Diamonds have been extremely popular for centuries, but it’s only relatively recently that people have started to take their environmental effects into consideration. You may have heard the terms eco diamond and conflict-free diamond, but what exactly do they mean? And why should you be making sure that the diamonds you purchase are labelled like this? Below we talk you through these particular phrases and tell you what you should be looking out for when you want to purchase diamonds.
Unfortunately the process of extracting diamonds from the earth can be extremely harmful to the environment. It can often leave huge holes in the land, and even cause the destruction of rivers, mines and natural ecosystems. Not only that, but mining for diamonds is a process that often requires the use of explosives, heavy machinery, bulldozers and more. Heavy water-intensive processes are also used to extract the diamonds, further impacting the environment. In short, there’s a huge impact on the natural surroundings that cannot be underestimated.
This is where the eco diamond comes in. An eco diamond is produced using environmentally responsible methods where the earth is impacted in the smallest possible ways.
Conflict free diamond
Suppliers who claim to provide conflict free diamonds have to ensure they have not been sold to finance any kind of civil war, or that they have been sourced amongst any kind of bloodshed such as Marlow’s Diamonds. It must have been mined in conditions free of conflict, regardless of the cause. It also must have been sourced in accordance with strict labour and environmental standards. This means child labour cannot have been used in any way, and all workers should be paid decent wages and do the job in a safe working environment.
The Kimberley Process was launched in 2003 as an effort to regulate the diamond mining trade. It aims to stop the trade in conflict diamonds, and these are defined as diamonds that have been used by rebel movements or their allies to finance armed conflicts. 80 countries recognise the Kimberley Process and aim to only supply and trade diamonds that pass these standards.
As you can see, the sourcing of diamonds can have huge, negative implications for both the environment and the people who mine for them, This is why it’s so important to make sure any diamonds you purchase have been ethically sourced using methods that don’t have massive effects on the ecosystem, and that the diamond miners are treated well, with no money being used for supporting any type of conflict.
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