Is the Diamond on your Finger Conflict Free? Guest Blog post by The Emerald Closet
Is the Diamond on your Finger Conflict Free?
Ever since the movie Blood Diamond came out featuring the dreamy Leonardo DiCaprio, the term has been somewhat of a buzzword. However, many think the problem has been curbed – as now there are processes in place to ensure diamond mining isn’t funding war in developing countries.
However, these processes are not the end all be all to corruption revolving around diamonds. In fact, some of these processes aren’t doing enough – which means blood diamonds are still ending up in stores.
Recent events highlight this fact. In late 2011, Zimbabwe’s Marange mines were readmitted into the Kimberley Process. What is the Kimberley Process? It’s a checks-and-balances system put into place by the UN that mandates a mine is conflict free. So if Zimbabwe was just readmitted, it must mean that its diamonds are ethical, right?
Wrong. The actions taken by the Kimberley Process resulted in somewhat of an uprising. Global Witness – an organization dedicated to the ethical mining of resources – pulled out of the Kimberley Process program, accusing the group for “conspiring.”
So why the extreme reaction? The devil is in the details. The Kimberley Process’ definition of “conflict diamonds” only encompasses diamond mining that directly aids military rebels in warring countries. It does not count diamond mining that aids corruption and violence against a countries own people. Because of these wording, Zimbabwe was readmitted despite evidence that there is unrest in the region.
Below is a graphic that presents the evidence against Zimbabwe’s Marange mines. What does this mean for you? That even those government processes are not the final say in ethical diamonds. If you are on the market to “put a ring on it,” make sure that your jeweler can tell you exactly where the diamond came from, with certifications above and beyond the Kimberley Process. If ever in doubt, do research about the mine where the jeweler came from and make sure its work flow is up to par with your ethical standards.
Adria Saracino is a marketer and fashion blogger. When not consulting on content strategy, you can find her writing about style on her personal fashion blog, The Emerald Closet.