Diamonds have long been associated with romance and weddings, yet few can imagine that these beautiful gems could also be linked to violence and war. Conflict diamonds or “blood diamonds,” often mined in regions controlled by forces opposing government and sold for use as war funding, can have violent repercussions when sold for profit to fund military action and what is a blood diamond?
Avoid purchasing conflict diamonds because they fuel abuses and violence. The Kimberley Process works hard to combat this issue by certifying conflict-free diamonds.
Diamonds have long been associated with love, commitment, and beauty. Unfortunately, however, these same stunning gems that symbolize wedding bells and romance can also be associated with danger, violence, war, exploitation, ethical lab grown diamonds and blood diamonds; which are mined from areas controlled by rebel forces who oppose governments or administrations before being sold on the world market as rebel forces conduct rebellion and illegal military actions.
Blood diamonds were historically mined mainly in Africa during 20th and 21st century civil wars that took place in Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia Guinea Bissau and Zimbabwe. While their incidence in world diamond trade has decreased significantly over time, buyers should always remain mindful when purchasing diamonds to ensure that you’re not supporting war or violence through purchases from reputable online jewellers or opting for lab-created diamonds rather than earth mined ones.
How is a blood diamond mined?
When purchasing diamonds, it is crucial that they are conflict-free in order to guarantee that any profits from your purchase won’t fund violent and oppressive regimes around the globe.
Blood diamonds are diamonds mined by forces opposing internationally recognized governments and then sold to finance their military actions. Mining typically uses forced labour – including child labour – while the diamonds may then be smuggled or stolen and sold on the black market.
Unfortunately, some countries have experienced blood diamonds in the past; however, thanks to the Kimberley Process’s implementation, blood diamonds on the market have drastically declined since. While more transparency in the diamond industry would help prevent blood diamonds from entering the market altogether, for now it is wise to purchase certified conflict-free gems only.
What are the risks of buying a blood diamond?
When hearing “blood diamond,” your first thought might be of Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2006 movie of the same name; but blood diamonds are an issue beyond just Hollywood films.
Legal war-fuelled operations run by rebel groups in Angola, Sierra Leone and Liberia often generate profits that go back into funding guerrilla wars.
These diamonds may then either be sold directly to merchants or smuggled into neighbouring countries and combined with legally mined supplies for sale on the open market – this practice is known as conflict diamond trading and was one of the driving forces behind creating the Kimberley Process that works to remove these types of stones from circulation.
But even in countries that are deemed conflict-free, officials can use their control of legitimate diamond operations to enrich themselves or maintain power at the expense of workers who may be subject to abuse and denied basic human rights. Therefore, it’s vital that only conflict-free diamonds be purchased.
What are the benefits of buying a blood diamond?
Diamonds may be celebrated for their purity and beauty, yet they also have a dark history of conflict. Blood diamonds–also known as conflict resources–were mined during war zones to fund violent conflicts against legitimate governments. This illicit trade caused mass atrocities such as violent wars, human rights abuses, and other forms of abuse which cost millions of African citizens their lives in both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Today, the Kimberley Process regulates this industry to prevent sales of blood diamonds; however, rebel militias continue to smuggle and sell these stones in order to purchase weapons and fuel their wars.
Spends his days shovelling and sifting gravel at an artisanal diamond mine in southwest Democratic Republic of Congo to earn enough diamonds to feed his family. Although the work can be exhausting and backaches frequently present themselves, Mwanza says that diamonds give him hope that things may improve for his loved ones in need. “Diamonds give me hope” he states.