Most of us would have heard the term blood diamonds. The name itself suggests the horrible and unethical origins of these diamonds. So, what is the difference between a blood diamond and a clean one?
Let us look into the article below to know more about blood diamonds and how to avoid purchasing these tainted stones.
What is a Blood Diamond?
Blood diamonds are also known as conflict diamonds. These are the diamonds obtained through unethical origins. These diamonds were named blood diamonds due to the horrible consequences of diamond mining in war zones. Blood diamonds originate from war-effected regions. It is a vicious cycle, where diamonds funded wars before and now wars are fought over diamonds. Workers mining these diamonds are often poorly treated and are underpaid. Child labor is rampantly used and intimidation is used to exploit the underpaid workers.
Blood diamonds are sold through obscure and bordering on illegal organizations. They are offered at comparatively low prices to sell them quickly. The money received is used for funding war crimes, terrorist activities, and crimes against humanity.
History of Blood Diamonds
The existence of blood diamonds came to light in the 1980s. It was discovered that around 21% of the diamonds had unethical origins. Africa was plagued by civil wars during the 1980s and for the next two decades well into the mid-2000s. Rebels and rogue governments alike seized the diamond mines and sold the illegal gains to fund their activities. Workers and local inhabitants were intimidated, tortured, and enslaved for mining diamonds. These groups pillaged, killed, and massacred indiscriminately to achieve their ends.
The diamond industry was aware of these facts and was undertaking steps to eradicate this problem. Roughly around the same period the movie “Blood Diamond” was released that had the plot revolving around this subject which brought this issue to much-needed attention.
Difference Between Conflict-Free Diamonds and Blood Diamonds
Blood diamonds look the same as conflict-free diamonds and are indistinguishable. The only way to differentiate is that conflict-free diamonds come with paperwork certifying their origins.
Actions Against Blood Diamonds
As discussed earlier, the diamond industry was aware of this issue and proposed a “zero tolerance” policy against blood diamonds in July 2000. This was the first strike against blood diamonds. In 2003, the EU, the UN, various human rights organizations, and 46 other countries met in Kimberley, South Africa. This meeting led to the Kimberley Process Certification System which only certifies conflict-free diamonds and enacted rules to prevent the sales and purchase of blood diamonds. Kimberley process confirms the conflict-free status of diamonds and only then issues the certificate. All the current 82 member states, check for this certificate before allowing the import and export of diamonds.
Sources of Blood Diamonds
Sources of blood diamonds in the current scenario include nations such as the Central African Republic (CAR), Liberia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Zimbabwe. The human rights records of these nations are shady. Do not buy diamonds sourced from these areas.
Sources of Conflict-Free Diamonds
Conflict-free diamonds are sourced from South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania & Botswana. Other major producers of conflict-free diamonds are Australia, Russia, and Canada. These countries use a major chunk of the profits generated from the diamond trade in a responsible way. The money is invested in creating infrastructure and better education and health care facilities in the diamond mining locations. It helps uplift the local economy and development of the mining areas and benefits the population.
Reasons to Buy Conflict-Free Diamonds
Here are some of the reasons to buy conflict-free diamonds and avoiding blood diamonds.
1. No Price Difference
The diamond industry and retailers have to follow the guidelines, so no price-gauging can be done for conflict-free diamonds. A blood diamond of the same carat, color, and clarity would cost you the same and without the necessary certifications to go with it. So, it is better to buy conflict-free diamonds.
2. Untainted Stones
Diamonds are a symbol of commitment and long-lasting love. For gifting your beloved, choose an unsullied stone without any hurtful history behind it. You will have a clear conscience while giving an untainted gift.
3. A Sustainable Choice
Conflict-free and ethical diamonds are mined with sustainable means. Steps are taken for the protection of the environment and preserving the local flora and fauna. Blood diamonds on the other hand are responsible for large-scale destruction of the environment and for hurting humanity.
At present, nearly 99% of diamonds traded are conflict-free. But the trading of nearly 1% of blood diamonds is still worrisome. The UN, several governments, and the diamond industry, in general, are undertaking serious efforts to reduce this percentage.
AËLRA JOAILLERIE is a reputed creator and retailer of diamond jewellery that takes this responsibility seriously. It closely monitors the entire manufacturing process from mine to market to ensure the use of conflict-free diamonds. Their in-house designed and handcrafted jewellery includes a variety of natural and conflict-free diamonds of G-H color and SI1 and SI2 clarity in beautiful colors like sparkling white, black and brown. Choose AËLRA JOAILLERIE for acquiring gorgeous and radiant conflict-free diamond and gemstone jewellery.