The more global our economy becomes and the more we become aware of how are consumer dollars affect not only ourselves, but also people in countries all over the world it can become a little overwhelming navigating an ethical purchasing route. Is it important to buy free trade coffee? Why buy organic cotton or paraben free?
And while we, at Isadoras, can’t answer all of these questions, we can tell you one of the reasons we have chosen to sidestep the entire new diamond industry in favor of buying antique and vintage diamonds only.
In the early 1990’s the world became familiar with the words blood diamond, conflict diamond and war diamond.
BLOOD DIAMOND: A blood diamond, conflict diamond or war diamond is a rough diamond used by rebel armies to undermine legitimate regimes.
Blood diamonds were at the center of conflicts happening in Angola, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where ten of thousands of people died or were displaced in diamond-fueled wars.
As a result of the international community's outrage at the atrocities happening in both Sierra Leone and Angola the Kimberly Process was established in 2003.
The Kimberly Process is a certification system that tracks diamonds. Composed of 51 members, comprising 77 countries (the EU is counted as one member), Kimberly Process (KP) members can only trade with other KP members.
Within the system, rough diamonds must be certified along each step of supply chain as true conflict free stones.
While diamonds have the potential to fund atrocities like those in Angola and Sierra Leone they also have the power to really help countries. Botswana and other countries are finding that the diamond industry has been a way to bring much needed revenue to a struggling country and pave a path to a richer future.
LACK OF OVERSITE:
Each member country creates an individual certification system with no system of independent verification to ascertain that the protocol is working. Also diamonds are small, potable and very easy to transport. It is easy to slip conflict stones into a legitimate packet of diamonds or to bribe one of the numerous agents along a supply chain. And once a stone is cut it is impossible to trace the country of origin aside from its paperwork.
LACK OF MOBILITY:
The definition of conflict diamonds as stated by the Kimberly Process is, “rough diamonds used by rebel movement to finance wars against legitimate governments”. And while this definition may have been broad enough to deal with the conflicts of 2003 it must evolve to deal with the conflicts of today.
LACK OF OVERSITE:
While many people are working to insure a more transparent, conscious diamond business. At this time, we see antique jewelry as still the most consumer conscious option. Because while we may not be able to guarantee the human rights of yester year we can guarantee that when buying an antique piece of jewelry, none of your money is going to continue practices you do not approve of. Because while our diamonds do not meet the Kimberly Process's definition of "conflict diamonds", by selling diamonds that are previously owned we are selling diamonds that predate both conflict and conflict free diamonds and are therefore not contributing monetarily to any political conflict past or present.
FOR A MORE COMPREHENSIVE LOOK AT THE ISSUE OF CONFLICT DIAMONDS PLEASE CHECK OUT GLOBAL WITNESSES WEBSITE:
© 2012-2015 ISADORAS, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.