Ethical diamonds 101

CONFLICT-FREE DIAMONDS

You may have heard of the term “blood diamond” or “conflict diamond”. This term coined in the late 1990s refers to diamonds that are mined in a war zone, and traded illegally to further finance violence and horror. The areas most affected by the trade of blood diamonds are in Central and Western Africa.

Today, the conscientious consumer searching for a diamond would look for a conflict-free, ethical diamond. In this article, we will discuss what exactly this means, and what exactly to look for in your search.

WHAT IS A CONFLICT-FREE DIAMOND?

Conflict-free diamonds are ethically sourced and don’t violate human rights. Their revenues don’t fund any acts of terror or civil War. Conflict-free diamonds come from ethical mines that enforce strict labor and environmental standards. They also help to support the local economy.

The Kimberley Process was established by joint governments in 2003 to stem the trade of conflict diamonds.

THE ECKSAND DIFFERENCE

All Ecksand’s diamonds and precious gems are ethically-sourced from three conflict-free mines. Ecksand bypasses middlemen by purchasing diamonds and precious gems right from these conflict-free mines. These mines are in Canada, Botswana, and Australia, thus enabling Ecksand to control the quality of each diamond and ensure the origin of each diamond.

Our knowledgeable staff can provide you with intimate details about each jewel. Do not be afraid to ask questions to ensure the quality and origin of your purchase. We are happy informing customers where a diamond is from so they can wear their jewellery with confidence.

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CANADIAN DIAMONDS & CRAFTSMANSHIP

Canada is the world’s third largest supplier of Diamonds behind Botswana and Russia. Canada enforces, labor and environmental standards in all diamond mining operations. This ensures ethical and environmentally responsible diamonds. Diamond mining is profitable for the Canadian economy. It creates jobs in  Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Ontario, and Quebec. 

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THE GOOD AND BAD OF AFRICAN DIAMONDS

There different opinions on purchasing diamonds from countries within Africa. There is fear that these diamonds exploit the locals and fuels conflict in the country.

65% of the world’s diamonds come from African Countries

Not all diamonds sourced from Africa are blood diamonds. It is important to know what country in Africa your diamond is from. If purchasing an African diamond, avoid countries like Zimbabwe and Angola. These countries have been cited by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for human rights violations. These violations occur in, and around, diamond mines, thus producing blood diamonds. When purchasing a conflict-free African diamond look at countries like Botswana and Namibia. These countries enforce strict labor and environmental standards. This helps to ensure that the income from mining helps create jobs and leads to development. 

HOW DIAMONDS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The development in these regions is crucial to the survival of the region. Income from the diamond mining goes towards building schools and hospitals. Diamond revenues enable every child in Botswana to receive free education up to the age of 13. Furthermore, micro-credit enterprises and mentoring programs are development to help sustain the economy. 

“For our people, every diamond buy represents food on the table, better living conditions, better health care, potable and safe drinking water, more roads to connect our remote communities, and much more.”

Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana. Festus Mogae is an active member of the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s Advisory Board.

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Buying a diamond ring can benefit the local and international economy. They have created jobs within Canada and globally. By creating prosperity in one region, it can also lead to development in the neighboring area. Yet, it is important to know where your diamond comes from. This will let you know if your funds are supporting the development of schools or aiding civil war. All reputable jewelers should be able to tell you the exact mining region where stones are from. Do the responsible thing and research in order to feel great about the purchase of your diamond ring.