Friday, May 13, 2011

How to Avoid Conflict Diamonds

When conducting your research on diamonds, you may come across the term “conflict” or “blood” diamonds. These diamonds are ones obtained illegally by rebels and sold to finance wars, terrorism and other conflicts. In an effort to keep these diamonds off the open market, the Kimberley Process Certification System was established in 2002, wherein reputable suppliers, ring manufacturers and jewelers attest that they sell conflict-free diamonds.

“There is an audited trail from the ring all the way back to the mines, with paperwork showing they are conflict-free,” Rebecca Aubert, senior gemologist for De Beer Diamond Jewellers US Inc, told Engagement 101.

Thanks to these efforts, more than 99 percent of all diamonds are from conflict-free sources.

“The industry did such a good job implementing the Kimberely Process that it’s really not an issue,” said Doug McDowell, CEO of Memoire.

However, if you want to be sure, just ask your jeweler for proof. Any reputable retailer will not hesitate to provide evidence of the diamond’s origins, which is another reason why you should always ask for a certificate or an appraisal for a diamond.

Other tips for avoiding conflict diamonds

Avoid buying from shady jewelry websites. Most likely these places are being operated from China where they make cheap replicas of pricey designer rings. These companies are more likely to use blood diamonds.

Buy diamonds from Canada. Ask your jeweler if their diamonds have been mined in Canada. The Solasfera Diamond is mined only in Canada.

In addition to certificates, ask your jeweler for a written guarantee that their diamonds are conflict-free. The document will give you peace of mind about the certainty of the diamond.