This original article was first published here: What Are Conflict Free Diamonds – A Brilliant Earth Review
Whether investing in products for yourself or a loved one, it can be critical to know how your purchase will impact the planet and the communities that live within it. With environmentally and socially-friendly products on the rise, fine jewellery is no exception. Diamonds that are low impact on the planet and protect locals residing near mining areas are becoming more accessible to the general market. That is why companies like Brilliant Earth are transforming the diamond buying process by providing conflict-free options for consumers.
Most Brilliant Earth Reviews testify to the beauty of their products and the sparkle in their diamonds. However, what makes this company unique extends beyond the scope of their fine jewellery and focuses on how they obtain their diamonds.
What are conflict diamonds?
The diamond industry faces continuous scrutiny over the ethics of mining and distribution. Conflict diamonds, more commonly known as “blood” diamonds, are traded illegally and originate from locations controlled by rebel forces or militias. These diamonds are often a source of funding for militarization and anti-humanist agendas. “Blood” diamonds are more likely to be mined by slaves of local forces who lack protection from inhumane treatment.
Although diamonds tend to exchange hands multiple times before export and, therefore, may become compromised throughout the process, there are ways to minimize the risk of obtaining conflict diamonds. In addition to GIA reports that share critical information about your stone such as cut, colour, clarity, and carat, the Kimberley Process can testify to the conflict-free status of a diamond.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
The intention behind the Kimberley Process was to eliminate suppliers who fail to prove that their diamonds are conflict-free. While it has vastly improved the mining process and brought a more sustainable practice to the industry, blood diamonds are still circulating. That is why it is critical to research the origins of your stone and inquire about the ethical practices used in acquiring the diamond. Selecting jewellers, such as Brilliant Earth, who prioritize conflict-free certified diamonds, will help ensure that your fine jewellery is not the product of global harm.
Investing in conflict-free diamonds
While measures are in place to help prevent blood diamonds from entering the market, it is far from being a perfect system. Unfortunately, there are still ways to manipulate exports and take advantage of the frequent number of product transfers before diamond certification. Although the Kimberley Process is well-established, it is not yet refined enough to entirely prevent conflict diamonds from entering the consumer market.
Additionally, while purchasing diamonds from Canada may seem like a reasonable alternative, it prevents supportive funding from reaching countries attempting to improve mining practices. By discontinuing purchases from countries like Botswana and Namibia, consumers are pulling support from governments enforcing fair labour and environmental standards.
Brilliant Earth is a member of the Responsible Jewelry Council, the leading ethical standard in the jewellery industry. Their diamonds are certified conflict-free and come primarily from Botswana, Russia, Namibia, South Africa, and Canada.
Brilliant Earth offers consumers various fine jewellery options, including diamond alternatives such as recycled and synthetic stones. Recycled diamonds have previously been in the consumer market but are recut and polished to give the diamond a new life. Synthetic diamonds are engineered in highly controlled labs to duplicate a diamond’s appearance at a 30% decrease in price for consumers. Both alternatives to diamonds maintain the chemical and optical properties of natural diamonds but with far less impact on mining communities worldwide.
Selecting your fine jewellery supplier
Purchasing conflict-free diamonds can be as easy as selecting a reliable jeweller. Brilliant Earth not only provides its customers ethical, high-quality diamonds, but they also give back to global efforts in the industry by investing in mining communities and their local families. 5% of Brilliant Earth’s net profits contribute to brighter futures for those living in and around the mining areas they operate. Additionally, they advocate for keeping children out of the mines and encourage them to pursue education by providing infrastructure for rural classrooms.
When researching diamonds, be sure to note the certifications and the critical tracing information that indicates where the diamond was mined and how the jeweller acquired it. If a jeweller fails to disclose the details of origin, it is less likely that the diamond is conflict-free. Invest in companies that take global strides toward supporting mining communities, and consider diamond alternatives that will help local families and sparkle just the same.
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