Since the 2006 blockbuster movie, Blood Diamonds, consumers have been increasingly concerned about the source and manufacturing of diamonds. in the jewelry sector. Unfortunately, “conflict-free” has become little more than a marketing ploy used by mainstream jewelry retailers in an attempt to appeal to conscious consumers and isn’t synonymous with sustainable jewelry.
Conflict diamonds, also known as ‘blood’ diamonds, are rough diamonds traded by rebel movements or their allies for the financing of armed conflicts historically aimed at undermining legitimate governments. Currently, there are 48 participants in the voluntary Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), which was established to regulate the trade of conflict diamonds and prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legal diamond market. Companies wanting to export rough diamonds from a country participating in the Process must provide a KPCS certificate to customs.
Unfortunately, the Kimberley Process does not ensure the source of rough diamonds or take into consideration the labor conditions under which the diamond has been mined, cut or polished. Moreover, KPCS is only applicable to diamonds, and does not consider the environmental impact of diamond mining. Therefore, conflict-free is a small step the industry has made toward greater responsibility and, given the narrow definition and the challenge of regulating the KP certification, consumers seeking sustainable jewelry will want to consider a myriad of other factors.
Learn more about ethically sourced diamonds at www.Sulusso.com or by calling 888.777.7976.