Friday, July 20, 2012

Ethical, Conflict & Cruelty-Free Diamonds

I got married recently!!! I have to say I knew he was the one for me when I saw his compost bin. We are a perfect match. So, of course, when he decided to propose he went looking for an ethical diamond for the engagement ring.

I had no idea what he was up to and was totally surprised when he handed me a wood box that said Brilliant Earth on it and asked me to be his wife.

Ethical or cruelty free diamonds are guaranteed to originate from ethical and environmentally responsible sources. "The global trade in "conflict" or "blood" diamonds is a supply and demand problem: If every consumer demanded a certified conflict-free diamond, then companies would be forced to supply only certified conflict-free diamonds. The result? The market for non-certified "conflict" or "blood" diamonds would cease to exist" says The Conflict-Free Council. The objective of this council is to provide the consumer with all the information necessary to purchase conflict-free diamonds. Although some companies, governments, and international organizations have made progress, we ultimately decide with our purchases and we vote with what we buy.

 A blood diamond (also called a conflict diamond, converted diamond, hot diamond, or war diamond) is a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, a warlord's activity, or invading army's war efforts. The Conflict-Free Diamond Council states that "Diamonds have a long, documented history of fueling civil wars, particularly in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The human loss and suffering are unimaginable." Their site offers statistics to provide some perspective.

Brilliant Earth has been the industry leader in certified conflict-free diamonds and is the one retailer that The Conflict-free Diamond Council fully and confidently recommends. Their diamonds are mined in Canada according to strict environmental laws taking into consideration the fragile and unique wildlife, water, and fish habitats of the region. Their mine in the Northwest Territory of Diavik operates on a two week schedule that maintains the health and safety of their employees. Employee salaries are said to be above average and they are provided with medical and vacation benefits. The Diavik Mine also invests in the local community supporting education, literacy, health, and safety programs for residents.

Another wonderful option is estate jewelry. There is a huge selection of antique and  vintage rings available now. I love the timeless quality that can be found in a ring like this. Perhaps even a family member is willing to pass down an unused, but much loved ring. I am actually wearing my mom's wedding band. My parents have been married for over forty years and going strong. They purchased matching bands years ago and offered me their original. This ring is packed with some good energy and I am honored to wear it...and so happy I found the perfect man to wear it for!

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