Peace, Love, and Conflict-Free Diamonds
With war, political tension, and high-profile celebrity break-ups flooding the news headlines, we crave the peace of mind knowing that the world is moving towards resolving conflicts, and eventually becoming conflict-free. Engaged couples, and soon-to-be-engaged couples, have an important role to play in promoting such peace and harmony worldwide.
Aside from managing conflict-resolution within your personal relationship, one of the most important things that a couple can do is seek out conflict-free-diamonds when selecting affordable wedding rings. Fortunately, the diamond industry of today has taken initiatives to provide a market of affordable, conflict-free diamonds for couples with a range of budgets.
Why Choose Conflict-Free Diamonds?
The majority of the world’s diamonds are mined in Africa. A number of countries in Africa have a wealth of diamond mines, but are unstable in their political and economic climate. The high demand for real diamond wedding jewelry leads to a profitable opportunity for the governments of these countries. Unfortunately, there have historically been some unsavory political regimes that have engaged in unethical practices and have used the money from mining diamonds to fund anything from minor corrupt political practices to genocide and war. These diamonds which are tainted by human blood and human conflict are often referred to as blood diamonds.
In the last decade, it has become increasingly simple to shop for diamonds that are not sold to fund conflict in corruption. As a result of the independent Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, a large majority of diamonds on the market today are certified conflict-free diamonds. Most major brick-and-mortar jewelers and online jewelry retailers can provide their customers with the assurance that their affordable wedding rings are made from diamonds which meet high ethical standards. Indeed, a diamond ring does not need to be expensive to be conflict-free. Be certain to shop smart and invest in beautiful, affordable conflict-free diamonds to celebrate your love.
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 . In 2008, the government deployed soldiers to seize the massive, newly discovered Marange diamond fields, 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 to drive them off, 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, 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