Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have witnessed and documented human rights abuses in some diamond mining countries like Angola and Zimbabwe. This has led to special regulations and certifications like Kimberley Process, aimed at ensuring that diamonds, which make it to the customer, are “conflict-free” and not funding any illegal activity.
From the very beginning “conflict-free” diamonds costed more, than other diamonds of similar carat weight, cut, color and other parameters. Due to this they formed a separate submarket. There are companies, specialising on selling conflict-free diamonds, there are special mines, which are considered “respectable sources”. For example, people who want to be totally sure they don’t buy blood diamonds, are advised to choose the stones, mined in Canada, which doesn’t contribute to any of the African countries.
Considering African sources, diamond buyers are told to choose from Namibian and Botswana stones, which mostly come from mining companies, creating jobs for local population. It is also said, that famous De Beers’ diamonds come with a guarantee that each one was mined strictly from responsible sources.
But there is a little problem. The thing is that nobody still can trace such diamonds back to the exact mine where they came from. What we know — is just some news and PR stories, that this company invests in this and that company builds that. But how can we really be sure, that this particular diamond is “ethical”? Unfortunately, this is impossible. Today, like centuries ago, we still have to believe the jeweller, which tells us how the schools and hospitals were built by the company, mined this very diamond.
Doesn’t this makes “ethical diamonds” merely a more expensive diamond category with added value of good conscious? And one can’t say this is not true, unless he can prove the opposite.
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