just metal and stone, it's an important symbol of the love you share for your fiance, standing for everlasting love and commitment. With that and mind, it would be a pity if the diamond you chose for your ring stood for war, poverty and violence. You can easily make a better choice when it comes time to purchase your diamond. Read on to learn about so-called blood diamonds and what they stand for.
What are blood or conflict diamonds?
The use of this term for diamonds first was used in a report released in 1998 entitled "Rough Trade". This report shed light on the way that civil wars were being financed through the sales of diamond in South African countries where diamonds are mined. At that time, war and violence was being perpetrated using diamond proceeds in Sierra Leone, Angola and the Ivory Coast.
How do I know where my diamond should come from?
Fortunately, the United Nations got involved in stopping this practice and has established a method to certify diamonds known as the Kimberly Process. This certification accompanies all diamonds mined in countries that are not mined for the purpose of violence or war.
How the Kimberly Process Helps Not Only You
Being able to purchase a diamond with the assurance that it was mined from conflict-free regions is reassuring, but the effect on those poor African countries who are able to sell their diamonds is even more dramatic. These places depend on the diamond trade, and having exclusive rights to sell Kimberly Process diamonds has resulted in more funds for the care of orphans, HIV testing, disease control and even more. This has had a domino effect on the entire industry, and now some 99% all new diamonds being currently sold are certified conflict-free.
Locating conflict-free diamonds
Surprisingly, diamonds that are conflict-free are easy to find and they should not be any more expensive than any other diamond of the same quality. Most jewelry stores stock these diamonds, but be sure to ask for the official certificate that states it is a Kimberly Process stone. This certificate actually notes the path your diamond took, from diamond mine to you.
If you have your heart set on an heirloom stone for your engagement, there is really no way of knowing it's provenance. You might be heartened, however, to know that your diamond is old enough not be financing any of today's current wars.
Talk to your local jewelry store about conflict-free diamonds.