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happydreams

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
321
I wanted to open up a discussion about "blood free" diamonds. We talk a lot about what shapes we want and other stuff (which is tons of fun), but I figured I''d bring up a more serious topic and see how people feel about it. I don''t know how many of you saw that movie "blood diamond", but I saw some of it and thought it sent out a pretty important message about what really happens behind the scenes. That shiny thing may be bringing misery to thousands!
My friend who recently got married (I asked for opinions about how much I should give as a gift) has a canadian diamond and she was really proud of it.
Meaning, she was proud of the fact that it didn''t compromise her values. (she is very concious of issues like that)
 

adhesive

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
177
Check out this thread:
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/how-do-i-avoid-blood-diamonds.25038/

or just search the forums for "blood diamonds". There are many interesting discussions already open about this. I''ve learned A LOT reading through them, as I have also been thinking about this lately.
 

Rock_of_Love

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
1,274
Oh what a topic! My thoughts have always been that there is "blood" surrounding ANYTHING of value...gold, land, oil, furs (pelts back in the day), designer handbags!, various food delicacies (those illegal and legal), and so on...SO, what are we to do??

I''m sure anyone who may be "high and mighty" about not having a "blood diamond" (not saying your friend is), probably has other contradictions going on. Do they wear leather shoes made from the skin of animals? Do they eat meat? Do they drive SUVs or other gas guzzlers? Do they recycle (ALL THE TIME)? I''m sure I could think of better examples, but it is getting late here...sorry if I sound like I am equating eating meat to genocide and diamond wars.

Anyway, you get it...there''s my 2 cents...
 

Nomsdeplume

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
1,671
Living in Africa, I''m constantly reminded of the price some have had to pay. (Hands, feet, lives, relatives, virginity, dignity...the list goes on)
Diamonds fund so many of the wars and the corruption here because they are easy to transfer without attracting too much attention (as opposed to large amounts being transferred to bank accounts). It''s sad and the main reason why I don''t want a single diamond in any of the jewelry I get.
For the record I don''t think I''m much of a hypocrite in other areas. I''m a Greenpeace volunteer, PETA supporter, environmental lawyer and vegetarian, but this issue really strikes a cord with me because it''s so close to home.
 

KatM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
218
Date: 4/14/2009 12:04:52 AM
Author: Rock_of_Love
Oh what a topic! My thoughts have always been that there is ''blood'' surrounding ANYTHING of value...gold, land, oil, furs (pelts back in the day), designer handbags!, various food delicacies (those illegal and legal), and so on...SO, what are we to do??

I''m sure anyone who may be ''high and mighty'' about not having a ''blood diamond'' (not saying your friend is), probably has other contradictions going on. Do they wear leather shoes made from the skin of animals? Do they eat meat? Do they drive SUVs or other gas guzzlers? Do they recycle (ALL THE TIME)? I''m sure I could think of better examples, but it is getting late here...sorry if I sound like I am equating eating meat to genocide and diamond wars.

Anyway, you get it...there''s my 2 cents...
so if you aren''t able to kill yourself to be an advocate for every single cause, then it isn''t worth having a cause at all?
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
Date: 4/14/2009 2:07:44 PM
Author: KatM
Date: 4/14/2009 12:04:52 AM

Author: Rock_of_Love

Oh what a topic! My thoughts have always been that there is 'blood' surrounding ANYTHING of value...gold, land, oil, furs (pelts back in the day), designer handbags!, various food delicacies (those illegal and legal), and so on...SO, what are we to do??


I'm sure anyone who may be 'high and mighty' about not having a 'blood diamond' (not saying your friend is), probably has other contradictions going on. Do they wear leather shoes made from the skin of animals? Do they eat meat? Do they drive SUVs or other gas guzzlers? Do they recycle (ALL THE TIME)? I'm sure I could think of better examples, but it is getting late here...sorry if I sound like I am equating eating meat to genocide and diamond wars.


Anyway, you get it...there's my 2 cents...
so if you aren't able to kill yourself to be an advocate for every single cause, then it isn't worth having a cause at all?
No, but I can see the point. So many people get wrapped up in one issue because of a movie or a celebrity, and completely ignore the other, inconvenient (to them) ways to help the world. So they feel all good about themselves for not buying a diamond (which the average person doesn't do *that* often) but turn a blind eye to things that would possibly disrupt their day-to-day life, but help the world a little more.
 

KatM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
218
^^yes but that doesn''t make the original issue any less meaningful or worthwhile. A lot of people might argue that it doesn''t matter if someone is influenced by a celebrity, if in the end they are doing something. And who cares if they are self-righteous about having a cause? It''s annoying, for sure, but it''s no reason to knock them down.

Too many people are apathetic, tbh, and a celebrity inspired cause is better than no cause at all.
 

mousey

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
420
I don t see why you have to be an environmentalist or a vegetarian to be concerned with blood diamonds. If, in trying to work out what your obligations are to others (which is something we do reason about), you are concerned with the suffering of persons, and you decide that the suffering caused by a certain action (in this case buying diamonds) is unconscionable, then so be it... What has this got to do with animals or the environment? Is it ''suffering''? so, if you are concerned with the suffering of a person you have to be concerned with the suffering of all beings (animal and planet included)? I''m not sure I''d agree- there is something special about a person that other non-human beings don t partake of (we re able to reason about obligations for one thing). Also, I''m not sure that you have to take your ethics to extremes in order to qualify as doing your bit. If we were to be extreme in our environmental views then we wouldn''t do a lot of things. In fact from the planets point of view there isn t much we do that has a positive impact, even having children would have to be omitted (if we were to be extreme), given overpopulation etc. That doesn''t take away from the fact that we should recycle. Whether buying diamonds is unconscionable is a different story.
Me and the boyfriend are in the process of buying an engagement ring at the moment. We decided on a sapphire, but I would really like some small diamonds in the setting (perhaps on the band). And yes, I do feel guilty about wanting this. But, you know, perhaps the answer for me to make sure that the company I deal with guarantees conflict free stones (and pay a little extra for this- I was going to go through ebay). I guess from the point of view of many others this is still unconscionable?!? Sorry for this long rambling post, but this is something I ve been thinking about a lot lately...
 

purrfectpear

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
4,079
I just checked............................................................nope, no blood on my diamonds


They''re conflict free too. I don''t feel any conflict at all in wearing them, often and continuously
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
Less than 2% (IIRC) of diamonds on the regular market nowadays are blood diamonds. While it was an issue in the past, the movie has sensationalized the topic way beyond the seriousness of the issue nowadays IMO.
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
8,035
Date: 4/14/2009 2:47:16 PM
Author: KatM
^^yes but that doesn''t make the original issue any less meaningful or worthwhile. A lot of people might argue that it doesn''t matter if someone is influenced by a celebrity, if in the end they are doing something. And who cares if they are self-righteous about having a cause? It''s annoying, for sure, but it''s no reason to knock them down.


Too many people are apathetic, tbh, and a celebrity inspired cause is better than no cause at all.
Doesn''t make it less worthwhile, but does make it annoying, IMHO. Coupled with what often amounts to a woeful lack of knowledge of the subject beyond a movie plotline (at least about this issue), they may not be even *actually* doing anything. For instance, people who shun diamonds but buy sapphires for rings instead. A little bit of actual research could turn up some information on why that might not be the best idea.

I''m all for doing something for a cause, as long as it''s informed and actually helping. Anything else is obnoxious lip service.

(Disclaimer: I''m not making light of what does happen in the mining of blood diamonds, or people who feel passionately about the issue. It''s a problem, no doubt. Personally, I believe in doing my research, which includes finding reliable vendors that follow the Kimberly Process. There is a human cost to all things, and we all have to find what we''re comfortable with. There is a difficult line for us all to draw on these issues, and I think it needs to be done with a lot of thought.)
 

mousey

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
420
Are Sapphires also problematic? I did do some research on the Kimberley process. I honestly didn''t mean to insult anyone who decides to buy a diamond (as I said I want some on the band- and I am helping my sis look for a diamond). My point was that its a personal choice, and its no bad thing that people are concerned (as this will put pressure on sellers to comply with the kimberley process), and that you don t have to be a veggie to be concerned. Also, I did nt choose a sapphire because of the blood diamond issue, but cos my boyf preferred them.
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
Hun, I''m sorry, I think we were posting at the same time. I definitely wouldn''t have brought it up the way I did if I''d seen your post first!

My understanding (which is fallible, so do your own research if you''re interested) is that while the Kimberly Process is around to protect the diamond miners, no such process exists for sapphire mines, so the owners of the mines are free to treat their workers however they like and we don''t know about it or really have any way to ensure that people aren''t dying for the sapphires we''re wearing. In terms of human life, diamonds may actually be one of the better natural stones to buy as there is some sort of enforced set of rules on how they can be mined and where the money comes from/goes. (Speculation on my part, experts please chime in and correct me if I''m wrong.)

But if you love sapphires and your BF loves sapphires, get one. Really and truly. I''m obsessed with all things sparkly, and I''d be the last person to tell you not to get one if that''s what you love. It just is frustrating when people hound me about how "terrible the diamond mining industry is" and then smugly assure me that "when I get engaged, I''m getting a sapphire, since diamonds will always be tainted with innocent people''s blood." (Yeah, I''ve gotten that speech once or twice.)
 

mousey

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
420
Thanks Princess
Interesting post!!!! I see what you mean- the attention on diamonds has made them safer to buy, as there has nt been attention on other gems. I also think you are right to say there is always a human cost when you buy something. I was shocked to see a documentary on cheap clothes recently. It was so horrid, they had people in refugee camps sewing on sequins.... I used to love Primark (a UK store), but can t really bring myself to buy there anymore. Its so difficult to do the right thing?!?
ps I already have the sapphire, Its beautiful! I got it from a place called wildfishgems, and one of their policies is to ethically source stuff. But this post has made me feel much better about buying a setting with some diamonds.
I would love to know if there is anything like a Kimberley process for sapphires...
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
19,456
Date: 4/14/2009 5:15:57 PM
Author: princesss
Hun, I''m sorry, I think we were posting at the same time. I definitely wouldn''t have brought it up the way I did if I''d seen your post first!

My understanding (which is fallible, so do your own research if you''re interested) is that while the Kimberly Process is around to protect the diamond miners, no such process exists for sapphire mines, so the owners of the mines are free to treat their workers however they like and we don''t know about it or really have any way to ensure that people aren''t dying for the sapphires we''re wearing. In terms of human life, diamonds may actually be one of the better natural stones to buy as there is some sort of enforced set of rules on how they can be mined and where the money comes from/goes. (Speculation on my part, experts please chime in and correct me if I''m wrong.)

But if you love sapphires and your BF loves sapphires, get one. Really and truly. I''m obsessed with all things sparkly, and I''d be the last person to tell you not to get one if that''s what you love. It just is frustrating when people hound me about how ''terrible the diamond mining industry is'' and then smugly assure me that ''when I get engaged, I''m getting a sapphire, since diamonds will always be tainted with innocent people''s blood.'' (Yeah, I''ve gotten that speech once or twice.)
Ditto to Princesss. No stone is *clean* unless it''s manufactured (and discussion about manufactured diamonds are only allowed on one area of the forum) and you kind of have to go out of your way to find those. I did a lot of research on the Kimberley Process as well as blood/conflict neutral/conflict free diamonds a couple of semesters ago for a paper, and it''s absolutely fascinating.

If I were looking for a sapphire ering (I have a mined spinel btw) I would look into Montana sapphires.
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
Mousey, that''s a really cool policy from Wildfish. I''m glad you have a stone you love that you can feel comfortable with.

I''m sure you could start researching the sapphire mining process to see if there is anything. A good reference here on PS would be Pandora''s posts. I know she''s done a fair amount of research into this. Try searching her posts and see what you can find.
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
19,456
Date: 4/14/2009 5:34:50 PM
Author: mousey
Thanks Princess
Interesting post!!!! I see what you mean- the attention on diamonds has made them safer to buy, as there has nt been attention on other gems. I also think you are right to say there is always a human cost when you buy something. I was shocked to see a documentary on cheap clothes recently. It was so horrid, they had people in refugee camps sewing on sequins.... I used to love Primark (a UK store), but can t really bring myself to buy there anymore. Its so difficult to do the right thing?!?

ps I already have the sapphire, Its beautiful! I got it from a place called wildfishgems, and one of their policies is to ethically source stuff. But this post has made me feel much better about buying a setting with some diamonds.

I would love to know if there is anything like a Kimberley process for sapphires...
To my knowledge, there is not. Sapphires are not as commercially desirable as diamonds and there isn''t enough of a demand for them, and therefore there isn''t a demand for legislation on mining practices either.

Now Burmese rubies on the other hand have come into speculation recently.
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
Ooooh, Freke, I''d forgotten about Montana sapphires!

This is why I lurve this board. All sorts of people who knows all sorts of things about all things jewelry related. Fantastic.

(P.S. That''s an awfully high post count there, Miss Freke.)
 

mousey

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
420
Thanks Princess. I will do that, for my own interest. I had nt thought about the issue of sapphires being more dangerous.....
ps, I feel exactly the same vis a vis people who ram their ethical positions down others throats. I also think that the way people live their lives is up to them. I once had a flatmate who was sooooo irritating on this point. She was an environmentalist, and used to constantly go through my food items listing where they came from (airmiles) and the ethical problems they create (her favorite was tofu- according to her forests are cut down all the time to make soya).
. But I do like when people bring things to my attention that I had nt though of before. There is no way I can make up my mind unless I''m informed. Pricescope is great for the information!!!!
 

mousey

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
420
ps, Freke- that sounds like an interesting paper! I was joking to my boyf recently about giving up my PhD, and starting something on Gems (I''ve been a little obsessive about them recently- weird given this sapphire is my first). I even looked up courses on the GIA website. Now that would be a cool thing to study.
 

happydreams

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
321
Date: 4/14/2009 6:02:46 PM
Author: mousey
ps, Freke- that sounds like an interesting paper! I was joking to my boyf recently about giving up my PhD, and starting something on Gems (I''ve been a little obsessive about them recently- weird given this sapphire is my first). I even looked up courses on the GIA website. Now that would be a cool thing to study.
Yes, What do you study, freke?
Sounds like it''s a lot of fun. Can you image...having to research on anything diamond/jewely related? I''d be all over it.
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Date: 4/14/2009 3:36:25 PM
Author: mousey
But, you know, perhaps the answer for me to make sure that the company I deal with guarantees conflict free stones (and pay a little extra for this- I was going to go through ebay).
There are conflict free diamonds available. Aussie diamonds are conflict free!

A big problem is that it can be difficult to trace whether a diamond is genuinely conflict free or not, as they can get mixed up with conflict free at the wholesale level, esp in Antwerp apparently..?

However, I personally don't feel that this is a big enough issue to stop me buying a diamond altogether. I chose a vendor that guaranteed conflict free diamonds only.
The tax receipt from my diamond gurantees me a conflict free diamond.

How water tight this guarantee is in all conditions, or how it could be tested to prove without doubt the diamond was conflict free, who can say for sure?
But that was definitely good enough for me. It shows me that the trader, in good faith, has avoided diamonds from known (geographical) sources of conflict diamonds, at least.
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Date: 4/14/2009 5:50:50 PM
Author: mousey
Thanks Princess. I will do that, for my own interest. I had nt thought about the issue of sapphires being more dangerous.....

ps, I feel exactly the same vis a vis people who ram their ethical positions down others throats.
I was a participating environmentalist (yes I lived in the forest) and I do think that protest movements can have a great effect on how mainstream perception can become more ''evolved'' environmentally.

Whaling and minority rights are other great examples of how the protest movement has had a beneficial effect.

But there is an onus on environmentalists to be as practical as possible about the solutions they support. the whole PETA campaign against mulesing sheep is incredibly ignorant and irresponsible in the short term, in my opinion... Australian sheep have no better protection than mulesing to prevent flystrike (slow and gruesome death from being eaten alive by fly maggots). Long term, the PETA campaign may have benefits, but it will be at a cost, financial cost and also probably an increase in death rates from fly strike as breeding and other solutions are not as effective as mulesing...
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Buying coloured stones because you think that they are more ethical than diamonds is not a given. The Kimberley Process has meant that diamonds are tracked much more carefully than other gemstones and it would be actually quite hard to buy a true ''conflict'' diamond from a reputable dealer.

A little research into conditions in Burma (I won''t use the name imposed by the Junta) in the jade and ruby mines there can be pretty shocking.

Countries like the USA and Australia produce gemstones that I would presume are all mined with sufficient attention to health and safety and workers rights.

Some individual mine-owners also operate in a responsible manner - Campbell Bridge''s tsavorite mine in Kenya is a great example of mining where responsibility is taken for both workers and the environment.

Sri Lanka is a slightly tricky one - the government does not allow mechanised mining or the export of rough which is extremely beneficial for miners and other workers in the gem businesses as it ensures a sustainable industry for many years to come as well as less environmental damage. The areas where the vast majority of stones are mined are in the south-west of the island and well away from the Vanni where the problems with the LTTE are going on. The miners, mine-owners, land-owners etc form co-operatives and the proceeds from sales are split between the members.

However, my understanding from friends within the Sri Lankan government is that part of the taxes charged on all goods for sale goes towards a defence fund for fighting the LTTE. Personally I do not have an issue with this at all - but that is down to my own views on internal Sri Lankan politics which I do not come to without a lot of consideration.

Some people may have opposing views or take issue with some of their money going towards funding defence budgets - although that is also the case with taxation within our own countries.

Recent news from Afghanistan appears to indicate that the Taliban are controlling some of the emerald trade.

Having been brought up in developing countries, it is worth bearing in mind that what might be regarded as unacceptable in the West in terms of wages/benefits etc may not be the same in other countries. There were no televisions where I lived and the ship only came once a month with supplies, so even if you were a millionaire there wasn''t actually anything to buy!

There also needs to be a balance between prohibiting/boycotting products from countries run by unpleasant regimes - such as Burma - and considering the economic benefits to local people on the ground from trading with the West. Gemstones are also extremely portable and a Burmese stone may well make it''s way over the borders into Thailand etc - since the vast majority will not be tested for origin (and this isn''t always possible anyway), there is often no definite way of knowing exactly where your stone came from.

Ultimately, unless you know the exact mine your stone is coming from and you are buying through dealers that can confirm this, it''s all a bit of a gamble. However, anyone who smugly declares that they have bought a coloured stone because they don''t want a blood diamond, is rather naive unless they have fully considered the facts and know where their particular rock is coming from!
 

Inanna

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
565
Date: 4/15/2009 10:34:42 AM
Author: Pandora II
Buying coloured stones because you think that they are more ethical than diamonds is not a given. The Kimberley Process has meant that diamonds are tracked much more carefully than other gemstones and it would be actually quite hard to buy a true ''conflict'' diamond from a reputable dealer.

A little research into conditions in Burma (I won''t use the name imposed by the Junta) in the jade and ruby mines there can be pretty shocking.

Countries like the USA and Australia produce gemstones that I would presume are all mined with sufficient attention to health and safety and workers rights.

Some individual mine-owners also operate in a responsible manner - Campbell Bridge''s tsavorite mine in Kenya is a great example of mining where responsibility is taken for both workers and the environment.

Sri Lanka is a slightly tricky one - the government does not allow mechanised mining or the export of rough which is extremely beneficial for miners and other workers in the gem businesses as it ensures a sustainable industry for many years to come as well as less environmental damage. The areas where the vast majority of stones are mined are in the south-west of the island and well away from the Vanni where the problems with the LTTE are going on. The miners, mine-owners, land-owners etc form co-operatives and the proceeds from sales are split between the members.

However, my understanding from friends within the Sri Lankan government is that part of the taxes charged on all goods for sale goes towards a defence fund for fighting the LTTE. Personally I do not have an issue with this at all - but that is down to my own views on internal Sri Lankan politics which I do not come to without a lot of consideration.

Some people may have opposing views or take issue with some of their money going towards funding defence budgets - although that is also the case with taxation within our own countries.

Recent news from Afghanistan appears to indicate that the Taliban are controlling some of the emerald trade.

Having been brought up in developing countries, it is worth bearing in mind that what might be regarded as unacceptable in the West in terms of wages/benefits etc may not be the same in other countries. There were no televisions where I lived and the ship only came once a month with supplies, so even if you were a millionaire there wasn''t actually anything to buy!

There also needs to be a balance between prohibiting/boycotting products from countries run by unpleasant regimes - such as Burma - and considering the economic benefits to local people on the ground from trading with the West. Gemstones are also extremely portable and a Burmese stone may well make it''s way over the borders into Thailand etc - since the vast majority will not be tested for origin (and this isn''t always possible anyway), there is often no definite way of knowing exactly where your stone came from.

Ultimately, unless you know the exact mine your stone is coming from and you are buying through dealers that can confirm this, it''s all a bit of a gamble. However, anyone who smugly declares that they have bought a coloured stone because they don''t want a blood diamond, is rather naive unless they have fully considered the facts and know where their particular rock is coming from!
Very informative post, Pandora!
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,396
Date: 4/14/2009 12:04:52 AM
Author: Rock_of_Love
Oh what a topic! My thoughts have always been that there is ''blood'' surrounding ANYTHING of value...gold, land, oil, furs (pelts back in the day), designer handbags!, various food delicacies (those illegal and legal), and so on...SO, what are we to do??

I''m sure anyone who may be ''high and mighty'' about not having a ''blood diamond'' (not saying your friend is), probably has other contradictions going on. Do they wear leather shoes made from the skin of animals? Do they eat meat? Do they drive SUVs or other gas guzzlers? Do they recycle (ALL THE TIME)? I''m sure I could think of better examples, but it is getting late here...sorry if I sound like I am equating eating meat to genocide and diamond wars.

Anyway, you get it...there''s my 2 cents...
agree 101%
 

stacy

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Messages
285
Thanks for the informative post, pandora! You raised some excellent points, and it''s obvious you know your stuff!
 

mrscushion

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
3,309
Date: 4/15/2009 10:34:42 AM
Author: Pandora II
Buying coloured stones because you think that they are more ethical than diamonds is not a given. The Kimberley Process has meant that diamonds are tracked much more carefully than other gemstones and it would be actually quite hard to buy a true ''conflict'' diamond from a reputable dealer.
A little research into conditions in Burma (I won''t use the name imposed by the Junta) in the jade and ruby mines there can be pretty shocking.
Countries like the USA and Australia produce gemstones that I would presume are all mined with sufficient attention to health and safety and workers rights.
Some individual mine-owners also operate in a responsible manner - Campbell Bridge''s tsavorite mine in Kenya is a great example of mining where responsibility is taken for both workers and the environment.
Sri Lanka is a slightly tricky one - the government does not allow mechanised mining or the export of rough which is extremely beneficial for miners and other workers in the gem businesses as it ensures a sustainable industry for many years to come as well as less environmental damage. The areas where the vast majority of stones are mined are in the south-west of the island and well away from the Vanni where the problems with the LTTE are going on. The miners, mine-owners, land-owners etc form co-operatives and the proceeds from sales are split between the members.
However, my understanding from friends within the Sri Lankan government is that part of the taxes charged on all goods for sale goes towards a defence fund for fighting the LTTE. Personally I do not have an issue with this at all - but that is down to my own views on internal Sri Lankan politics which I do not come to without a lot of consideration.
Some people may have opposing views or take issue with some of their money going towards funding defence budgets - although that is also the case with taxation within our own countries.
Recent news from Afghanistan appears to indicate that the Taliban are controlling some of the emerald trade.
Having been brought up in developing countries, it is worth bearing in mind that what might be regarded as unacceptable in the West in terms of wages/benefits etc may not be the same in other countries. There were no televisions where I lived and the ship only came once a month with supplies, so even if you were a millionaire there wasn''t actually anything to buy!
There also needs to be a balance between prohibiting/boycotting products from countries run by unpleasant regimes - such as Burma - and considering the economic benefits to local people on the ground from trading with the West. Gemstones are also extremely portable and a Burmese stone may well make it''s way over the borders into Thailand etc - since the vast majority will not be tested for origin (and this isn''t always possible anyway), there is often no definite way of knowing exactly where your stone came from.
Ultimately, unless you know the exact mine your stone is coming from and you are buying through dealers that can confirm this, it''s all a bit of a gamble. However, anyone who smugly declares that they have bought a coloured stone because they don''t want a blood diamond, is rather naive unless they have fully considered the facts and know where their particular rock is coming from!
Great post!
 

Rock_of_Love

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
1,274
Date: 4/15/2009 7:01:27 PM
Author: Dancing Fire

Date: 4/14/2009 12:04:52 AM
Author: Rock_of_Love
Oh what a topic! My thoughts have always been that there is ''blood'' surrounding ANYTHING of value...gold, land, oil, furs (pelts back in the day), designer handbags!, various food delicacies (those illegal and legal), and so on...SO, what are we to do??

I''m sure anyone who may be ''high and mighty'' about not having a ''blood diamond'' (not saying your friend is), probably has other contradictions going on. Do they wear leather shoes made from the skin of animals? Do they eat meat? Do they drive SUVs or other gas guzzlers? Do they recycle (ALL THE TIME)? I''m sure I could think of better examples, but it is getting late here...sorry if I sound like I am equating eating meat to genocide and diamond wars.

Anyway, you get it...there''s my 2 cents...
agree 101%
Thanks, DF! That''s my logical approach.
 

beach

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
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Date: 4/15/2009 12:16:14 AM
Author: LaraOnline


Date: 4/14/2009 3:36:25 PM
Author: mousey
But, you know, perhaps the answer for me to make sure that the company I deal with guarantees conflict free stones (and pay a little extra for this- I was going to go through ebay).
There are conflict free diamonds available. Aussie diamonds are conflict free!

A big problem is that it can be difficult to trace whether a diamond is genuinely conflict free or not, as they can get mixed up with conflict free at the wholesale level, esp in Antwerp apparently..?

However, I personally don't feel that this is a big enough issue to stop me buying a diamond altogether. I chose a vendor that guaranteed conflict free diamonds only.
The tax receipt from my diamond gurantees me a conflict free diamond.

How water tight this guarantee is in all conditions, or how it could be tested to prove without doubt the diamond was conflict free, who can say for sure?
But that was definitely good enough for me. It shows me that the trader, in good faith, has avoided diamonds from known (geographical) sources of conflict diamonds, at least.
Agreed. All because a company is "conflict free" does not mean they always are. They really can not be 100% "conflcit free" all of the time because most diamonds are not tracked from the second they leave the earth. There are too many hands involved and the sheer volume makes it near impossible to trully know where a diamond came from. The Kimberly process is a great idea but it is flawed on the implementation level.
 
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