What Does Ethically-Sourced Actually Mean?

Written by
Alyssa Webb
Published on
September 20, 2023 at 12:48:52 PM PDT September 20, 2023 at 12:48:52 PM PDTth, September 20, 2023 at 12:48:52 PM PDT

More often than not, purchasing fine jewelry can be an incredibly personal process. It connects so closely to our personal life, our memories, and our loved ones, that we tend to be more conscientious when deciding to buy diamonds or other jewelry. If you’re shopping for diamonds or other fine jewelry, it’s important to learn about ‘blood diamonds’ or ‘conflict diamonds’. Here are some important things to consider:

What are blood diamonds?

Diamonds that are illegally sold to fund civil war and terrorism are known as ‘blood diamonds’ or ‘conflict diamonds’. These are usually sourced from war-torn countries in parts of Africa but may end up anywhere in the world due to illegal trading. The 2006 movie Blood Diamond raised mass consumer awareness of the issues concerning conflict diamonds. Since then, many couples have taken into account the question of ethical diamond sourcing before purchasing an engagement ring.

What is the difference between conflict-free diamonds and ethically-sourced diamonds?

Conflict-free means the diamonds have not been used to finance wars and terrorism. Ethically-sourced diamonds take it one step further. This refers to a production that ensured safe working conditions, and sound environmental practices, gave fair pay, and had no human rights abuses, child labor, or violence.

What is The Kimberley Process?

The Kimberley Process was implemented by South African diamond-producing member states with the goal of ensuring conflict diamonds aren’t globally traded and that diamond purchases don’t fund violence and terrorism.

During every stage of trading, from the miners to wholesalers, to diamond cutters, and to retailers, each trader should certify that the diamond complies with the Kimberley Process. It is crucial to ask and ensure that your jeweler supports the process.

Why is ethics important when buying fine jewelry?

Each piece of jewelry is often charged with emotion. We are gifted it on special occasions, usually by someone close to our heart, or we might give it to ourselves as a well-deserved treat. A treasured piece will be worn and loved for an extended period of time and to truly feel good about it, knowing it was ethically-sourced is key. It shows that you care about the environment and the people who helped create your jewelry. Most importantly, it empowers you and proves that your choices made a difference.

When you choose to shop Washington Diamond, know that you're choosing an Ethically-Sourced Jeweler. We are part of a network of conscious jewelers committed to using ethically and sustainably-sourced materials.