shape
carat
color
clarity

How to guarantee you're buying a conflict free diamond?

Kazamaki

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
17
I'm shopping for an engagement ring and it's important that I get an ethical, conflict free diamond. Is there any way of guaranteeing this when you buy online (blue nile) or from a big brand store (de beers, cartier etc)?

tbh - I've found it depressing reading forums, blogs and seeing youtube videos about the 'negative' side of diamonds. Some people say that all diamonds support conflict and evil.
 
Last edited:

lalala

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2017
Messages
587
I would think that the only way to truly have a conflict free diamond would be to buy a lab created diamond (not to be confused with diamond simulants). I'd take a look at the Laboratory-Grown Diamonds/Man-Made Diamonds forum on here for some ideas.

De Beers would be the last place I'd go in search of a conflict free diamond...
 

rockysalamander

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
5,105
Canadian diamonds are conflict free. On James allen, they are Canadamark. Most also consider antique diamonds to be conflict free given they were harvested long before the "blood diamond" driven concerns. If ypu give us you wants and budget, we can post well cut contenders. Crafted by Infinity sold by High Performance Diamonds are also conflict free and is a recomended vendor.
 

lalala

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2017
Messages
587
Canadian diamonds are conflict free. On James allen, they are Canadamark. Most also consider antique diamonds to be conflict free given they were harvested long before the "blood diamond" driven concerns. If ypu give us you wants and budget, we can post well cut contenders. Crafted by Infinity sold by High Performance Diamonds are also conflict free and is a recomended vendor.

Cool! Didn't know that about the Canadamark diamonds on JA or CBI!
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
8,228
I would think that the only way to truly have a conflict free diamond would be to buy a lab created diamond (not to be confused with diamond simulants). I'd take a look at the Laboratory-Grown Diamonds/Man-Made Diamonds forum on here for some ideas.
+1

Although, thinking about it, what is there to stop a nutty, war-mongering dictator from setting up shop in diamond making... :lol:
 

Kazamaki

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
17
Canadian diamonds are conflict free. On James allen, they are Canadamark. Most also consider antique diamonds to be conflict free given they were harvested long before the "blood diamond" driven concerns. If ypu give us you wants and budget, we can post well cut contenders. Crafted by Infinity sold by High Performance Diamonds are also conflict free and is a recomended vendor.

Thanks. My budget is around $4000-$5000. I was thinking 0.7ct, round solitaire, F/VS2 (or above).
 

WinkHPD

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 3, 2001
Messages
7,516
All of the reputable houses in the industry go to great lengths to deliver conflict free diamonds. Some go even further to avoid diamonds that are technically conflict free, since the government IS the terrorist in Zimbabwe and technically Conflict Free relates to terrorists using diamonds to fund their efforts against the government in their county. Thus many companies also refuse to deal with diamonds from Zimbabwe.

When we send an invoice it will contain the following statements re the Kimberley accords.

All jewelers are required by law to have similar statements:

The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from
legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in
compliance with United Nations Resolutions. The seller hereby
guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on
personal knowledge and / or written guarantees provided by the
supplier of these diamonds.

By shipping goods pursuant to this invoice, we warrant that, to
the best of our knowledge, the diamonds invoiced have not
originated from Zimbabwe and have received similar assurance
of non-Zimbabwe origin from any supplier from whom we have
obtained the diamonds invoiced.

The diamonds herein invoiced are exclusively of natural origin
and untreated based on personal knowledge and/or written
guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.

Polished natural diamond(s)


I am always surprised how few jewelers in this country bother with complying with this on their invoices.

Wink
 

Kazamaki

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
17
De Beers would be the last place I'd go in search of a conflict free diamond...

Do you feel strongly about this?

Although they have a controversial history (pre 2000), since 2000 they've not bought any diamonds from the open market. They only sell diamonds from mines that they control. As well as guaranteeing conflict-free certification.

This makes me think that they can't afford to be anything less than this? I could be wrong...
 

rockysalamander

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
5,105
I flexed your criteria to include G and SI1 (eye-clean; from WF and HPD), just to show you a range of options for your budget. Also, Whiteflash and HPD diamonds are super-ideal, so are cut for performance, fire and brilliance. The Canadamark's are a step down as very well cut GIA XXX. Most find that super-ideal show their color less from the side than others.

JamesAllen Canadamark - you should request an idealscope image on these to determine light return before committing. They have a slightly high crown angle relative to the pavilion angle.
$2510, 0.73 E VS2, https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...e-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-3593290
$2440, 0.70 E VS2, https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...e-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-3593362

Whiteflash
$4290, 0.83 G VS2, https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3880143.htm
$4292, 0.808 G VS2, https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3880147.htm
$3483, 0.742 G VS2, https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3836181.htm
$4279, 0.73 F VVS2, https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3903336.htm
$4426, 0.717 E VS1, https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3903332.htm

High Performance Diamonds

$3723, 0.75 G VS2, https://www.hpdiamonds.com/en-us/diamonddetail/HPD9661
$3761, 0.74 G VS2, https://www.hpdiamonds.com/en-us/diamonddetail/HPD8949
$3739, 0.76 E SI1, https://www.hpdiamonds.com/en-us/diamonddetail/HPD9255 (eye-clean SI, we trust Wink's eye here on PS}

Size comparison of smallest (largest WF .83 G VS2-left; JA .7 E VS2-right) on size 6.5 finger 1.8 mm ring.
upload_2017-12-5_9-33-54.png
 
Last edited:

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
926
Pretty much all diamonds you can buy nowadays are certified by the Kimberly process. If you find someone offering to sell you a conflict diamond, you can be assured they are trying to cheat you.

Unfortunately the Kimberly process is fairly easy to circumvent. They just smuggle the diamonds to another country and present them as having been mined locally. If you really want to be sure the options are as above: Canadian, lab-created, and antique.
 

rockysalamander

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
5,105
Pretty much all diamonds you can buy nowadays are certified by the Kimberly process. If you find someone offering to sell you a conflict diamond, you can be assured they are trying to cheat you.

Unfortunately the Kimberly process is fairly easy to circumvent. They just smuggle the diamonds to another country and present them as having been mined locally. If you really want to be sure the options are as above: Canadian, lab-created, and antique.
I agree that buying from virtual inventory risks this work-around, but I don't agree that is a significant risk for in-house cut stones from reputable vendors like WF, BGD, and HPD/CBI.
 

rockysalamander

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
5,105
All will ship to the UK. I think you have to pay a 20% VAT on your side and the exchange fee, but maybe a UK PS member will clarify.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
8,228
UK Customs levies 20% VAT in imported loose stones (and the shipping cost attached to them, IIRC :rolleyes: ).

There is an additional 2.5% charge on set stones - but I'm not sure if that's before or after the 20% VAT has been added.

Don't forget there will also be potential exchange rate commission fees built into the exchange rates on your card (presuming you are paying by credit card) or through Paypal. If paying by plastic there are pages on the Visa/Mastercard websites that give exchange rates for that day IIRC.
 

Austina

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
6,811
I paid the 20% VAT on my ring at Heathrow customs.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
9,091
You would be hard pressed to buy a conflict diamond in 2017 if you tried, but the key is in defining your terms. When the Blood Diamond movie came out, it meant diamonds that were involved in the funding of war. Those wars are what ushered in the Kimberley process. The wars are over, for now, and I think KP really did play a roll in ending them, but now there’s a problem. People want to expand the program to mean other things. Do Canadian land disputes with the natives count as ‘conflict’? Some say they do. What about employment laws in Zimbabwe (which are dreadful by the way)? And no, synthetics are not immune from this. It’s simply not correct to say that all factory workers in China are treated better than all mine workers in Botswana. Just watch an expose on conditions in Chinese factories.

What you can do is this:

#1 Ask the question. As pointed out above, every responsible jeweler is attuned to this, and the reason they’re attuned to it is that customers care. Keep on caring. If customers keep on asking, they keep on asking their suppliers and everybody wins.

#2 Listen to the answers. KP compliance, which is required of all stones imported into the United States, every country in Europe, and pretty much everywhere else, is setting a rather low bar, but it’s good place to start. Don't expect psychic powers or magic solutions, but they should be prepared to tell you what THEY are doing to make sure their supply chains are responsible.

#3 Think about the answer. As much as I love Canada, and as nice as their diamonds are, boycotting products from Africa in favor of those from Canada is doing no favors to Africans. The war in Sierra Leone ended in 2002. That’s been 15 years. They’ve got new problems, and what they need NOW is for people to buy their diamonds. If you're not paying attention, the cure being offered may very well be worse than the disease.
 
Last edited:

AllThingsSparkling

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Messages
166
Tiffany has vertical integration from mine to polishing. If youre paying 20% vat from abroad, might as well just enjoy your upcharge in style at a local T&C.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,686
You would be hard pressed to buy a conflict diamond in 2017 if you tried, but the key is in defining your terms. When the Blood Diamond movie came out, it meant diamonds that were involved in the funding of war. Those wars are what ushered in the Kimberley process. The wars are over, for now, and I think KP really did play a roll in ending them, but now there’s a problem. People want to expand the program to mean other things. Do Canadian land disputes with the natives count as ‘conflict’? Some say they do. What about employment laws in Zimbabwe (which are dreadful by the way)? And no, synthetics are not immune from this. It’s simply not correct to say that all factory workers in China are treated better than all mine workers in Botswana. Just watch an expose on conditions in Chinese factories.

What you can do is this:

#1 Ask the question. As pointed out above, every responsible jeweler is attuned to this, and the reason they’re attuned to it is that customers care. Keep on caring. If customers keep on asking, they keep on asking their suppliers and everybody wins.

#2 Listen to the answers. KP compliance, which is required of all stones imported into the United States, every country in Europe, and pretty much everywhere else, is setting a rather low bar, but it’s good place to start. Don't expect psychic powers or magic solutions, but they should be prepared to tell you what THEY are doing to make sure their supply chains are responsible.

#3 Think about the answer. As much as I love Canada, and as nice as their diamonds are, boycotting products from Africa in favor of those from Canada is doing no favors to Africans. The war in Sierra Leone ended in 2002. That’s been 15 years. They’ve got new problems, and what they need NOW is for people to buy their diamonds. If you're not paying attention, the cure being offered may very well be worse than the disease.
As usual Neil makes a lot of solid points. There are a couple of things to remember that will give a shopper great comfort. 1) the vast majority of diamonds come out of the ground in big digs. Large commercial mining operations that are controlled very carefully. It is the artisan areas that have at some points been commandeered by armed groups where the problems arise. So it has always been a fraction of overall production that was tainted by conflic. 2) The United Nations brought together governments, industry and NGOs to map out a plan to eliminate the problem altogether. That effort culminated in the Kimberley Process, which has been largely successful in accomplishing that goal. 3) Diamond mining supports hundreds of thousands of people, some of them with no other means to make a living. Revenues flowing into diamond mining countries provide health care, education and infrastructure improvements that are relied upon by even more people. Botswana has been a model for how responsible management of the resource can have sustainable, long term benefits to society.

For a diamond merchant to protect consumers from buying conflict diamonds by making sure their supply chain is compliant with the KP, is the minimum requirement. Whiteflash has long been a member of the UN Global Compact, an organization of businesses dedicated to socially responsible practices. We are also members of the Diamond Development Initiative, an organization advocating for the artesinal mining industry. We recommend supporting this organization as the artisinal miners are the most vulnerable to exploitation. By supporting them you provide resources targeted precisely at the conflict diamond issue.

Unfortunately, some synthetic diamond producers are positioning themselves as being a socially responsible alternative to mined diamonds using some regrettable tactics, essentially demonizing an industry that is doing highly beneficial things to communities all over the world. Their marketing approach involves grossly exaggerating the scope of the conflict diamond problem today, while concealing the significant social and economic benefits that flow from the natural diamond industry.

Consumers should keep in mind that buying a synthetic will send money to a very few highly paid entrepreneurs and technicians, rather that being spread out across the globe to hard working families and communities who are truly needy.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
8,228
Tiffany has vertical integration from mine to polishing. If youre paying 20% vat from abroad, might as well just enjoy your upcharge in style at a local T&C.
Except, of course, that T&C have worse cut stones than PS-recommended vendors and one is paying a substantial premium for all that branding ;-)

One can get better cut AND better colour/clarity/size from PS-recommended vendors for a given budget, even paying 20% VAT in that budget! (which is included in UK store prices already).


As usual Neil makes a lot of solid points. There are a couple of things to remember that will give a shopper great comfort. 1) the vast majority of diamonds come out of the ground in big digs. Large commercial mining operations that are controlled very carefully. It is the artisan areas that have at some points been commandeered by armed groups where the problems arise. So it has always been a fraction of overall production that was tainted by conflic. 2) The United Nations brought together governments, industry and NGOs to map out a plan to eliminate the problem altogether. That effort culminated in the Kimberley Process, which has been largely successful in accomplishing that goal. 3) Diamond mining supports hundreds of thousands of people, some of them with no other means to make a living. Revenues flowing into diamond mining countries provide health care, education and infrastructure improvements that are relied upon by even more people. Botswana has been a model for how responsible management of the resource can have sustainable, long term benefits to society.

For a diamond merchant to protect consumers from buying conflict diamonds by making sure their supply chain is compliant with the KP, is the minimum requirement. Whiteflash has long been a member of the UN Global Compact, an organization of businesses dedicated to socially responsible practices. We are also members of the Diamond Development Initiative, an organization advocating for the artesinal mining industry. We recommend supporting this organization as the artisinal miners are the most vulnerable to exploitation. By supporting them you provide resources targeted precisely at the conflict diamond issue.

Unfortunately, some synthetic diamond producers are positioning themselves as being a socially responsible alternative to mined diamonds using some regrettable tactics, essentially demonizing an industry that is doing highly beneficial things to communities all over the world. Their marketing approach involves grossly exaggerating the scope of the conflict diamond problem today, while concealing the significant social and economic benefits that flow from the natural diamond industry.

Consumers should keep in mind that buying a synthetic will send money to a very few highly paid entrepreneurs and technicians, rather that being spread out across the globe to hard working families and communities who are truly needy.
Great post that provokes some thought, thank you :)
 
Be a part of the community Get 3 HCA Results
    Ultimate Valentine's Jewelry Gift Guide
    Ultimate Valentine's Jewelry Gift Guide - 02/05
    Valentine's Date Night Jewelry
    Valentine's Date Night Jewelry - 02/03
    Did You See January 2023's Jewels Of The Weeks?
    Did You See January 2023's Jewels Of The Weeks? - 01/28
Top