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Wedding Ideas

My Trio Rings Blog provides useful information about how to experience the timeless traditions of marriage on an affordable budget

Viewing entries tagged conflict-free diamonds

The New Face of Conflict-Free Diamonds

by Kelly Smith Wednesday, 22 February 2012 Wedding Rings

Recently, there has been some clamor in the news about whether or not we can trust the Kimberley certification scheme, the entity which is intended to reassure consumers that the diamonds they give in love are not mined or sold in hate. A recent Bloomberg article clarifies the issue which caused a key watchdog group to drop out of the Kimberley Process in December 2011:

“The worst manifestation of the weakness of the [Kimberley] scheme is in Zimbabwe. In 2008, the government deployed soldiers to seize the massive, newly discovered Marange diamond fields, killing more than 200 miners and forcing others, including children, to dig for gems. Zimbabwean authorities claim that the establishment since of four enterprises -- mining companies in joint ventures with the government -- has regularized operations in Marange. But security guards still attack local miners to drive them off, preserving the area’s riches for the government’s chosen few.”

The basic problem that the Bloomberg article sees is that the Kimberley Process was established in order to prevent the sale of diamonds that were funding wars. The specific guidelines for the conflict-free diamonds certification process, although intended to protect all innocent players in the diamond industry from harm, only specifically applies to armed conflicts. Indeed, “the Kimberley rules did not cover human-rights abuses like those in Marange.”

My Trio Rings is able to purchase conflict-free diamonds directly from the De Beers mines, so customers can be confident that their affordable wedding rings are ethically mined and sold. For more overall consumer confidence across the entire diamond industry, the Bloomberg article recommends a few key reforms to the Kimberley certification scheme:

For Kimberley certification to live up to its original intent, it needs to prohibit not just diamonds that fund rebellions but also those that owe their provenance to abuse of human rights.”

Such reforms in the trade of conflict-free diamonds are more possible than ever this year, as the U.S. is the Kimberley chairman in 2012, headed up by diplomat Gillian Milovanovic. Big Kimberley reforms are especially relevant to the U.S., as “the U.S. alone makes up 38 percent of the polished-diamond market,” and demand for affordable wedding rings made from real diamonds is on the rise. Reformers have high hopes for Milovanovic’s leadership in pushing changes forward in order, “to ensure diamonds, a token of love exchanged between two people, aren’t procured at the expense of others.”

Browse My Trio Rings' selection of wedding band sets.

Photo credit: FancyDiamonds.net

Where Does Your Diamond Cluster Ring Come From?

by Kelly Smith Sunday, 08 January 2012 Wedding Rings

Being a modern consumer means not knowing firsthand where exactly all of your purchases come from and in what condition they were produced.

Do you know the farmer who grew your sweet potatoes? Do you know exactly where your gas comes from? Have you been to the country where your running shoes were manufactured? What about the real diamond cluster ring you hope to purchase as an engagement ring?

When it comes to diamonds, your assurance as a consumer comes from the Kimberley Process. Slightly more than a decade old, the Kimberley Process is an international diamond certification scheme that is intended to reassure consumers that the diamonds they are purchasing were mined and sold under fair conditions and that the proceeds from these jewels that symbolize eternal love are not being used to fund things such as armed conflicts. The Kimberley Process is certainly reassuring, but it is not without its problems.

There are difficulties inherent to regulating and monitoring the diamond trade, especially in areas experiencing civil unrest. This is why many different groups are involved in keeping tabs on the diamond trade under the auspices of the Kimberley Process, specifically in regions of the world undergoing political turmoil. In early December 2011, one of the watchdog groups, Global Witness, dropped out of the Kimberley Process, voicing their disagreement about certain diamonds of questionable origins being released into the world market from Zimbabwe. Despite this action, the United Nations supported the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in a December 20, 2011, press release, and they promised global diamond consumers that they will help further strengthen the system.

As a consumer, you are not likely to travel to Africa, where a large percentage of the world's diamonds are mined, and you are not likely to have the ability to personally check up on diamond mines. Instead, you rely on the Kimberley Process to ensure that the diamond cluster ring you have your heart set on is in fact made from conflict-free diamonds. How can you do this?

1. Only purchase wedding jewelry from a jeweler who can guarantee that your ring of choice is in accordance with Kimberley Process regulations, meaning that to the best of their knowledge, it is made from conflict-free diamonds. My Trio Rings is dedicated to providing consumers with diamonds that are certified conflict-free, as regulated by the United Nations and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. In fact, our organization is one of the 72 companies in the world that has the ability to buy diamonds from De Beers. Since we only use diamonds that were bought from the De Beers mines and were cut in our factories, we are able to guarantee that all the diamonds are Kimberly-certified. 

2. Compose emails, write letters, or make phone calls to your state and national representatives, asking them to support the United Nations promise to strengthen the Kimberley Process. Your input can further ensure that American consumers are able to continue to purchase certified conflict-free diamonds with confidence.

Photo credit: base2wave

Are Diamond Cluster Rings Forever?

by Kelly Smith Thursday, 29 December 2011 Wedding Rings

Whether your diamond cluster rings are populated with diamonds large or diamonds small, diamonds many or diamonds few, if you take proper care of your wedding jewelry, it can last even beyond your lifetime to become family heirlooms to pass on to your children and grandchildren. And it can grow in value, too!

Ensure the Longevity of Your Diamond Cluster Rings

1. Select Real Conflict-Free Diamonds

The first and most important way to make sure that your diamond cluster rings will last forever is to select rings made with quality materials such as real gold and real diamonds. Real diamonds, unlike fake diamonds or other jewels, have stood the test of time. They have a long history and are known to be incredibly strong and durable and difficult to damage if they are cared for properly.

2. Take Proper Care of Your Conflict-Free Diamonds

Although real diamonds are extremely strong, they will last even longer if you take good care of them. It is a good idea to take off your rings when using harsh chemicals, digging in the dirt, or doing physical activity that could put your rings in harm’s way. Jewelers recommend periodic inspections of your diamond jewelry as well, so remember to take your rings once a year to be inspected and cleaned. Many jewelers offer this as a free service to their customers, making sure that the diamonds are well-secured in their setting.

3. Choose Diamond Cluster Rings with a Timeless Look

Another excellent way to make sure that your diamond cluster rings will last a lifetime is to select a style that will age gracefully. Don’t choose a style that matches your dream wedding dress but might look out of place with your everyday attire. Choose a ring crafted from conflict-free diamonds that you will continue to love and enjoy throughout the years and that you will be proud to bequeath to your grandchildren someday.

Photo credit