Why Change is Coming to the Diamond Industry

by Brilliant Earth
(San Francisco, CA)

*Courtesy of DDI

*Courtesy of DDI

At Brilliant Earth, we think that significant change to the diamond industry is inevitable.

That’s because even as the diamond industry has sought to counter the perception that serious ethical problems exist in the diamond supply, the idea that diamonds should be ethically-mined has only become more and more accepted.

All the focus on conflict diamonds has confused and distracted some consumers, but it’s also resulted in more overall awareness that something is wrong in the diamond industry and that ethical conditions need to improve. The diamond industry can only stall for so long before the public demands higher standards.

At Brilliant Earth, we consider it part of our mission to hasten the day when that happens. We do this by educating consumers about continuing violence and ethical abuses in the diamond trade. We also continually push the Kimberley Process and the diamond industry to take greater responsibility and be more honest with consumers.

We believe that the Kimberley Process, at minimum, needs to explain on its web site and in its communications that a “conflict free” diamond is not necessarily an ethical diamond. The diamond industry, in the very least, should stop promoting the deceptive claim that the diamond supply is 99% conflict free.

Even higher on our wish list would be for the diamond industry to devote significant resources and expertise to a solution that could make a major difference in the lives of artisanal diamond diggers: a fair trade diamond certification system. Although the major mining companies don’t decide labor and environmental standards in artisanal diamond mining, the diamond industry does buy up artisanally-mined diamonds and profit from them. It bears some of the responsibility for improving conditions.

As we continue to shape the dialogue, we believe it is also important to accomplish change directly. We give back to communities that have been harmed by the diamond trade, and we have funded pilot projects that will make fair trade diamonds a reality.

Consumers and diamond miners alike eventually will get what they all deserve: a diamond trade that is ethical, fully transparent, and beneficial to everyone involved.

More on this topic: http://www.brilliantearth.com/blood-diamond/

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Oct 17, 2015
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