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Everything You Can Know About Diamond Ethical Business

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Everything You Can Know About Diamond Ethical Business

Diamond Ethical Business

Diamonds have been a source of fascination over the years—from age-old royalty to present-day fashion icons. In recent times, there have been environmental regulations passed to aid the ethical mining of diamonds.

Diamonds mined unethically are referred to as ‘conflict diamonds. These types of diamonds are usually one to avoid.

What Is a Conflict Diamond?

In the 1990s, The term ‘conflict diamond’ is also known as blood diamonds that are sourced from a particular list of countries. Conflict diamonds are sourced through forced labor and regional conflicts. Generally, this is aided by war crime and poor working conditions.

In the 2000s, Blood diamonds accounted for about 3.7% to 15% of the world’s total diamond trade.

Today, the influx of conflict diamonds is on a steady decline. Thanks to the Kimberley Process.

What Is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme?

The Kimberley process certification scheme was established in 2003 by the United Nations (UN). This is to stop conflict diamonds from entering the market.

The Kimberley Process (KP) is a scheme created to halt the unethical diamond trade. Because of this international effort, ethical diamond sourcing began to grow more popular. 

The Kimberley process has 56 participants. 82 nations in total (with the European Union as a single participant). This accounts for more than 99% of the global trade and production of diamonds.

The term ‘ethical diamonds’ here refers to diamonds that are not produced under environmental conditions that exploit workers.

Consequently, an ethical diamond business must follow due process by adhering to the KP. With this, they are able to provide eco-friendly diamond solutions. They are also free from oppressive labor practices. 

The Challenges of the Kimberley Process

From mining to selling, diamonds go through a lot of hands. Not everyone can be honest in this sense. Thus it is not very easy to trace the origins of diamonds.

Despite the efforts of the Kimberley Process, there are still conflict diamonds in circulation. Sometimes, marketing can be misleading with the tag ‘ethical diamond’. This is especially when there is no link to the stone’s origin.

Sourcing Ethical Diamonds

How can you find out if a diamond is ethically sourced? There are strict measures in place. One of the standards which must be met is safe working conditions and fair wages.

This means generally avoiding diamonds sourced from conflict zones, where the ethicality of the diamond sourcing process is questionable. 

Africa represents the majority of the diamond business trade. Over 65% of diamond mined worldwide comes from Africa. Diamonds are also produced and mined in Canada and Russia.

So, ask where your jeweler sources their diamonds. If they aren’t sure where it was from, better look for another jeweler. 

Origin here refers to the source of mining. This is because diamonds are primarily found in two places. These are either primary deposits (underground) or secondary deposits (ocean floor beds).

Let us briefly examine these sources of mining.

  • Primary Deposits (Underground)

These are diamonds that are mined from beneath the Earth’s surface in kimberlite formations. The mode of extraction is done by open-pit mining and underground mining.

  • Secondary Deposits (Ocean Floor)

The kimberlite pipe that reaches the Earth’s surface is eroded by elements such as rain and wind. The eroded kimberlite carries rough diamonds. The mode of extraction is done by alluvial mining.

Natural Diamonds vs Lab Produced Diamonds

Ethical diamonds can either be naturally mined or lab-produced.

If a lab-produced diamond was presented to you, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a natural diamond. This is because there is almost no difference in both.

Both natural diamonds and lab-produced diamonds have the same chemical composition.

Below we take a look at both definitions.

Natural Diamonds

Natural diamonds are formed in the earth’s mantle. It is formed over a period of one to three billion years. And, it is purely made out of carbon.

Diamonds are the known jewel on earth. It possesses high thermal conductivity. It’s because its creation process includes both intense pressure and temperature. 

Lab Produced Diamonds

A lab-produced diamond is grown under supervision in lab facilities. It follows a similar condition of high pressure and temperature.

Because it is formed within a controlled environment, the formation process doesn’t take long either. The entire process takes weeks rather than billions of years to form.

Diamonds grown in labs also mean less environmental impact. It does not go through mining. As such, it also removes the challenges of unethical conditions of diamond mining. 

The lab-produced diamonds are significantly less expensive, in comparison to natural diamonds.

What to Watch Out for When Selecting Diamonds

Ethical diamonds available in the market come in different cuts and sizes. This type of diamond is particularly popular for engagement rings, wedding bands, and other high-fashion accessories. 

When choosing diamonds, there are four things to look out for. This is generally referred to as the four Cs, which are Color, Clarity, Carat, and Cut.

 

Color

This is the first thing you usually notice when picking a diamond. Traditionally, diamonds are colorless. The colorless type usually commands the highest price. But, mined diamonds aren’t all colorless. Some have a tinge of yellow or brown. All of these fall under the “natural” colors of the stone.  

Clarity

Clarity refers to the visibility of the diamond. The flawlessness, marked by the absence of blemishes, marks the quality of the diamond.

Carat

This refers to the weight of a diamond. The price of the gem is also largely reliant on its weight. Once the weight reaches the marked critical value, the price bumps up exponentially. 

Do note, that larger diamonds are usually not assigned value. The price attached is on the clarity.

Cut

Finally, the last C pertains to the cut. This feature pertains to how well the stone is cut and polished. The value of a diamond’s cut is marked by its symmetry, depth, and proportion. The brilliance of the light which bounces through the cut is also another crucial factor. 

The most popular and sought-after cuts include the following: Princess, Cushion, Heart, and Oval. 

Conclusion

Needless to say, the diamond business is a very lucrative one. As a result of this, everyone wants to have a piece of the pie and sometimes the hustle gets messy. You can stay on track by avoiding conflict diamonds.

There are different ways to spot ethical diamonds. You can speak with your local jeweler. Natural diamonds and lab mined diamonds offer you the same options.

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