As humans, we often try to make the most moral and ethical choices. From our food to our clothes, consumers are wising up to the impact of the products they use. But have you considered the ethics of your jewellery collection? Just like other areas of consumption, jewellery companies have a responsibility to produce products in an ethical manner.
So, what is conflict-free jewellery and why should you make conflict-free purchases? Read on to find out more…
All about conflict-free jewellery
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was established in 2003 to eliminate the trade of conflict diamonds that had fuelled wars in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Kimberley Process requires that all rough diamonds should be transported across international borders in a tamper-resistant container accompanied by a government-validated Kimberley Process Certificate.
You may have heard the term ‘blood diamond’, which describes a diamond that does not abide by the Kimberley Process protocol. The 2006 film ‘Blood Diamond’ was a great demonstration of how rebel groups used violent tactics to smuggle diamonds.
Over 70 countries participate in the Kimberley Process, including the UK and USA. These countries closely monitor all incoming diamonds and each diamond is awarded a certificate to ensure it is conflict-free.
Choosing a conflict-free diamond that has been Kimberley Process certified will ensure that your stone is not connected to rebel groups and violence. We recommend that buyers take extra care when buying a diamond and enquire if the stone was mined and shipped in an ethical way.
Why choose conflict-free jewellery?
Customers are now more aware than ever that there can be social human rights issues with diamonds, and they should bear in mind where and how the diamond was mined.
Find stunning diamonds that you can enjoy guilt-free, with the peace of mind that you made a socially and environmentally-friendly purchase.
By choosing to purchase a conflict-free diamond, whether, for an engagement ring, earrings or necklace, it is comforting to know that you are supporting ethical mining practices. Most jewellers will offer certified conflict-free diamonds but look for the jewellers that go the extra mile to ensure the entire process was as ethical as possible.
Or for an extra eco-friendly option, why not consider a man-made diamond? Despite being created in a lab, man-made diamonds are real diamonds. They have the exact same chemical and physical properties as natural diamonds – the only difference is where they come from.
Natural diamonds were formed under conditions of great pressure and high temperatures within the earth’s crust, whereas man-made diamonds are grown in a lab by recreating similar conditions. They are made to an identical hardness rating and chemical composition, meaning they will refract light and sparkle in the same beautiful way as natural diamonds. To the naked eye, even trained gemologists can’t tell the difference between a natural or man-made diamond.
Every consumer should give some thought to where their diamonds are coming from. Conflict-free diamonds are the best choice when it comes to natural diamonds. However, lab-created stones provide even more peace of mind – a sustainable choice with absolutely no conflict to worry about. They offer a reduced carbon footprint due to the low-energy lab process, especially when compared to traditional mining.
It is becoming increasingly important for us as consumers to make conscious purchases, and ethical jewellery is an important step towards sustainability and a low carbon footprint.
Clay Morrison is a marketer, copywriter and content writer based in London. She is passionate about raising awareness of ethical issues in a range of lifestyle areas, focusing on ethical jewellery https://www.77diamonds.com/engagement-rings/ethical-jewellery and fashion in particular.