So What the Heck is a Responsibly Sourced Diamond?

Diamonds, arguably the most alluring gems on the planet, do not always begin as the treasured heirlooms they often become ultimately. For decades, controversies have emerged about sinister practices at the diamond mines: from inhumane working conditions to their being a source of funding for civil wars, the romantic symbol of eternal love has found itself tarnished by scandal. But wait, there is a happy ending to this story. Buy conflict-free, or better yet, buy responsibly-sourced diamonds. “Huh?” you ask. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

Conflict-Free Diamonds

According to the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), rough diamonds are considered “conflict free” if they are not mined with the intent to finance rebellions against recognized governments. While that is certainly a good thing, this certification does not mention or protect against diamonds sourced through other demeaning practices where human rights violations occur via subpar working conditions and degradation of the environment.

An Ethical Matter

Responsibly-sourced diamonds, as you’ve probably already guessed, are diamonds sourced in the most transparent, ethical way possible. Thanks to this method, the buyer will discover not only where the diamond they seek to purchase comes from but also that said diamond was processed by hands that earned a fair wage and that the eco system was not irrecoverably damaged.

Activists in favor of this cause are even trying to establish a fair trade certification for diamonds similar to the one currently in practice with coffee growers; one that allows small mining companies the opportunity to focus on purity and optimum working conditions. It’s been an uphill battle, but as more and more consumers are voicing their concern, I’m confident they’ll eventually get there.

Which is fantastic news for jewellers like yours truly, who still gets a twinge of pride whenever a client marvels at the end result of my efforts. Sourcing, sculpting, polishing and presenting a one-of-a-kind, perfect cut diamond…ah, it never gets old.

TW x


Thelma West

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