It’s well known that you look for the four C’s when shopping for a diamond, but there is a fifth C that really should be included. One that stands for conflict-free.
In recent years the focus on conflict diamonds has intensified, and the purchase of these gems discouraged.
Let’s find out what the term means, and why you should avoid certain stones when buying diamond eternity rings and other sparkling jewellery.
Diamonds that have been sold illegally to fund war or terrorist activities are known as blood or conflict diamonds. These diamonds generally come from war-torn areas in Africa and are smuggled out and traded illegally around the world.
Blood diamonds have been around for a long time, but they first came to the world’s attention during the civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. More than 75,000 people died and thousands brutally tortured, and the conflict highlighted the scourge of blood diamonds for the first time.
The 2006 movie Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio also made a lot more people aware as to what these diamonds were all about and the heartbreak they’d caused. The story told in the film affected people deeply and made them question where their gems came from.
As so many people are now aware of these diamonds, and their origin and story is as well known as the question of Where did the eternity rings originate?, the demand for them has somewhat decreased. This doesn’t mean trade has come to a standstill, and they are still traded on a regular basis. In time though, it is hoped they will be removed all together – https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-18109186.
Conflict-free diamonds are the opposite of blood diamonds, no blood has been shed over them and they are ethically mined and sold legally. They also have no connection to war or terror groups and are not supporting any untoward causes. It is therefore essential that conflict-free diamonds get the support they deserve and that when you purchase gems or jewellery you check that the retailer only sells conflict-free diamonds.
In many places the world over buying conflict diamonds is actually illegal, but it is always good to see that the store you’re shopping at has a clear policy with regards to the sale of their gems and their origin and source.