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What Are Blood Diamonds?

Everyone is a fan of the sparkling and shiny diamonds for jewelry, especially for diamond engagement rings. However, the diamonds you choose might have a dark history. Do you want to take risk wearing a mined diamond if you don’t know whether or not it was ethically sourced?

What Are Blood Diamonds?

Blood diamonds, commonly called “conflict diamonds” are gems mined in territories controlled by rebel forces opposed to internationally recognized governments. The rebels sell these diamonds, and the proceeds are used to buy weapons, promulgate the use of children warriors and fund military operations.

Men, women, and children are frequently used as slaves and forced labor to mine blood diamonds. They are also stolen during transportation or seized by targeting legal producers’ mining activities. 

Smuggled into the international diamond trade, the diamonds are then indiscriminately sold to diamond dealers worldwide. These diamonds are frequently the rebels’ primary source of finance; nevertheless, gun dealers, smugglers, and dishonest diamond traders facilitate their activities through it. Bribes, threats, and torture are all methods of operation when vast sums of money are at stake.

That is why “blood diamonds” is one of the main terms used for these unethically sourced diamonds; the word is used to emphasize the harmful effects of the diamond trade in specific places or to identify a particular diamond as having come from one of these areas. The name has been applied to diamonds mined during civil wars in Angola, the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Similar circumstances involving other natural resources are referred to as conflict resources.

As per the United Nations, blood diamonds are “Diamonds mined in territories controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments and used to fuel military action against such governments or in contravention of Security Council decisions.”

Conflict-Free Diamonds

Blood diamonds are sold in “rough” condition, which means they’ve just been extracted and haven’t been cut or polished yet. Blood diamonds are believed to account for 4% of global diamond production at the height of Sierra Leone’s civil war, meaning that not all non-conflict free diamonds are blood diamonds, but you can opt to purchase a diamond that is “conflict free” or ethically sourced. 

The primary sources of conflict or blood diamonds are Angola, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast. The UN and other organizations strive to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the global diamond trade, but some still manage to get through.

Their strategy has been to create the “Kimberley Process,” a government certification mechanism. This approach necessitates each country certifying that all rough diamond exports result from legal mining and sales. In addition, certificates must accompany all raw diamonds exported from these countries. These certifications ensure that the diamonds exported from these countries were created, marketed, and shipped through legal procedures.

The certification process tracks all raw diamonds from mine to retail sales at every stage of their journey. Therefore, customers purchasing a cut diamond at a store should insist on a sales receipt stating that the diamond came from a conflict-free source. Apples of Gold Jewelry provides such guarantees in writing on your invoice when you purchase one of our conflict-free engagement rings.

While the Kimberley Process certifies a diamond as conflict-free, blood diamonds are still on the market today. Petra Diamonds, one of the world’s largest diamond mining corporations, was ordered to pay damages of $5.97 million to Tanzanian miners who had been shot, assaulted, and chained to hospital beds in May of 2021. 

Apples of Gold Jewelry offers conflict free diamonds. If you see one of our diamond or engagement rings without it being noted as conflict free in the description, simply contact us and we will ensure that you get an ethically sourced diamond that is free or turmoil and guaranteed to be conflict-free.

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