Jewellery Stories
By Niki Bruce
10 Sep 2020

How do you know if a diamond you are buying is ‘conflict-free’?

Historically, the global diamond supply channel was often impacted by issues of conflict and smuggling, so it was not always possible to guarantee that your diamond was not tainted, leading to the development of the ‘conflict-free’ diamond designation.

What is a ‘conflict-free’ diamond?

Increasing ethical concerns over questionable mining practices led the United Nations, industry leaders, non-governmental organisations, and governments to implement efficient and improved supply chain tracking of diamonds.

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In some cases illegal diamond mining funded rebel movements and brutal wars while perpetrating human rights violations. All this led to interested stakeholders to form a coalition and establish the Kimberley Process in 2002. This initiative aims to eliminate the global trade of exporting and importing such ‘conflict’ diamonds.

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The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, since inception, not only significantly decreased conflict diamonds in circulation but also helped uplift economic conditions in impoverished countries by channelling more legitimately sourced diamonds into the international jewellery market. Today, almost 99.8% of diamonds available in international markets have been identified as conflict-free.

How do you know the origin of a diamond?

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme has put in place a framework that requires countries to follow a set of regulations to ensure a legitimate and humane process is followed to mine and ship a diamond. Diamonds that achieve these standards receive the Kimberley Process Certificate. 

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Your jeweller should provide you the certificate when buying. Checking for certification is necessary to ascertain a stone’s origin. Any reputable jeweller will provide necessary documentation that guarantees authenticity of a conflict-free diamond. If still not convinced, you can ask for the ‘System of Warranties’ statement for a certain diamond, however be aware that this is a voluntary system.

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A GIA Diamond Origin Report includes additional information about a diamond’s origin. It classifies the country where a particular diamond was produced along with its report number that is laser inscribed on the girdle of the diamond.  The Origin Report also features a complete assessment of the diamond’s quality with detailed explanation of 4Cs.

Are ‘conflict-free’ diamonds more expensive?

Your diamond jewellery will not cost any more because it incorporates conflict-free diamonds. There are multiple factors that increase the price of a diamond but being certified as ethically conflict-free is not one of them.

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High quality and ethically acquired diamonds are available at competitive prices both online and offline. Whether it is a vintage recycled diamond or a newly mined gemstone, an extensive origin statement and your retailer’s affiliation with international grading organisations will decide the value of the diamond jewellery you buy.

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Knowing your supplier is another key step towards the process of investing in a conflict-free diamond. Ethical and responsible sourcing is implemented through rigorous criteria by many jewellers, including The Jewel Box.  

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Responsible and sustainable diamond shopping can not only save the planet but many economies too. Your support of safe and ethical mining practices makes you an ethical buyer.

Discover our stunning – and conflict-free – diamond jewellery collections: Classic Diamonds and Designer Diamonds. Or check out our amazing diamond engagement rings that are also conflict-free.

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