Thursday, 27 June 2013

Kickstarting with A Serious Subject: Conflict Diamonds

How to ensure you are buying ethical diamonds

They say they are a girl’s best friend and that diamonds are forever. This may be true but purchasing diamond jewellery is sometime expensive and considered an investment so you assume what you’re getting is quality, real diamond, right? The diamond may be real but if it is have you considered whether it could be a blood diamond that has been mined in an unethical way? 

What are Blood Diamonds?


Blood diamonds or conflict diamonds are mined for the sole purpose of selling them on to make a profit and the chain literally runs down to your local jewellery store in Manchester to fund war or other rebel activities. Humans are forced to work in conditions that are beyond poverty. The basic human rights are non-existent. Women face constant harassment and sexual attacks from the people running these mining fields, let alone being beaten.  In some places workers have a hand removed as the people running the mining fields worry about their diamonds being stolen. Once mined the diamonds are exported to other countries to be sold. This is an illegal process and can have a devastating effect. Once the diamonds are sold the money is used in an unethical way.

Research and Reputation


This is the first step when considering buying a diamond product; it might even be the reason why you are on this page! You should research diamond jewellers who have a good reputation and good reviews. See whether there has been any suspicion about them and their ways. My personal advice would be to try and stick to local jewellers. They are more likely to take a lot more pride in their work and provide high quality, ethical diamonds. This is because most jewellers are family run meaning they like to keep their ethics and origins about them and continue them on to the next generation.

The Confrontation


Diamonds are not just something you decide to order from an internet shop. Most people like to go to the shop and see it for real before parting with their money. This provides the perfect opportunity for you to ask some key questions. You should be asking;
·         Where have the diamonds come from
·         If you get a written guarantee with the product to ensure its conflict free
·         Can they produce an invoice for the diamonds
If the jeweller is unable to answer or refuses to answer any of these questions then you should keep your money, turn around and walk away. It’s not worth the risk. If they can describe the product to you telling you how amazing it is trying to get you to buy it then why can’t they go into more depth and tell you where the diamonds come from? This all points to something suspicious and it just screaming for you to turn away.
If the diamonds come from Zimbabwe, Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, or Congo then once again, turn around and go somewhere else. There is a high chance that the diamonds are mined and sold for unethical reasons and you should be careful when diamonds and the named countries are in the same sentence.
Just a little research and a few simple questions could save you from a bad purchase. Stick to the points I outlined and your diamond shopping will be a little more considerate and ethical.

This article is provided by The Milestone Jewellers; specialists in wedding jewellery in Manchester