Cut, size, shape and clarity are all important characteristics to consider when purchasing a diamond. But have you ever given much to where a diamond comes from? I am referring to the origin from which your diamond is mined. Diamonds are a hot commodity, and while they are the worlds most sought after gemstone for the durability and beauty, they are often mined in some of the most volatile, ugly environments on Earth.
Have you seen the movie "Blood Diamond?" This movie details the origin of many diamonds, blood diamonds (also referred to conflict diamonds), which are for sale in the United States and across the world. A blood diamond is a diamond that is mined in African (or other) war zones, which are then sold to fund wars and conflicts and to make money for warlords and diamond companies alike. Aside from being a source of income for warlords, the working conditions in these diamond mines are likened to that of a concentration camp. Not a pretty site for such a beautiful product.
But there is hope! The diamond industry has put very strict system in place for certifying conflict-free diamonds. Diamonds certified by Whiteflash, guarantee that the diamonds are conflict free diamonds. Leaving you free from the worry that your purchase is contributing to a war halfway across the globe.
The other way to purchase a conflict-free gem is to buy from a retailer who adheres to the Kimberly Process guidelines. This is a process that is designed to certify and track diamonds to ensure they have come from a conflict-free zone. Each diamond mined in a conflict-free zone is lasered with a serial number and these numbers are checked at the borders of all participating countries. Many large diamond retailers are now participating in this process making it easier for consumers to find a diamond with a clean history.
If this is all too overwhelming for you and you’d just like to know where you can buy a good, honest diamond, I did a little hunting around on the mywedding.com site and found that one of our nationwide vendor, Whiteflash, guarantees that all of their diamonds are from a conflict-free zone. Blue Nile is listed in the "Jewelry" section of each local city wedding planning guide if you’d like to check them out. Otherwise, just ask your local jeweler the following questions:
- Where do you buy your diamonds and where are they mined?
- Do you participate in the Kimberly Process?
This should cover all of your bases and ensure that your diamond is beautiful inside and out.