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The New Face of Conflict-Free Diamonds

by Kelly Smith on Feb 22 in 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

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About the author

Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith is a wife, mother, writer, teacher, recent brain surgery survivor, and wannabe
chicken farmer in Jackson, Mississippi. She has bachelor's and master's degrees in English.
She planned her own budget outdoor wedding five years ago at a state park in Florida, on the
waterfront of a natural spring. She wishes that she had known more about budget weddings back
when she was planning hers, because she comes up with new ideas all the time that she wishes
she had incorporated into her own wedding plans! In addition to saving money, Kelly's passions
are reading, writing, parenting, planning, traveling, and living an environmentally friendly life.

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