If you’re shopping for diamond jewelry it’s likely that you have heard the terms “ethically sourced,” responsibly sourced,” and “conflict-free” diamonds; but what do all these terms mean? How does this impact your jewelry shopping?
Many consumers are now more socially conscious than ever. They want to buy products that are ethically sourced. At NOGAMA Fine Jewelry, we’re proud to carry only ethically sourced and conflict free diamonds, each coming with it’s very own certificate of authentication. We do this by choosing to work with only the most reputable diamond wholesalers for our brand (including our engagement rings) and for the vendors that we carry.
We receive alot of questions about what exactly it means to shop ethically, so here is some additional information that you might find helpful when making a purchase!
What Is a Conflict-Free Diamond?
Many jewelers market their diamonds as “conflict-free.” By that, they mean their diamonds meet the Kimberley Process standards. The problem is that the Kimberley Process only defines conflict diamonds as diamonds that are used to fund rebel movements. It overlooks many other human rights abuses and environmental issues. Just because a diamond is conflict-free doesn’t mean it is ethically sourced.
Responsibly or Ethically Sourced Diamonds
Recently, there has been more of a push for ethically sourced diamonds. These are diamonds that have been mined in ways that respect human rights and the environment. Most of the time, this means that they have been extracted through industrial mining by a reputable corporation.
Industrial Mining vs. Artisanal Mining
Industrial mining is usually done by large corporations. It is regulated to protect the workers and the environment. Artisanal mining is done by independent workers and small operations that are not regulated. This leaves artisanal mining operations open to many safety and human rights issues, including child labor and mine accidents. There are also environmental hazards involved such as soil erosion and water siltation.
The problem with conflict-free diamonds and even some ethically sourced diamonds is that the suppliers cannot always trace the origin of the diamond. Rough diamonds need to be sorted and mixed before they are cut, so diamonds from unethical sources could get mixed in with those that are responsibly mined.
The Future of Diamond Mining
Ethical, responsible diamond sourcing is the future of the industry. More and more people are becoming aware of this issue, and there is an increased demand for ethically sourced diamonds. Some jewelry manufacturers are going one step further and giving back to the countries where they mine.
We hope you were able to learn some things about what it means to shop ethically for diamonds! For more information about NOGAMA Fine Jewelry products of the vendors we carry in store, feel free to reach out and we will be happy to provide more details on exactly where the diamonds you’re shopping for are sourced.