Ethical Diamonds

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Looking at a beautiful sparkling diamond set in an exquisite piece of jewellery, it is very easy to forget where it came from.  Diamonds are either mined in deep mines or found in river beds in locations scattered all over the world.  Some of these locations have been torn apart by conflict or have a reputation for having human rights as a low priority.  That means some diamonds come to us as a result of violence, exploitation, child labour and environmental abuse.  Thankfully, most don’t and it’s easier than ever to choose ethically sourced diamonds.

Blood Diamonds

Mostly thanks to a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, lots of us are aware that there are such things as ‘blood diamonds’.  These are diamonds minded and sold in conflict-torn areas such as Angola, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau where insurgents, warlords and invading armies use the proceeds of the sale of these diamonds to fund their violence.  In 2000, the World Diamond Congress set up a system to certify diamonds as ‘non-conflict diamonds’ to try to stop the trade in ‘blood diamonds’.  It was called the Kimberly Process and it made things harder for the criminals which, in turn, lead to a rise in legal diamond trading from poorer countries and greater awareness from rich countries as to where their diamonds were coming from.

Other Problems with Diamond Mining

‘Conflict diamonds’ aren’t the only diamonds which are problematic though.  The conditions for workers in some diamond mines are so poor that they are regularly exposed to serious danger, with many killed, and conditions that are very detrimental to health.  Some countries even use child labour to work in diamond mines with children as young as five forced to do hard dangerous work.  In addition, extracting diamonds from riverbeds can be very hazardous to the environment as it can cause soil erosion which can lead to all sorts of problems with agriculture as well as flooding and deforestation.  Poor practices in diamond mining can also lead to water pollution.

How We Source Ethical Diamonds

At James Ross Jewellers, we absolutely do not want to add to the demand for unethically sourced diamonds.  That’s why we only source diamonds from ethical sources.  All the diamonds we buy are verified through the Kimberly Process to ensure they are ‘conflict-free’.  Another way we source diamonds that doesn’t add to the demand for mined diamonds at all, is to use recycled diamonds.  Because we regularly buy unwanted jewellery, we often use the materials to make new jewellery so we have a good supply of used diamonds to choose from.  In fact, sometimes a certain diamond will inspire us to create a special piece of jewellery for it.

Because we always do whatever we can to cater for our customers’ needs, we will gladly talk to you about where we source our diamonds and if you would prefer a recycled diamond, please just speak to us about it and we will source one for you.  To speak to us about diamonds or any other jewellery related matters, please call 01273 289 037 or email

Ethical Diamonds was last modified: March 18th, 2019 by Admin