Beyond the 4Cs: The Importance of Ethical Sourcing in the Diamond Industry

When shopping for fine diamond jewelry, an important term to understand is ethically sourced diamonds. It is well known that diamond mining positively impacts the lives of millions of people worldwide, but it has also been associated with legitimate concerns regarding the environment, social issues, and human rights issues.
Prior to making your purchase, it is important to ensure that the diamond was ethically sourced. Today, most diamonds available for sale are ethically sourced or conflict-free.
A. Jaffe ME2053Q Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
A. Jaffe ME2053Q Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
Several countries, including the United States, prohibit the sale and trade of unethically sourced diamonds. There are, however, some jewelers who go above and beyond to ensure that diamonds are mined and brought to market ethically.
As the jewelry industry becomes more environmentally and socially sustainable, jewelers (like Whiteflash), suppliers, and organizations are championing transparency and responsible supply chains.
One of the most important steps the diamond community can take is to ensure a diamond is ethically sourced. With certifications, the 4Cs, and everything else that needs to be considered - what should you look for beyond that? Here is a breakdown of why ethical sourcing is critical to the diamond industry.

What Is an Ethically Sourced Diamond?

An ethically sourced diamond comes from a mine that complies with environmental and labor regulations. It means that there is no child labor, no forced labor, safe working conditions, and no violence financed through diamond sales.
A blood diamond, In accordance with United Nations (UN) definitions for instance, is an illegally obtained diamond used to finance rebel groups in some African countries that are opposing established governments.
A blood diamond has also been referred to as a conflict 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.
There is a deep heritage embedded within every diamond. You don't get a chance to wear a gem with millions of years of history on your body every day. Keeping the origins of every diamond we handle and sourcing it ethically and humanely is fundamental to our moral code at Whiteflash.

What to Look For: Commitment to Kimberley Process

Diamond companies must establish a firm commitment to avoid diamonds derived from illegal sources. All parties benefit from ethical diamond mining through the Kimberley Process - it has prevented 99.8% of conflict diamond trade worldwide.
An international conference in Kimberley, South Africa, was held in 2000 to address the threat of illegal mining and the smuggling of gems into legitimate channels, leading to the creation of the indispensable Kimberley Process.
Since then, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) has committed itself to ensure diamonds obtained illegally no longer fund movements that threaten legitimate and established governments.
Choosing a retailer that guarantees that their diamonds are KPCS compliant is a good way to avoid buying blood diamonds. The KPCS is a collaboration between diamond mining countries, human rights organizations, and private companies.
In order to fulfill our responsibilities, Whiteflash deals exclusively with conflict-free diamonds - and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
As part of our efforts to stop the trade in conflict diamonds, we purchase only from suppliers who adhere to the Kimberley Process and support UN Resolutions banning the trading of illegitimate diamonds. A number of socially responsible organizations, including Whiteflash, are very grateful to the Kimberley Process for its initiatives.

Ethical Sourcing: What Diamonds Should I Consider?

The importance of ethical sourcing in the diamond industry cannot be overstated. To fully eliminate the problem we all have a responsibility to do our part. Even .2% of diamonds associated with conflict is unacceptable and requires all of us to be constantly vigilant.
Whiteflash is one of many jewelers committed to the social responsibility in the diamond trade, which makes the process of purchasing diamonds a guilt-free and exciting experience. The following are our best tips for purchasing diamonds that are ethically sourced.

1. Purchase Natural Diamonds New

Cadence Diamond Engagement Ring
Cadence Diamond Engagement Ring
The best way to ensure your diamond is conflict-free is to purchase a new diamond rather than one that has been previously owned.
Why is that so? Today, many countries take great measures to prevent the sale of blood diamonds, and the problem has largely been resolved. It is important for many countries, including the U.S., to closely monitor diamonds and their origins from the moment they are mined until they end up in the hands of retailers.
Prior to the Kimberley Process, countries had limited tools for preventing the sale of blood diamonds. In spite of this, human rights issues of this kind have always been limited to a very small percentage of diamonds on the market, originating primarily in wide open artisanal mining areas. But the vast majority of all diamonds come from large mining operations that are tightly controlled and secure.
Conflict diamonds was a problem that mainly affected artisanal diamond mining; this method involves individual miners scratching riverbeds for gems that have eroded out of nearby rocks with crude tools. Due to their easy access and lack of security, rebel groups were able to appropriate these areas.
For those seeking conflict-free jewelry with a retro feel, choose pieces inspired by vintage-inspired designs or have a new stone set in an antique setting.
Our firm belief is that buying socially responsible diamonds does not mean sacrificing style.

2. Consider Lab-Grown Diamonds

Another way to ensure that you buy a conflict-free diamond is to purchase lab-grown diamonds. As lab diamonds are grown rather than mined, they are intrinsically conflict-free in addition to looking just like natural loose diamonds.
Lab grown diamonds are becoming more and more popular among consumers, which has led to a rise in their demand. The physical and chemical properties of lab-grown diamonds are essentially the same as those of natural earth-mined diamonds. A well-cut synthetic diamond is equally attractive and durable as a natural diamond.
Moreover, lab grown diamonds are affordable for almost anyone. Whiteflash offers great selection of of lab-grown diamonds for customers seeking quality lab-created gemstones, including our best-in-class Precision Lab brand
In keeping with our expertise in cut quality and reputation for diamonds with optimal light performance, we stock lab diamonds with proven light performance. Certified Hearts and Arrows Ideal Cut diamonds are on the high end of the color and clarity scale (DEFG color VVS1 - VS1). In addition to these top quality rounds, we are also stocking a wide variety of fancy shape lab diamonds.

A Guide to Ethical Jewelers

Whiteflash Showroom
Suppliers and jewelers need to ensure that their diamonds are conflict-free diamonds and responsibly sourced in order to achieve a fairer and more ethical jewelry market. It's important to us that you are satisfied with not only your purchase, but the choices you make, so Whiteflash wants to make things easier for you.
As a company, we only source loose diamonds and jewelry from legitimate sources and adhere to the highest humanitarian standards. Through your choices, you can directly contribute to improving the lives of people throughout our supply chain.
What can you do to make sure your jeweler is ethical? Listed below are a few ways you can do your research.

Ask The Right Questions

It is always a good idea to ask the retailer about the diamond source when searching for the perfect diamond.
Generally, retailers don't have a problem explaining where their diamonds come from (with the exception of vintage and estate jewelry). An official policy must accompany diamonds purchased from conflict-free retailers or be clearly published.
If you’re unsure what else you should be asking, we have a wealth of advice and expertise on our blog to get you started.

Get the Right Certifications & Warranties

To avoid purchasing a blood diamond, shoppers need to be vigilant and informed.
A diamond certification is the first step. Every diamond purchased from a reputable retailer will be examined and certified by a gemological laboratory, like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
The quality or authenticity of a diamond cannot be determined without a diamond certificate. There are several details about a certified diamond in a report, including the cut, color, clarity, and carat. If you are looking at a diamond, make sure the laboratory report corresponds to it.
Diamonds are often guaranteed conflict-free by retailers through warranties. By having this information on hand, you can ease any concerns you might have about blood diamonds.
Our expert diamond consultants are happy to advise you if you're not sure and would like some guidance on making ethical diamond purchases.

What Does The Jeweler Do Beyond Compliance?

By sourcing diamonds ethically, consumers will be able to enjoy the beauty of these amazing gems for decades to come, and at the same time help support the miners.
Look for jewelers who go above and beyond the minimum requirements if you're looking for exquisite pieces that have been ethically sourced at every step.
Working with legitimate suppliers who operate in strict compliance with the Kimberley Process and support United Nations resolutions prohibiting the trade in conflict diamonds is another way to ensure that you can only purchase legitimately sourced diamonds.
The Whiteflash team is proud to contribute to a number of initiatives aimed at eliminating conflict diamonds from the diamond market, including:
  • In association with the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary organization that encourages businesses to adopt socially responsible practices, we align our operations with ten universally accepted principles in the fields of labor, anti-corruption, human rights, and the environment.
  • As part of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), we help small-scale mining communities to benefit from their endeavors. Through its targeted support for these communities, the DDI returns a fair portion of profits to fund health and education, as well as business and community development.
  • A special collection of jewelry called Dreams of Africa has been created by Whiteflash in honor of the region where most diamonds are mined. All profits from the sales of this line go to Jewelers for Children, the charity chosen by the American Gem Society.
Whiteflash values integrity, accountability, diversity, and inclusion. We understand the process of transforming a diamond into a beautiful piece of jewelry. This means that we know how many people are needed to accomplish this feat. They are entitled to equal protection and credit.
Making a positive influence on the world is what we strive for. We are committed to more than just making and keeping customers and more than just providing high-quality services and products. It's not enough to offer a healthy work environment and good jobs. We believe it is equally important to contribute to the health and well-being of our neighbors and our planet.

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