If concerned about the blood diamond trade, it can be tempting to avoid a diamond purchase altogether. The unfortunate truth is, it can be very difficult to find a stone that is guaranteed to be conflict-free. As a consumer, there are steps you can take to ensure you are making an ethical purchase, and over time, to completely stop the sale of blood diamonds.
When considering a diamond purchase, ask the retailer a series of questions. They should be informed about their diamonds, and be happy to address any concerns you have about the origins of their products.
Some good questions to ask include:
- What is your company’s policy on blood diamonds?
- Do you know the origin of the diamonds you sell?
- Do you have a written guarantee from your supplier that your jewelry is conflict-free?
Even if the jeweler cannot answer the questions, asking them may encourage them to become more informed. Every retailer wants customers to leave happy, and every retailer wants to make that sale. By asking these questions and making it known that these issues are important, you are sending these retailers a powerful message.
Asking questions is a good start, but the sad truth is, some retailers will say anything to make a sale. Before purchasing a stone ask to see certification papers ensuring the diamond is conflict-free.
Being a smart, informed shopper is a good start, but it still doesn’t guarantee your diamonds are conflict-free. The Kimberley Project Certification Scheme (KPSC) has taken steps to eliminate blood diamonds from the international market. However, the Kimberley project is flawed. Some stones from those war-torn areas still make their way into the international diamond trade, thanks to government corruption and smuggling through neighboring countries.
There are things you can do to take action against the blood diamond trade:
Participate in campaigns being done by NGOs and other groups. For example, Amnesty International and World Vision have both taken a strong stance against the blood diamond trade.
Contact Congress, and ask them to take steps to improve the system.
Use the internet. Tweet about it, blog about it; do anything you can to get the message out there. Tell everyone you know where their diamonds might be coming from, and what they can do to stop it.
This article was contributed by Frank Fisher.