Ethical Diamonds 101
Matt knows exactly how he is going to propose marriage to his girlfriend. He has selected a romantic beach to pop the question, prepared what he will say, and picked up a bottle of champagne to celebrate. The one thing that troubles him is the issue of the diamond. He has heard about blood diamonds and does not want the symbol of their love to be associated with chaos, conflict and pain.
Both as jewellers and consumers, it is imperative to do our part to support ethically sourced diamonds, not those associated with conflict.
We have distilled the key information to give you a guide when it comes to buying ethical diamonds:
99% of diamonds in the market today are sourced from conflict free areas. In 2003, the United Nations got together with the diamond industry to create Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) to certify that rough diamonds are sourced from ‘conflict-free’ areas. This has prevented the majority of “blood diamonds” diamonds from entering the global supply chain. Today, participants actively prevent 99.8% of the worldwide trade of conflict diamonds.
Some consumers turn to Canadian diamonds in their quest for ethical diamonds. Due to Canada’s strict environmental and fair labor laws, the Canadian government ensures that these diamonds are produced in an environmentally-responsible way that ensures those who helped mine and process them are equitably compensated. The mines in Canada employ a significant portion of workers in the communities, have an agreement to share proceeds back to the communities and have agreed to restore the habitat to its natural state after the lifespan of the mine expires. For more on Canadian diamonds, read the blog.
- One way to ensure that your diamond has not come from a place of funding conflict is to purchase a lab-grown diamond. Lab-grown diamonds are produced using technology that mimics the pressure and heat generated by the geological process that creates naturally-occurring diamonds deep in the earth. The technology has advanced in recent years and lab-grown diamonds have become increasingly common. Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, and are often marketed for their conflict-free origins. Because lab-grown diamonds are more readily available, they can also be less expensive than naturally occurring diamonds. One hotly debated issue is the environmental impact of lab grown diamonds. We know that the energy required to produce a lab-grown diamond is significant, and as such, at True we only source carbon-neutral lab-grown diamonds that offset their environmental impact. Read more about our diamond partner, here.
- Learning about a diamond’s origins is now available to you through a report, on many diamonds. The GIA diamond origin reports offer a full assessment of the 4Cs along with a plotted diagram of its clarity characteristics, a confirmation of geographic origin, and laser inscription of GIA report number for easy identification. Matching polished diamonds to their rough geographical source gives consumers confidence that the diamond they are buying was ethically mined. While these reports are available for many diamonds, it is important to understand that the origin report is only as good as any one of the people involved in the process, from beginning to end. On occasion, a cheat by substituting or switching diamonds is possible, so the report is only as good as the weakest link in the chain. That is why, at True we maintain long standing relationships with our suppliers that we know, and trust.
At True, we understand that diamonds are a non-standardized commodity. As with any non-standardized commodity it is critical that we keep your trust by being transparent, truthful and honest - nothing is worth jeopardizing our reputation. This is why we only source from our regular suppliers with ongoing sales and dealings that have the same ethics and integrity as True when it comes to ensuring ethical diamonds. Our reputation, and your trust, is our bottom line.
True has a zero-tolerance policy toward conflict diamonds. Our business observes the highest ethical standards and we insist that our business partners do the same. Our diamonds are sourced from many of the world’s foremost diamantaires, all with trusted names and a history of excellence in the diamond industry. All of our diamonds are ethically and responsibly sourced and guaranteed conflict free.
Have more questions about ethical diamonds? Drop us a note and we'd love to help!