When it comes to the diamond industry, the definition of the term “conflict-free” has become blurred over recent years. It is not uncommon for traditional jewelers to claim that their diamonds are conflict-free when they truly are not. As a result, consumers are intentionally mislead. While this alleviates consumer buying doubts, it has consequentially sold countless unethical diamonds. Here’s the breakdown on “conflict free” diamonds and where you can shop instead.
What is “Conflict Free”
The United Nations defines conflict diamonds as “...diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council.” In 2000, The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) in an effort to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the global supply chain.
The Kimberley Process Isn’t Working
The main problem with why the Kimberley Process does not prevent conflict diamonds from being sold. Is that it’s a narrow and misleading definition of a “conflict-diamond.” Per the Kimberly Process, a conflict diamond is a “rough diamond mined in an area controlled by insurgent forces whose sale is used to finance anti-government military action." This means that the diamonds mined in Zimbabwe, for example, a country notorious for killing, raping and maiming hundreds of artisanal miners, are considered conflict-free under their stamp of approval. This is because despite being mined under horrific conditions, they do not fund armed forces. These dirty diamonds are being certified by the Kimberley Process as “clean” and then sold to unassuming diamond consumers who believe they are purchasing conflict-free stones. #dontbefooled
Additionally, the Kimberley Process is open to all countries that are willing and able to implement its requirements, meaning that the program is optional and those who participate operate under self-policing management. There is no legally binding contract between member countries, and the only enforceable laws related to the trade of conflict diamonds are written and enforced by each individual country. The Kimberley Process has received much criticism for its inability to enforce its own policies.
Moreover, it doesn’t address the severe environmental repercussions from diamond mining. All of these issues make it impossible to verify the origin of an earth-mined diamond. Although the Kimberley Process is a good idea in theory, it has proven time and time again that it just isn’t working.
The Solution: Lab Grown and REAL
The truth of the matter is, the only way to ensure that a diamond is conflict-free is to grow it in a laboratory. These are the evolution of the diamond and require no mining to take place. Not only are they free of any negative social or environmental impacts, but they’re far more beautiful and affordable than gemstones pulled from the Earth. Lab-grown diamonds are 100% real. By replicating the Earth’s natural growing process in a controlled laboratory environment, pure carbon diamonds are created that are optically, physically and chemically identical to earth-mined diamonds.
MiaDonna Making A Difference
At MiaDonna, we believe you don’t have to sacrifice your ethical values when it comes to shopping for the perfect engagement ring. You can finally have ease of mind when it comes to shopping for beautiful and ethical diamond jewelry knowing that your product is free of any human or environmental abuse. I founded MiaDonna after learning the origin of my own earth-mined diamond. I grew passionate about finding a conflict-free option and set out to create a beautiful, affordable and socially responsible bridal jewelry line.
MiaDonna is a foundation-first organization. We proudly use at least 5 percent of profits from every sale to fund education, mentorship, agricultural, and urgent relief programs in diamond mining regions. Our charity foundation, The Greener Diamond, is an integral part of our mission to empower communities affected by the negative harms caused by diamond mining. Together, MiaDonna and The Greener Diamond spearhead the crusade for a socially responsible diamond industry, providing solutions to stop unethical diamond mining so that communities negatively impacted by the harvesting and trading of Earth-mined diamonds can heal and rebuild.
If you want to find more great brands like MiaDonna and truly boost your ethical fashion prowess follow us on Instagram! You may even get a behind the scenes in the MiaDonna studio and other fun upcoming sneak peeks (hint, hint).
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