Exquisite and Ethical Diamond Engagement Rings From Canada
Diamond engagement rings using diamonds mined from Canada’s environmentally and ethically run are becoming very popular.
Conflict free diamonds
When engaged couples start to look at diamond engagement rings, more and more want to know where the diamond has come from, and more importantly, is it conflict free? With growing awareness of how child labour and violence is used in the diamond mining industry, how can the consumer actually find out if the diamonds on sale are ethically mined?
In response to press coverage in 2003 highlighting the murky world of diamond mining, the Kimberly process was launched, and with the co-operation of the diamond industry, certifies diamonds that are not used fund civil wars by rebel leaders. Today 99.9% of diamonds are classified as conflict free.
However, this criteria is actually very narrow and does not take into consideration child labour and other injustices that are still happening in the diamond industry. The effect of this narrow definition of conflict free diamonds effectively blankets the other forms of exploitation that occur on a regular basis around the world.
Time for change
As consumers of diamond engagement rings, we can demand more transparency and clearer criteria in how diamonds are classified as conflict free. Ask the shop for more details about the diamonds that you are considering.
Luckily, there are many ring designers and retailers who are just as concerned, and they source their diamonds from ethically and environmentally run mines. The more that the consumer demands that diamonds are from these types of mines, the more the industry will be forced to act to create better conditions and become more environmentally aware.
With the discovery of volcanic pipes containing diamond deposits in Canada in the early 1990s, and since the first mine opened in 1998, Canada is now the third largest diamond producer in the world. Canadian diamond engagement rings are very popular precisely because most of the diamonds are traceable back to the mine of origin and have a laser-inscribed certificate number and a trade logo, such as a maple leaf, polar bear or the words ‘Ice On Fire’. By the way, these are not visible to the naked eye. Canadian mines are among the world’s most environmentally run, and they employ and train local aborigine people who are in continual discussion with the industry to try to minimise the environmental impact mining will always have.
Diamond engagement rings that have a conflict free Canadian diamond in them will probably cost more than diamonds from other parts of the world, but knowing how the stone was mined and that it does not involve child labour or fund bloody conflict is perhaps a small price to pay. The British Jewellers Association (BJA) and the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) are both calling for more transparency in how diamonds are sold to customers.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick Holm writes for the F&L Designer Guides, which hosts a thriving community of independent engagement ring designers in the UK. Inspired by their search for distinctive, one-of-a-kind diamond engagement rings, F&L now celebrates the works of their favourite designers and helps promote the notion of “Go Bespoke” as a more imaginative and interesting alternative to the limitations of High Street shopping.