Few purchases inspire a deeper meaning than a diamond engagement ring. This ring, chosen to be an everlasting symbol of your undying love for each other, should stand for everything that is good about your relationship. You should know, however, that unless you take a few extra steps when shopping for your ring, you could end up with a "blood diamond" on your ring finger. If you want to ensure that your diamond is conflict-free, read on.
What are blood or conflict diamonds?
The term "conflict" diamonds first appeared in a 1998 report that demonstrated a link between the diamond mining business and war financing in Africa. The report, called "Rough Trade," labeled diamonds mined in war zones, such as the Ivory Coast, Angola, and Sierra Leone, as conflict diamonds.
The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme
In 2002, the United Nations oversaw the creation of a way to certify that diamonds did not come from war zones. It's called the Kimberly Process. Since that time, all diamonds entering the United States that come from conflict-free areas are accompanied by a certificate.
Not only did the Kimberly Process help ensure that diamond buyers get conflict-free diamonds, but the poor African countries that now depend on selling the approved and qualified diamonds have seen a dramatic increase in their standard of living due to sales going to fund healthcare, HIV testing, orphan care, and more, instead of funding war. As a result of this Process, about 99% of all diamonds sold in the world are conflict-free.
How to Find Conflict-Free Diamonds
If you've shopped for diamonds in Australia, Canada, Russia and a few other countries, you have only had conflict-free diamonds to choose from for a very long time. Here in the United States, be sure to ask for the Kimberly Process certificate, which shows the path your diamond has traveled from mine to jewelry store. You may expect these certified conflict-free diamonds to cost more, but that is not the case, nor are they more difficult to find.
For those who are using vintage or family heirloom diamonds in their engagement rings, there is no way to know the source of the diamond without a Kimberly Process certificate. It may help you to realize, however, that reusing an older diamond with no certification will in no way benefit any current conflict areas, since you are at least the second owner of the diamond and it was likely mined many years ago.
Be sure to speak to your favorite jeweler about the Kimberly Process for your own symbol of love.
For jewelry, contact a company such as Gold for Cash.