Diamonds are one of the most sought-after, prized, and valued materials on Earth. Not only are they exceptionally strong, in the hands of the right experts, but they also demonstrate dazzling beauty and elegance. But there is a darker side to their story, one that consumers are becoming more and more aware of and concerned about.
It’s a story of conflict and blood; of unethical, and unconscionable, practices; of profit at a very high cost to people. There is an increased push and demand for ethical diamonds - but what does this mean? And how are natural diamonds sourced in a way that is socially and culturally responsible?
What Are Ethical Diamonds?
Whether people are looking for ethical diamond rings, anniversary mementos, or self-gifts, they are concerned with not only what the stone or piece looks like. They are also concerned about how it went from the mine to their hands. That journey is important.
The term “ethical diamonds” can be challenging to pin down. Essentially, it means that the stones are sourced through sustainable and ethical mining processes that encompass the safe treatment of workers, humanitarian efforts for communities, and strict regulations and practices at all stages.
Let’s look at one issue: artisanal mining, or informal alluvial mining. Large diamond companies, like De Beers, use alluvial mining practices. These are highly regulated, and they must comply with stringent environmental and ethical standards. Big companies, like those that work with K. Rosengart, adhere to those ethical standards with care, producing beautiful stones that customers across the globe love.
However, a great deal of artisanal or informal alluvial mining is also conducted. This type of mining does not adhere to those standards, and that’s the issue so many consumers are concerned about today.
It’s the ugly side of beautiful diamonds, but it’s one that has made consumers realize just how important it is to stay informed and work with companies that are committed to natural diamonds that are ethically sourced.
Ethical Diamonds vs. Conflict-Free Diamonds
The terminology in the world of diamonds today can be difficult to decipher and even purposely misleading. Many people assume that a “conflict-free” diamond is also ethically sourced. This is not always the case. As mentioned, an ethical diamond is one that is not only conflict-free but that was mined in a way that is socially and environmentally responsible.
It is a more holistic approach as reputable mines inject money and infrastructure into the diamond-producing region to benefit the community. They implement practices that protect workers; something not everyone in this industry can claim.
Ensuring Your Diamonds Are Ethically Sourced
The best way to be sure that you are purchasing ethical diamonds is to work with an ethical diamond supplier. It can be very difficult to ascertain the origin and provenance of these stones, and with stringent processes, your supplier can deliver products that you can feel good about.
The story of diamonds is just as multifaceted as the stones themselves. With a commitment to purchasing ethical products, we can make a long-awaited change in how they are mined.