How to Choose a Conflict Free Diamond Engagement Ring
That special piece of jewelry on your finger can convey so many facets of your love for each other, and you want your engagement ring to be a symbol of everything that is good and positive about your love. You may have heard the term "blood diamond" or "conflict diamond" but have never really understood the meaning or implications. Read on to see for yourself that choosing a conflict free diamond for your ring is no more difficult or expensive than any other diamond.
What exactly are conflict diamonds? This term was first used in a 1998 report called "Rough Trade", an exposé of the link between the diamond trade and funding civil wars in Africa. This term covers any diamond mined in war zones that are sold for the purpose of funding war, such as in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast.
In 2002 the United Nations created The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme which set out a process of certification for diamonds entering the United States. Diamonds that have passed the Kimberly Process have a certificate, which your jeweler should be able to show you, to verify that you are buying a conflict free diamond. Many well known diamond stores in the United States now participate in the Kimberly Process.
These strict importation rules have had a dramatic, positive effect on poverty stricken countries in Africa, who mine conflict free diamonds, and who are now able to legally sell far more diamonds than previously. This brochure from DiamondFacts.org details how these countries have benefited from the Kimberly Process Certification, including improved health care, care for orphans and HIV testing. Because of the Kimberly Process Certification, some 99% of the world's diamonds now being sold are conflict free.
Diamonds mined in Canada have always been conflict free, as well as diamonds from Australia, Russia and other countries. Asking to see the certification that tracks the diamond from the mine to the store is the key to ensuring that your diamond will be conflict free. Take note that conflict free diamonds should not be more expensive.
If you are considering a vintage stone, it likely won't have the KPCS. You can at least know, however, that the stone is not a product of any current conflicts. Vintage diamonds allow you to reuse and recycle in an earth friendly manner.
Your diamond engagement ring may be the most important piece of jewelry you will ever buy, so make sure that it represents your values and serves as an everlasting symbol of your love for each other.