The simple answer to “How do you know if it’s a conflict diamond?” is, “You don’t”. I had a conversation today that I have had many, many times in the past, regarding diamonds. The conversation always starts out the same way, that they were so shocked to discover that you can’t aways identify a blood diamond or a conflict diamond, that the paper trail could be fraudulent. Absolutely true and entirely common. The diamond industry is complicated and unfortunately has a very shady side. The next question is always “why do jeweler’s sell these type of diamonds?”. Good question but not one I really have an answer for. I can only surmise that they either don’t know or they don’t care. The truth is though, that most times, the Jeweler does know where that diamond came from but doesn’t care for whatever reason and/or they stand to make a tidy profit so can overlook the atrocities. Everyone is always so shocked at the disconnect – I agree, it’s a head shaker at the very least but it happens everyday.
Recently a YouTuber did a very thorough investigation into a large “Ethical” diamond Jeweler. This self proclaimed “Ethical” e-tailer claims that all of their diamonds are “ethically sourced” but in fact, many of the diamonds listed on their website were conflict diamonds labeled as conflict free and coming from countries that don’t produce blood diamonds. These diamonds however were also listed on other Jewelers websites with the actual country of origin listed (conflict countries) – in general, jeweler’s do not own the diamonds unless they are in their jewelry store display case, they purchase the diamonds on behalf of their customer when they get the order. How did the YouTuber know they were the same diamond? Each diamond has a serial number that identifies it and those numbers are listed, so he was able to match them on the diamond wholesaler’s database . The YouTube investigator went so far as to go to the diamond supplier in New York where some of these diamonds were, to find the diamonds origin- which it turned out, indeed did came from known Countries where blood diamonds come from or countries with questionable human labour ethics (the diamond supplier was very forthcoming with the origin information). This YouTuber even purchased an advertised “Ethical” diamond from this “Ethical” retailer and took it to the diamond wholesaler in New York, only to be told it identified as a blood diamond and not coming from Canada as the Not So Ethical “Ethical” e-trailer claimed.
There is now a lawsuit pending (or was) from the large e-tailer against this small whistle blower, he has been forced to take his video’s down. ..or has he been paid out? We’ll probably never know but this large fraudulent “Ethical” Jeweler continues on with it’s same deplorable business practices.
The next question is always, “How does the business of blood diamonds continue?”. It continues because there are billions of dollars to be made and the majority of the population are unaware of the corrupt and unethical practices, or sadly, they don’t care. On top of the corruption, there is also a large dose of denial in the diamond industry and the general population. Probably the biggest cop out in the industry is telling customer’s it’s a Canadian diamond. The entire truth about Canadian diamonds is a whole other blog post but one simplified answer is, the companies that own some of the Canadian diamond mines also own blood diamond mines, so it all goes into the same pockets at the end of the day. So even if mining for Canadian diamonds was without negative consequence to the environment, wildlife or indigenous people(which it definitely is not) there’s still the fact that some are owned by the despicable mining companies.
The conversation always sums up with “Surely they would be sued or the government would step in?”. Governments have stepped in where there have been rebel wars but there is corruption in every country at many levels. So the problem may be somewhat better in some areas, it is far from over and far from acceptable – far!
So what are you to do if you need a diamond and can’t trust the diamond industry? Have you even wondered why it is that you even think you need a diamond? Is it because we are told they are precious, rare?…like your love.
Well, diamonds are NOT rare. All you have to do is stop and think about this one for a second to realize almost every woman you know has at least one or two. …AT LEAST!!…and possibly several of your tools in the garage …and your computer and stereo equipment…
The only reason that diamonds are synonymous with engagement rings is because a mining company saw a way to make money, LOTS OF MONEY, BILLIONS!! They marketed diamonds to women and men, as the way to a woman’s heart, “Diamonds are a girl’s Best Friend” and “Diamonds are Forever” Now most men think they need to supply one and most women believe they deserve to receive one to prove they are desired and cherished forever.
I know we all feel like we need to pick our battles but if someone else is suffering because of a choice I made then I need to look at that choice. There are always alternatives, ALWAYS. In the case of diamonds and ALL mined gems, we believe the human atrocities and environmental impact associated with these gems to be more than worthy of seeking out an alternative. The best alternative in our opinion is Moissanite in place of a diamond or lab created diamonds and gems. Moissanite closely resembles a diamond in every way – strong, durable, Colorless or Near Colorless choices, beautiful and as an added bonus, 10% more sparkle than a diamond! While lab created diamonds and gems are an exact dupe of a mined diamond.
If you are looking for an Engagement Ring and it truly needs to be Ethical (and really, doesn’t it??) then give Moissanite or lab created diamonds a consideration – you won’t be disappointed!
** I had a call earlier this week from a lady who had a 4.5 carat Moissanite solitaire ring that she had received in a now defunct relationship. She was wondering the value so that she could sell it. She had the ring appraised at a jeweler for insurance purposes prior and the Jeweler had appraised it at $63,000! He clearly appraised it as a diamond. She mentioned that it was a J color (which BTW is the average color of a diamond engagement ring in North America) which indicated to me that it was an older Moissanite – the new generation of Moissanite is a more desirable whiter DEF or GHI color. This just goes to show the quality and beauty of Moissanite! If a Jeweler can’t tell the difference then why buy a diamond?!…you will also be assured then that it is definitely not a conflict diamond!
Moissanite also comes with a Lifetime Warranty!