What is a conflict diamond?
When it comes to judging a diamond's quality, colour, cut, clarity and carat have always been used as the four cornerstones of evaluation, but in the last few decades, another essential 'C' has entered the vocabulary of gem specialists and consumers alike: conflict.
Conflict diamonds, which are also known as blood or war diamonds, are diamonds that originate from war zones and are illegally traded to fund rebel fighters and insurgencies. The name 'conflict diamond' is used to indicate that the trade of these diamonds funds — and ultimately, prolongs — conflict in war-torn countries.
Conflict diamonds are mainly associated with Africa, as insurgent groups in countries such as Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) have all sold diamonds in the past to pay for weapons and continue fighting. Not only do conflict diamonds perpetuate war and violence, but the treatment of workers in the conflict diamond industry is often reported as being inhumane, and rife with disease, violence and starvation. For these reasons, both the buying and selling of conflict diamonds is illegal.
How can you avoid buying a conflict diamond?
In 2000, the diamond industry established a process to prevent the circulation of conflict diamonds. This initiative, which is called the Kimberly Process, aims to track every diamond from the place it was mined to the place it is sold, thus preventing illegal conflict diamonds from being sold on the precious gem market.
It is estimated that 99.8 per cent of diamonds on the market are now conflict-free, but you should still shop exclusively with retailers that are registered with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and that comply with industry standards.
If you ever feel uncertain about a company's credibility or the origins of the diamonds they are selling, then ask to see evidence of their Kimberley Process accreditation. All good retailers will be happy to do this, and if they're not, then look elsewhere to make your purchase.
How do 77 Diamonds comply with these policies?
Utilising the Kimberley Process and in compliance with the United Nations Resolutions, we only source our diamonds from legitimate sources that we know are not involved in any funding conflicts.
We guarantee that all our diamonds are conflict free based on written guarantees and personal knowledge from within the diamond industry.
We can therefore ensure that the diamonds you choose to be set in our jewellery are not from any area of conflict and we support the peaceful resolution of any existing conflict in war-torn countries.