From the early ‘90s until 2000, there was a high cost involved with buying a diamond — and we’re not talking about the price tag. If there was ever a purchase that you’d want to be proud of, diamonds would be it. After all, they’re exchanged as a symbol of love and commitment, and passed down through generations.
But conflict diamonds — diamonds mined in a war zone to finance militant activities — cast a shadow on the glamorous world of luxury jewellery. Unfortunately, if your diamond was sourced in a war-torn country like Sierra Leone, Angola, or the Democratic Republic of Congo in the ‘90s, it could be a symbol of something much more dismal.
Amidst the growing consciousness of consumers and brands alike, the industry has changed — a lot. In 2000, the Kimberley Process (KP) was established to act as a global trade authority against conflict diamond mining. Today, it represents 81 countries, with the European Union counting as one unit, and is responsible for nearly eradicating the practice, preventing around 99.8% of the global production of conflict diamonds, according to the organisation’s website.
But while conflict diamonds, or the current lack thereof, are often discussed in open forum, anyone outside of the jewellery business is probably out of the loop on the opposite: ethical and sustainable diamonds. A Google search might send you to vague explainers or a commerce page for how to shop them, but to really get to the bottom of what ethical and sustainable diamonds are, you have to dig a little further.
“There’s a lot of dialogue around conflict-free and all of that. For us, it’s not about being just being conflict-free — that’s not enough,” says Kristen Lawler-Trustey, PR Manager at Forevermark, the consumer-facing division of the De Beers Group.
For the rest of this article: https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2019/12/9053002/natural-diamonds-industry-clean-mining