What Are Blood Diamonds?
Blood diamonds are often refered to as conflict diamonds (as opposed to conflict-free diamonds). The UN describe them as diamonds which originate from regions controlled by forces opposed to internationally recognized governements and that are often used to fund military action.
Civilians are unfortunately often killed during the fights that take place between the armed combatants and the governments in place. Examples of countries that are involved in blood diamonds are Angola, Congo and Sierra Leone (which is the most notable one of the three). Certains countries such as Liberia have also used their diamond industry to fund conflicts in other countries.
Unfair Child Labor Practices
In addition to the obvious unfortunate consequences of civil and foreign wars, it has been proven that these countries often produce conflict diamonds under very unfair child labor practices. However, keep in mind that unless your diamond is produced in a trusted country (such as Canada or the United States of America), it is possible that these unfair labor practices are also in place. Non-warring countries have also been known, in certain cases, for operating under unfair labor practices.
How to Buy a Conflict-Free Diamond?
As per Natural Resources Canada’s Website, “On January 1, 2003, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for international trade in rough diamonds was implemented. As a result, all rough diamonds being traded between Kimberley Process participants under Customs Tariff Subheadings 7102.10, 7102.21 and 7102.31 must be accompanied by a Kimberley Process certificate”. Basically, it means that any importer in let’s say Canada or USA has to get a certificate of origin for the rough diamonds that they are importing. Is this 100% safe or conflict-free? Probably not, but it’s as good as it can get, unless you buy from a provider of American or Canadian diamonds only! That is an excellent question to ask your retailer before you make your loose diamond or engagement ring purchase.