Blood Diamonds: How to Avoid Buying Them

There is no doubt that diamonds are beautiful natural treasures, and it’s no surprise that they are embraced as a symbol of love. We can’t blame anyone for being enamored by the fiery sparkle of a diamond! In addition to all the positives about diamonds - their unique beauty and durability - you may also have heard some negatives. You may have heard the terms ‘conflict diamond’ or even ‘blood diamond’.
While the diamond mining industry positively impacts the lives of millions of people worldwide, legitimate concerns have also been raised about environmental, social, and human rights issues related to diamond mining. For example, a conflict or blood diamond is an illegally obtained diamond that is used to finance rebel groups in some African countries in their conflicts against legitimate governments.
Benchmark LCP1 Small Pave Diamond Engagement Ring
Benchmark LCP1 Small Pave Diamond Engagement Ring
It is important to ensure the diamond you intend to buy is conflict-free before you make your purchase. In truth, the majority of diamonds available for sale today are conflict-free diamonds. The United States, along with many other countries, prohibits the sale and trade of conflict diamonds. Some jewelers, however, go the extra mile to ensure diamonds are mined and transported ethically.
The diamond community has several ways to ensure it's not contributing to the darker aspects of diamonds, and one of the most important is to ensure a diamond is not a blood diamond, instead, it is conflict-free. But with certifications, the 4cs,and everything else you need to consider - what should you look for?

What Is a Blood Diamond?

First, a quick insight into what a blood diamond is. In accordance with United Nations (UN) definitions, blood diamonds are diamonds that are mined in areas controlled by groups that oppose the recognized government.
A blood diamond has also been referred to as a war diamond, a conflict diamond, a red diamond, or a hot diamond. Purchasing a conflict-free diamond means that it has been brought to market through legitimate channels benefiting local communities and is not involved in supporting conflict.

Buy Natural Diamonds New

Vatche U-113 6-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Vatche U-113 6-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
It is always best to purchase a new diamond instead of a pre-owned stone if you want to be sure your diamond is conflict-free. How come? Countries around the world today take great measures to prevent the sale of blood diamonds. To ensure that diamonds aren't sold to fund wars or terrorism, many countries, including the U.S., closely monitor diamonds and their origins from the moment they are mined until they end up in a retailer's inventory.
This process is known as the Kimberley Process, which we’ll delve into below, and it has prevented 99.8% of blood diamond trade worldwide. The Kimberley Process has been in operation since the year 2000 - prior to this, countries had no fully effective way of preventing blood diamonds from entering the market.
Thus, any diamond that entered the country before 2000 could potentially be a blood diamond. Even so, the percentage of conflict diamonds in the market was always very small. The vast majority of diamonds come from ‘big dig’ operations that are tightly controlled and secure. Conflict diamonds were a problem confined to artisanal mining; a form of diamond mining that is essentially done by individual miners who, using crude tools, simply scratch the surface of gem-bearing river beds collecting individual stones that have eroded out of nearby rock. Because these areas are wide open and not secured, rebel groups have the opportunity to appropriate them by force.
The result is that there is no guarantee that an older diamond is conflict-free. Our recommendation for those wanting a conflict-free jewelry collection with that desirable retro vibe, choose vintage-inspired pieces or have a new diamond set in a vintage setting. Buying socially responsible diamonds does not mean sacrificing style.

Committed to Kimberley Process

KPG logo
A diamond company must first make a firm commitment to avoid any diamond that doesn't come from legitimate sources. The Kimberley Process ensures that the benefits of ethical diamond mining are shared by everyone.
Kimberley is the city where representatives of southern African diamond-producing countries met in 2000 to address the threat that gems were being mined illegally and smuggled into legitimate channels, leading to the creation of the Kimberley Process.
Since then, members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) have committed to irradicating the funding of violent movements against legitimate and established governments through the sale of diamonds obtained illegally.
Blood diamonds can be avoided by buying from a retailer who guarantees their diamonds are fully KPCS compliant. The KPCS is made up of diamond mining countries, human rights organizations, and private companies working together to address this problem.
This responsibility is taken seriously by Whiteflash, which only deals in conflict-free diamonds sourced from legitimate sources.
In our quest do our part to stop the trade in conflict diamonds, we only purchase from suppliers who abide by the Kimberley Process and who support United Nations Resolutions banning the trade in conflict diamonds.
Kimberley Process' efforts are greatly appreciated by Whiteflash and socially responsible companies around the world.

Consider Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds are another great way to ensure you buy a conflict-free diamond. In addition to looking just like natural loose diamonds, lab diamonds are inherently conflict-free because they are grown in carefully controlled factories rather than mined.
With more consumers becoming familiar with lab grown diamonds, the demand has grown significantly. Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds that have the same chemical and physical properties as natural Earth-mined diamonds. They are equally as beautiful and durable as natural diamonds when cut well.
Better yet, lab grown diamonds are accessible for just about any budget. Unlike natural diamonds, which are found only in a few places on Earth and are difficult to recover and market, lab created diamonds are now being manufactured in dozens of laboratories. With rapidly improving technology, it’s getting easier and more affordable to produce more lab diamonds every year.
A small, carefully vetted inventory of lab-grown diamonds is currently available at Whiteflash to accommodate customers looking for quality lab-created diamonds.
We stock lab diamonds with proven light performance in keeping with our expertise in cut quality and our reputation for diamonds with optimized light performance. The lab diamonds we offer are Certified Hearts and Arrows Ideal Cut diamonds and are on the high end of the color and clarity scale (DEFG color VVS1 - VS1).
The availability of these lab grown diamonds is subject to prior sale, so please contact us to confirm. We can assist if you require anything that is not listed below. On request, we can provide a wide range of lab-created diamonds.

Choose an Ethical Jeweler

Whiteflash Houston Jewelry Store
To create a fairer, more ethical market for beautiful jewelry, suppliers and jewelers must ensure that conflict-free diamonds are scrupulously sourced. When it comes to ensuring your jeweler is ethical, how can you do your due diligence? Here are some ways you can do your research.

Ask Questions

When actively searching for the perfect diamond, feel free to ask any questions you might have regarding the diamond source at each retailer.
It shouldn't be a problem for retailers to explain where their diamonds come from (exceptions being vintage and estate jewelry).
Most importantly, diamonds purchased from conflict-free retailers must be backed by a written policy.

Find Out About Certification & Warranties

It's important to be cautious and informed when shopping to avoid purchasing a blood diamond. Additionally, you should inquire about the diamond's certification. A reputable diamond retailer will have each diamond examined and certified by a gemological laboratory, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI).
A certified diamond will have a report containing details about the cut, color, clarity, and carat. Make sure the laboratory report matches the diamond you are looking at. In simple terms, you cannot know a diamond's quality or authenticity without a diamond certificate.
Many retailers will guarantee that diamonds are conflict-free by offering a warranty. Blood diamonds do not look differently than other diamonds, but you can ease any concerns you may have by having this information on hand.
If you’re not quite sure and would like some guidance, our expert diamond consultants would be happy to advise you on making ethical diamond purchasing decisions.

Do They Go Beyond Compliance?

Ethical diamond sourcing will ensure consumers everywhere can enjoy the beauty of these remarkable gems for a long time to come, as well as give back to those who first mined them.
If you are seeking exquisite pieces free from conflict, you might consider jewelers who go beyond the bare minimum requirements.
Beyond working only with legitimately sourced diamonds, buying from suppliers who have both pledged to operate in the strictest compliance with the Kimberley Process and support United Nations Resolutions prohibiting the trade in conflict diamonds - we at Whiteflash are proud to contribute to several initiatives that help eliminate conflict diamonds and human rights abuses in the diamond market:
  • As a member of the United Nations Global Compact, which aims to ensure businesses adopt socially responsible practices, we align our activities with ten universally accepted principles regarding labor, anti-corruption, human rights, and environment.
  • Additionally, we belong to the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), which helps small-scale mining communities benefit from their endeavors. As part of its targeted support for these communities, the DDI returns a fair portion of the profits to fund health and education, as well as business and community development.
  • Whiteflash created a special collection of themed jewelry called Dreams of Africa in honor of the people where the majority of diamonds are mined. Jewelers for Children, the chosen charity of the American Gem Society, receives all profits from sales of this line.
Integrity, accountability, diversity, and inclusion are our core values. The process of turning a diamond into a beautiful piece of jewelry is something we understand very well. As a result, we know how many people are needed to accomplish this. It is their right to be protected and credited in equal measure.
We strive to make a positive impact on the world. Our mission goes beyond making and keeping customers. More than just offering high-quality products and services. A healthy work environment and good jobs aren't all we can offer. For us, contributing to the health and well-being of our neighbors and our planet is equally important.

Be Inspired By Our Designer Engagement Rings

Find the perfect Designer Ring for your special diamond by clicking the links below, and let us build the ultimate ring for the love of your life!