Isadoras antique jewelry

Conflict Free

Antique Jewelry & Avoiding the Blood Diamond Trade

As our economy becomes increasingly global, we become more aware how our consumer dollars affect not only ourselves, but people in countries all over the world. And, it can become a little overwhelming navigating an ethical purchasing route.

At Isadoras, one of the reasons we have chosen to sidestep the entire new diamond industry in favor of buying antique and vintage diamonds, can be summed up in two words: blood diamonds.


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.

In the early 1990s, the world became familiar with the words blood diamond, conflict diamond, and war diamond.


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 the supply chain as true conflict-free stones.

Why we wished it worked:

While diamonds have the potential to fund atrocities like those in Angola and Sierra Leone, they also have the power to help countries. Botswana and other countries are finding that the diamond industry has provided much needed revenue, while paving the path to a more prosperous future.

Why it doesn’t work:

LACK OF OVERSIGHT: Each member country has created an individual certification system without any independent verification to ascertain that the protocol is working. Also, diamonds are small, portable, and very effortless 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 Kimberly Process defines conflict diamonds as: “rough diamonds used by rebel movements 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.

Our conclusion:

Many people are working to insure a more transparent, conflict-free diamond business. However, we consider antique jewelry to be the most consumer-conscious option. By procuring diamonds that were 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.