A guide to buying a truly ethical diamond.
Most people purchasing a diamond engagement ring benefit from conflict free diamond assurances given by their retailer. Most diamonds are sourced from rough diamond supplies regulated by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. This scheme sets out strict requirements to ensure diamonds have not been used to fund warfare in the displacement of legitimate governments by rebel forces. It does not, however, assure a buyer that they are purchasing a completely ethical diamond.
Many agree that the Kimberley Process does not delve into humanitarian issues. Legitimate governments have, within recent times, been responsible the abuse of human rights. The diamond industry will always come under scrutiny owing to the emotional value of diamond engagement rings.
What makes a diamond 100% ethically sourced.
In our opinion to be a 100% ethical diamond it needs to be traced from the mine to the polished stone within an independently audited system. There should be standards in place to apply to the workforce, surrounding community and environment around the mines. Assurances and evidence are passed along to the buyer when they purchase their engagement ring.
Forevermark or Canadamark?
Most ethical diamonds follow an audited trail from their source. They are branded with specific names. Both Forevermark and Canadamark are two of the big names associated with ethical standards. They give buyers greater assurance. They go much further than the standard ‘conflict free’ assurances that many retailers provide.
We decided upon Canadamark specifically because it is one of the only systems to trace the rough diamond from the mine to the polished diamond with a strict set of standards, all of which can be independently verified with a system for coding each diamond from the original rough to the final polished diamond.
Forevermark by comparison polishes rough diamonds from an aggregate of diamonds, without any indication of the mine of origin for each stone. When our clients request a diamond with 100% ethical credentials, we take pride in providing information on the provenance of that specific diamond and its associated rough.
Showing the Canadamark serial number laser etched on the diamond
Certification for ethical diamonds.
All of our fully traceable diamonds benefit from being certified by the Gemological Institute of America. The polished rough tends to possess exceptional lustre and most of our own stock achieves excellent for cut, polish and symmetry.
A greater meaning for engagement rings – diamond origin.
An engagement ring is perhaps the most emotional purchase—one of the most meaningful items that a person can wear. Few buyers purchase an engagement ring without due consideration for many details. Sadly, few people touch upon the origin of their diamond, missing the opportunity to know that their diamond was sourced in the most responsible way possible.
Are pre-owned diamonds 100% ethical?
It is sometimes suggested that a re-cycled / pre-owned diamond makes greater sense for ethical sourcing—but the original journey of that diamond will usually remain unknown.
What about laboratory grown ‘man-made’ diamonds.
Others might suggest laboratory grown diamonds carry greater ethical credentials, but few people draw attention to the energy consumption used in the manufacture of a man-made diamond. Natural diamonds were created by the Earth’s own forces. Man merely concentrates an evolved process of cutting and faceting to reveal the true beauty and optical properties of a diamond.
The future of ethical diamonds.
Our industry is still a long way from assuring every buyer of the origin of their diamond. A growing number of diamond producers understand the importance of provenance and new systems are being developed to ensure traceability from the mine to the engagement ring. Organisations such as De Beers who store a surplus of rough diamonds concentrate on their corporate social responsibilities, realising the impossible task of applying origin to each and every diamond. Such organisations are setting new standards for the industry as a whole. Positive change is coming, albeit slowly, but for today’s buyer there are many opportunities to ensure their purchase goes far beyond conflict free.
Where to buy ethical small diamonds
If you are interested in purchasing smaller ethical diamonds, we have specially sealed CanadaMark parcels available in limited supply. Smaller diamonds below 0.25 carats do not include a CanadaMark card, but are sealed and 100% fully traceable and available to purchase. View some of the limited stock parcels available for immediate delivery.