From Mine to Mount – Buying and Ethical Diamond

Ethical rough diamonds

What is an ethically sourced diamond?

100% ethically sourced diamonds stand apart from most diamonds bought and sold each day across the World.

It is important to be able to track the origin of raw materials. It has been questioned that if we can follow the journey of a coffee bean, or banana, then why can’t we do this for precious metals and gemstones?

With the introduction of Fairtrade Gold, engagement rings can now be made from fully traceable and 100% ethical precious metals. Naturally, a traceable diamond makes enormous sense. We commented previously that most buyers obsess about colour, clarity, cut and carat weight, but why not origin?

In addition to a detailed paper report detailing attributes for diamonds (see certification of diamonds) ethical diamonds include very specific assurances for buyers. These assurances relate to the origin and journey of the diamond and to the welfare of individuals within the supply chain. These workers range from the miners and their families to the men and women responsible for cutting the diamonds.

Most ethical diamonds include a brand name which represents the diamond, its chain of custody and the promise of strict corporate social responsibility from the company responsible for setting out the chain of custody. Examples include the brands CanadaMark and Forevermark. CanadaMark is owned by Dominion Diamond Mines, and Forevermark is a part of the DeBeers Group. Many of the World’s most prestigious jewellers work with ethical sourcing, including the World famous jewellers Tiffany & Co.

Ethical diamonds search

Characteristics of an ethical diamond

An ethical diamond should include information about where the stone came out of the ground. Ethical diamonds are sourced, from specific mines with a positive impact on the people, community and country where they are located. Many of the indigenous people benefit from employment and improved living conditions. Furthermore, environmental projects ensure the protection and regeneration of areas surrounding the mine. An ethical diamond goes far beyond the ‘conflict-free’ credentials provided by most jewellers.

How are diamonds traced?

A diamond can be traced by assigning a unique code to each mined rough diamond. CanadaMark diamonds are tracked through an independently audited system that follows the diamond on its journey to the cutter. Approved diamond cutters polish the final diamond and the serial number is applied to the polished stone. Information associated with the serial number enables the mine of origin and rough diamond weight to be recalled by the buyer.

When buying an ethical diamond, ensure that the diamond is accompanied by all of the relevant documentation. CanadaMark diamonds, for example, not only have the serial number engraved on the diamond itself, but a small card accompanies the diamond, detailing the mine of origin and the original rough diamond weight.

Are ethical diamonds more expensive?

Ethical diamonds follow similar pricing to other polished diamonds. There may be a small premium, but the price will usually be decided upon by the seller.

Once a system has been introduced to track diamonds from the mine, many of the additional processes are largely the same as other polished diamonds. There may be additional time constraints to apply the serial number to the diamond, but the cost will typically be dictated by the attributes of the diamond—the 4 C’s representing colour, clarity, carat weight and cut.

Before buying an ethical diamond.

There are various considerations to keep in mind before buying an ethical diamond. Firstly consider the shape, carat weight, colour and clarity based on your own preferences. Any such preferences will almost certainly be linked to your budget. When we receive a request for a traceable/ethical diamond, we look at the availability of similar diamonds which come with the additional assurance of origin. Most of these diamonds include regular GIA certification in addition to the origin and rough diamond weight. Please remember that there are far less traceable diamonds in circulation than other, non-traceable diamonds. We always advise a flexible approach to consider a range of options for your diamond. This will broaden the number of diamonds falling into your search criteria.

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.

Small Ethical Diamonds Available for Purchase

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website. Anyone interested can connect with Mark on Linkedin via the profile link.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website. Anyone interested can connect with Mark on Linkedin via the profile link.