How to Avoid Buying Blood Diamonds
IF you saw the Leonard0 DiCaprio movie Blood Diamond, you got a glimpse into the world of conflict diamonds. But if you thought the problems with these diamonds had ended, you’d be wrong. Diamonds mined in unsafe, ecologically catastrophic ways, sold by armed groups that target innocent civilians, are still funneled through the diamond supply chain every day. Some diamond industry experts estimate that they could make up 15 percent of diamonds currently on the market.
If you’re planning to buy an engagement ring, you probably don’t want to buy a stone that represents violence, bloodshed and environmental degradation. And you don’t have to. Commit to being a responsible diamond buyer and enjoy a beautiful stone that represents love, joy and peace.
What are Blood Diamonds?
The diamond business is a multimillion-dollar international trade. Diamonds are among the most highly prized gems on earth and selling them can bring in huge amounts of money.
But in some diamond-producing countries, that big money stays in only a few hands. Rather than using the money to benefit the people of the country, one powerful group illegally mines and sells the diamonds themselves. They then pocket the funds for their own personal gain.
In some cases, they also use that money to buy weapons that they use in armed attacks against innocent people. Diamonds are being used to fund human rights abuses and the slaughter of innocent people. This has been happening in countries like Angola, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.
A Supply Chain of Suffering
In 2003, in response to the outcry over blood diamonds, the diamond industry instituted the Kimberly Process. The Kimberly Process was designed to give a stamp of approval to diamonds that are mined and sold legitimately. This certification makes it easier for diamond buyers to avoid conflict diamonds.
But according to the international human rights group Global Witness, the Kimberly Process is full of loopholes. Several years ago, Global Witness withdrew its support of the Kimberly Process because it failed to make a serious impact on the trade in conflict diamonds.
The Cold Hard Facts
Diamonds certified as conflict free by the Kimberly Process have been used to fund armed massacres and civil wars against thousands of people in Zimbabwe.
If a diamond seller tells you that certain diamonds have Kimberly Process approval, that doesn’t mean that they’re conflict free diamonds.
There is no way to be sure you are buying an ethically sourced diamond if you’re buying a new diamond.
What You Get When You Buy Blood Diamonds
Environmental degradation. Illegally mined diamonds wreak havoc on the local environment. Mining requires the use of toxic chemicals that frequently leach into the central water system. It also leads to devastation of natural habitat and other damaging effects.
Human rights abuses. Diamonds controlled by both rebel groups and legitimate governments are being sold to fund attacks on innocent people. A diamond seller might honestly believe that the gem you’re buying is conflict free, but how can you be sure?
Unfair working conditions. Diamond mining employs millions of people. But because the business is largely unregulated, mine owners are allowed to get away with all kinds of abuses including low pay, child labor and dangerous work conditions.
How Can I be Sure I’m Buying Conflict Free Diamonds?
Unfortunately, if you’re buying a new diamond, you can’t. All the certifications in the world can’t guarantee that a diamond didn’t come from a country where diamonds pay for corruption and violence.
Some companies now claim to sell diamonds that are mined in environmentally friendly ways or from countries without the civil strife that’s occurring in Africa. But every diamond that gets taken out of the ground leaves behind environmental degradation. There is simply no way to be an ethical diamond buyer if you’re buying a new diamond.
Be Safe, Buy Vintage
So what’s the answer?
Buy diamonds that were mined and set before the start of the illegal diamond trade. Almost all diamonds that were mined in the 1980s or earlier are conflict free diamonds.
Vintage diamonds and antique diamonds are a safe, ethical choice that also allow you to own a piece of history. Often, these diamonds have been passed down through a family’s generations and the family can trace that gemstone all the way back to its origins.
How Do I Find Vintage Diamonds and Antique Diamonds?
The best way to do that is through a reputable estate jewelry buyer. You’ll have wide selection of beautifully crafted rings that glow with the patina of age and fine craftsmanship. You can be happy that the ring you buy has a happy history and will be part of your happy future.
To get started, contact an estate buyer who specializes in selling ethical, responsibly sourced diamonds.
How are Estate Sellers Different?
Unlike secondhand dealers who have no expertise in diamonds or gemstones, an estate jewelry buyer can assess a diamond’s value and research its history. You can be confident that you’re dealing with an expert who shares your concerns. At Verma Jewelry, we know the history of every ring we sell and will be glad to share it with you.
Call the Diamond Experts
We’re the largest estate jewelry buyer and seller in Atlanta. We specialize in fine jewelry, diamonds and luxury watches. Our collection of antique diamonds includes rings from the 1800s to the 1950s, a dazzling collection sure to contain the perfect ring for you.
Do you have antique or vintage diamonds that you’d like to sell? We’d be happy to meet with you to appraise your diamonds and work with you to give you the best price for your estate jewelry. Please visit our site to get an idea of what we buy and how we work.
Every diamond should be an emblem of love and with our help, you can rest assured that your ring is just that.
Schedule an appointment to consult with us about selling your jewelry or to view our current inventory.
We’re located at:
3455 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
Phone us at (404) 975-2484
or contact us by email at email@example.com