What Is a Conflict-Free Diamond?
In it’s purest sense, “Conflict-free” means a diamond that isn’t used to fund conflict – think wars, terrorism and rebel movements. Conflict-free diamonds are certified through the Kimberley Process, a certification process developed by the diamond industry to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds. Most diamonds available today are Kimberley Process certified, and by this definition, would be considered conflict-free.
While the Kimberley Process is a good start, it’s often criticized for not being stringent enough. It was created in 2003 and hasn’t been updated with a modern geopolitical assessment – there are conflicts all over the world today that weren’t happening when the Kimberley Process was created. Take Russia for example – many Jewelers are still claiming Russian diamonds are conflict-free even in the midst of a war. Truly ethical Jewelers will use the Kimberley Process as a starting point and keep asking questions from there.
Keep in mind, conflict-free diamonds don’t take into account the social or environmental side of truly ethical sourcing. Take oceanic mining for example – while it’s considered conflict-free because it’s not involved in wars or terrorism, it’s also incredibly damaging to the ocean and cannot be considered an ethical choice.