Sunday, November 9, 2008

Diamonds ... a girl's best friend?

When looking at diamond rings, I indicated to one jeweller that I wanted a Canadian diamond to ensure it was not a conflict diamond. He indicated that it is almost impossible for any reputable jeweller to acquire conflict diamonds (also called blood diamonds) because of international provisions that have been put in place.

Here's an excerpt from the ROM's exhibit on Diamonds:
"In a cruel twist of fate, a number of the areas in which diamonds are prevalent have also been sites of civil war and other forms of violence. In order to ensure the sale of diamonds will not fund nefarious causes, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was developed. Certification by the Kimberley Process verifies that a rough diamond’s origin was one free of conflict. Now consumers have a way to ensure that their diamond purchases are not financing war and human rights abuses.
One of the world’s largest suppliers of conflict-free diamonds is Canada. Our country’s reputation for diamond production is a fairly new phenomenon, however. Due to the types of rocks found in Canada, for years many suspected Canada had the potential to be a rich diamond source. In a relatively short time, Canada has gone from having almost no production to being the third-largest diamond source (in value) on the planet!"

So, although movies and documentaries about conflict diamonds have made the ethical issues around diamonds very much in the consumer's consciousness, it actually hasn't been as big an issue since 2000.

I still picked a Canadian diamond, because they are (on average) a higher quality, and they support Canada's economy. The next closest major diamond mining countries are Russia and South Africa, so Canada is nice and close - reducing my carbon footprint!


Cyd said...

Interesting! I should really pay more attention to the whole conflict diamond issue...obviously my engagement ring is already a done deal, but it's definitely something to keep in mind when shopping for a band.

Krista said...

If it's from a reputable jeweller, you should be fine!