Diamonds can be a girl’s best friend, but when they aren’t ethically sourced they can have a cruel history. During the civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s, the world discovered what was happening in the diamond industry in Africa. As it turned out, diamonds were funding the war and the people working in the diamond industry were suffering. These conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamonds, made the world quickly realize that something had to be done to stop the cycle. As a result, conflict-free, ethical, laboratory diamonds were created to ensure that people could still enjoy stunning jewelry without contributing to global violence.
The Kimberley Process
Because of the conflict of civil wars in Sierra Leone, the diamond industry partnered with the United Nations to come up with stricter requirements and regulations for the diamond industry. The United States and over 70 other countries came together to support this process. Since the implementation of the Kimberley Process, the number of conflict diamonds and the crimes behind them has dropped considerably.
Ethical Diamonds vs. Conflict-Free Diamonds
There are a few differences between conflict-free and ethical diamonds. In essence, conflict-free diamonds do not finance wars. Ethical diamonds take it a step further, working to ensure fair pay, safe working conditions, environmentally sound practices, and human rights.
There are many options when it comes to securing a beautiful piece of jewelry that is conflict-free. Laboratory diamonds are a popular option because they are chemically and optically identical to a mined diamond. Laboratory diamonds are also sustainable, and because they are created in a laboratory, they have essentially no negative human and environmental impacts. In addition, laboratory diamonds cost less than traditional diamonds.
Another fantastic conflict-free option are gems like moissanite. Moissanite is an increasingly popular alternative. Natural moissanite is rare, so moissanite gems on the market today are laboratory-created and engineered to give the illusion of a diamond. Moissanite is 9.25 on the Mohs scale of hardness, meaning that it is a good choice for everyday wear. Its unique faceting pattern gives it a bright shining brilliance. Because it requires no mining, its origins are easily traced. Like other laboratory diamonds, there is little human or environmental impact. It is also dramatically lower in price.
Ready to Shop?
Diamond alternatives are still a girl’s best friend. Purchasing conflict-free gems can provide peace of mind knowing that your jewelry came from a safe place and played no part in the civil wars in Africa. There are many fantastic alternatives, and finding an experienced and knowledgeable jeweler can help you decide what your perfect fit is. If you are ready to explore your options, the experienced team at Kobelli is eager to help!