All About Conflict Diamonds and What You Need to Know to Buy Responsib – The Raw Stone

All About Conflict Diamonds and What You Need to Know to Buy Responsibly

You're ready to buy a diamond or a diamond engagement ring, but you don't want to spend your money on something that could possibly have fueled conflict. Here's everything you need to know to buy responsibly.

There's something called the Kimberley Process which is an international process set up by the United Nations to keep "conflict diamonds" out of the diamond trade. Here's how the Kimberley Process defines conflict diamonds:
"rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments."
Notice anything tricky about this definition? It clearly this leaves out many other types of conflict that may be concerning to a consumer such as yourself - like, crimes against humanity by a legitimate government itself (not a rebel group).

Here are the countries that are part of the Kimberley Process: every single diamond producing nation.

So where are the conflict diamonds? Currently, they don't exist according to the Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process leaves the only diamonds that are NOT part of the Kimberley Process as diamonds that have been shipped between borders without a Kimberley Certificate that certifies that they are conflict-free.

Kimberley Certificate

Except every diamond producing country in the world is a conflict-free nation according to the Kimberley Process! In some countries, Kimberley Certificates are very difficult to get because of bureaucracy or cost. Small-scale miners may try to get around this by smuggling their diamonds across borders.

Small scale diamond miner

Once a diamond has crossed a border illegally (though still not a conflict diamond under the definition of the Kimberley Process because they came from non-conflict nations), there is no way to tell where it was mined and could easily be exported from the second country with a Kimberley Certificate to a third country, thereby entering the process. Kimberley Certificates are issued for large parcels of diamonds. Unless someone is keeping track for their own records or for some reason got a Kimberley Certificate for the import of one diamond, there is no way to correlate a single diamond to a Kimberley Certificate. Here's how we've tried to fix the problem so that we are comfortable with the product we sell and calling it responsible:

    1. We source from siteholders only. Siteholders are a few select large diamond distributing companies that were chosen by the DTC (The Diamond Trading Company which owns a series of large-scale mines in South Africa and Botswana) to distribute their diamonds into the market. The siteholders are held up to very high standards in order to maintain their status, and the stones they receive are all directly from the DTC which means that the stones are coming directly from the mines.
    2. The DTC itself is also held up to incredibly high standards in mining, including using modern equipment, only adult labor, following safety precautions, making sure to limit environmental damage, to provide living wages and to give back to the communities surrounding the mines.
    3. We also make sure to adhere to the Kimberley Process, so all of our diamond imports come with a Kimberley Certificate.

Beyond that, there is little we can do to make sure that our diamonds are sourced responsibly aside from pulling them out of the ground ourselves! If you are still concerned, then let us know which stone you are interested in purchasing, and we can show you the exact Kimberley Certificate that the diamond was imported with as we keep records for ourselves.

The Raw Stone Certificate of Authenticity

We hope the explanation above gives you some clarity and understanding of conflict diamonds and how we feel that we go above and beyond the process in order to assure our customers and ourselves that our diamonds are truly conflict-free and responsibly sourced.


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