a 9-star diamond ring

What Is the Meaning of Ethically Sourced Diamonds?

Ethically sourced, conflict free diamonds, or responsibly sourced diamonds are terms you may hear when shopping for a diamond in 2022. In the early 2000’s, the term “blood diamond” was propelled around the world through movies, journalism and activists advocating for miners who were treated incredibly cruelly and were often child laborers.

There are two different types of ethically mined diamonds. Lab produced diamonds have the same chemical and physical qualities of a natural diamond. They are considered ethically produced because they don't create opportunities for human rights abuses, and the environmental impact is less than traditional mining. There is a stigma associated with lab grown diamonds however, and they are considered to be less valuable than mined diamonds.

Naturally mined diamonds can also be certified as ethical through a process designated as The Kimberley Process which has committed to removing conflict diamonds from the global supply chain. Currently, over 59 countries around the world (including the European Union which stands as one nation) participate in the Kimberley Process and are able to keep over 99% of conflict diamonds out of production.

The Kimberley Process was established when the world's diamond producers and buyers met to discuss the growing concerns that diamonds were funding brutal civil wars on the continent of Africa. By 2003, the Kimberley Process was created - an international certification system designed to reassure consumers that the diamonds they bought were conflict-­free through a system of certification that would accompany each diamond. Countries that were unable to prove their diamonds as “conflict free” would be suspended from the international diamond trade.

The Kimberley Process has been a great step towards encouraging and establishing fair labor practices in the industry, as well as better environmental standards. It is estimated that now only 5% -10% of diamonds sold around the world are traded illegally now, compared with 25% before this certification process was established. 

At One Thousand Years Jewelry, we make certain that the high quality diamonds we use are Kimberley Certified. We feel that environmental, economic and social justice are of the utmost importance to humanity's future. Each of our pieces are created with the utmost care because we want our jewelry to have the highest vibrational quality, to be something our customers will be proud to wear and pass on to future generations.

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